Take a breath and enjoy a world that places storytelling over glamour, filmmaking, expertise over box office profits. The Asia Pacific Film Awards are back, may they live forever…
In a world of increasing division and tension between nations and peoples the celebration of cultural diversity that is the Asia Pacific Screen Awards has never been more important or more needed.
With 70 countries represented, the festival is endorsed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers).
Great news for the 4.5 billion people, who make up the third of the world, and half of the world’s cinema. This year the awards will be broadcast across the world with a live webcast.
And the Masters are Judging
The judges represents three continents, with announcements of the awards taking place in Brisbane on 24th November.
President and Academy Award winner Lord David Puttnam – the British native who was also President in 2010.
Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival Kim Dong-Ho.
Multi-award winner Nansun Shi – hailing from Hong Kong and former jury member in 2011.
Palme d’Or and Academy Award-winning Jan Chapman – the Australian producer who was also a jury member in 2012.
Master filmmaker Shyam Benegal – the pride of India and jury member in 2013.
Over 1000 guests will attend the black tie event. Anyone who loves cinema is in for a treat.
Nominees for Best Feature Film
Cold of Kalendar (Turkey, Germany)
Mustafa Kara’s beautiful symbolic tale is set in the high mountains of Northern Turkey farmer Mehmet dreams of finding gold and training the family bull to win fights in the spring. Poverty and the harshness of everyday life in this environment set against the changing seasons and highlighting human spirit. This film is also nominated for Achievement in Cinematography and the APSA Cultural Diversity Award.
Mr Aziz is a strict and traditional man who rules his family with heavy authority. While one of his daughters tows the line, another defies his wishes and literally flies the coop, travelling 1000 km to explore her aspirations and friendships away from him. The father’s protective control is challenged by his daughter and her generation’s less traditional desires. Reza Mirkarimi’s eighth feature is a gem. This film has also been nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Performance by Actor Farad Asiani, Best Performance by and Actress by Aslihan Gurbuz, and Achievement in Directing.
Muhammad: The Messenger of God (Iran)
Maid Majidi’s seven year passion project saw him Koranic experts from across the Islamic world to tell this epic life story. Astonishing cinematography traces the first 13 years of Muhammed the Prophet’s rise to greatness. One of cinema’s great spiritual films and destined for a place in cinematic history, the beauty of the sixth century desert and the richness of Islam are brought to life. This film is also nominated for Achievement in Cinematography for
DOP Virrorio Storano.
The Student (Russia)
How wonderful to have certainty in an uncertain world? This is the story of a teenager and his religious awakening and slide into fanaticism and manipulation of others. Riding his sense of righteous empowerment, his views are only challenged by his female biology teacher. The oppressive influence of religion is explored in a modern Russian setting. Kirin Serebrennikov skillfully presents a mature and timely story of youth.
Ember (Turkey, Germany)
Left alone with a sick child in desperate need of surgery she can’t afford, Emine allows her ex-boss to pay for the operation. Her husband Cemal, who has been away seeking work in Romania, returns and seethes with jealousy and resentment, rightly suspecting that the benefactor has feelings for his wife. Emine fights through a web of patriarchy as thick as the Istanbul fog, caught in the centre of conflicting ideas about how to cope with current social conditions.
Nominees for Best Animated Feature Film
Bilal (United Arab Emirates)
Set a thousand years ago a young boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is kidnapped with his sister and they are taken to a land far from home. Their new home is rife with greed and injustice, and like the real hero Bilal ibn Rabah, his animated double has swash buckling adventures fighting for equality.
Manning Biring (Phillipines)
This comedy drama shows an elderly but spirited woman going to great lengths to avoid her imminent demise after her long estranged daughter promises to come home for Christmas. It’s adult and very funny.
Savva (Russian Federation)
Saava’s forest village has lost the protection of the white wolves and is now under threat. The boy escapes and is rescued by the last of the noble white wolves, who tells him of a magician who can save his village. This heroes journey is a colourful and wonderful journey that ends in a fight for liberation.
Seoul Station (Korea)
An undead cannibal apocalypse is gripping the city of Seoul. A runaway teenager is caught up in the unfolding drama as the government declares the whole area a no go zone. This film manages to blend zombie horror, entertainment and acute social criticism brilliantly.
Sheep and Wolves (Russian Federation)
A flock of sheep enjoy verdant green pastures in a magical land but their happiness is disturbed by the arrival of a pack of wolves. The goofy wolf leader meets a group of curious gypsy rabbits and drinks their magical ‘transmutation potion’ – in the process discovering a lot about wolves, sheep and himself. This comedy shows the best and worst of attempting peaceful coexistence by making us laugh at ourselves.
Nominees for Best Youth Feature Film
The World of Us (Korea)
A ten year old girl, usually left out at school, makes friends with another girl who is new to town over the summer holidays. They enjoy a wonderful friendship until they return to school when the new girl joins in with bullying her friend in order to fit in with the cool kids. As she realises her mistake in betraying her best friend it is unclear if it’s too late for the girls to be the great friends they have been again.
Her homeland is in turmoil internally and starting a war with Iraq, but little Bahar lives inside a fantasy world of stories that help her to daydream and make sense of the terrible suffering around her.
The Quest (India)
A beautiful story of a father and son who embark on a hearted quest together, but for different reasons. Their adventures showcase the deep love between them in heart melting ways.
Wolf and Sheep (Afghanistan, Denmark, France, Sweden)
The stories and traditions of a remote village are brought alive through two cheeky shepherd children who seek the mythical Kashmire Wolf. Boys and girls are not meant to be friends, but these two strike up a romping friendship with many adventures to be had.
The Trap (India)
An orphan boy lives happily in Kerala with his compassionate and humorous grandfather. When grandpa falls ill the boy’s future is suddenly uncertain. A heart wrenching re-working of Chekov’s short story, this film shows the plight of the poor and powerless and the beautiful relationship with nature and with learning about life that boy and grandfather both embody.
Nominees for Best Documentary Feature Film
City of Jade (Myanmar, Taiwan)
Poor workers with simple tools chase the dream of finding Jade. This film documents those lives through the central character of the filmmaker’s older brother’s life story.
Exile (Cambodia, France)
The horror of Pol Pot and those exiled by his troops this theatrical and surreal film tries to make sense of genocide.
Monkey (Australia, Norway)
Acclaimed photojournalist George Gittoes gives us a humane vision of a war town Afghanistan through documenting his relationship with three gangs of children who are both shocking and beautiful.
Starless Dreams (Iran)
The young girls of a juvenile correctional and rehabilitation centre in Tehran shows the mistreatment and disadvantage that led the girls to imprisonment, as well as the way their relationships with each other hold such importance. A voice for the voiceless, and the first film to be made inside an Iranian girl’s prison.
Under the Sun (Russian Federation, Korea, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia)
North Korea comes under scrutiny in this revelatory glimpse beyond what the government would prefer to present about lives in their ‘ideal country.’
Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor
Farad Aalani in Daughter.
Dev Patel in Lion.
Manon Bajpayee in Allgarh.
Song Kang-Ho in The Throne.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Psycho Raman.
Nominees for Best Performance by an Actress
Jasmine Killip in Ordinary People.
Youn Yun-Jung in The Bacchus Lady.
Agrippina Staklova in Insight.
Natalia Pavelenkova in Zoology.
Aslihan Gurbuz in Ember.
Nominees for Best Screenplay
Leena Yadav and Supratik Sen for Parched.
Tehran Kastani for Daughter.
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara, and Tomoyuki Takahashi for Happy Hour.
Gurvinder Singh, and Waryam Singh Sandhu for The Fourth Direction.
Yang Chao for Crosscurrent.
Nominees for Achievement in Cinematography
Jay Oza for Psycho Raman.
Wang Tainting for Kaili Blues.
Cevahir Sahin & Jursat Uresin for Cold Of Kalandar.
Gorda Gomez Andreu for House of Others.
Vittorio Sotraro for Muhammad: The Messenger of God.
Nominees for Achievement in Directing
Anura Kashyap for Psycho Raman.
Bi Gan for Kaili Blues.
Feng Xiaogang for I am not Madame Bovary.
Lee Joon-Ik for The Throne.
Zeki Demirkubuz for Ember.
Nominees for Cultural Diversity Award this year, under patronage of UNESCO
Hussein Hassan for The Dark Wind.
Dmitriy Davydov for The Bonfire.
Tamer El Said for The Last Days of the City.
Dang Xuebo for Knife in the Clear Water.
Mustafa Kara for Cold of Kalandar.