Rajkumar Rao nominated for Best Actor in Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Three films from India have scored 5 nominations in the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Newton actor Rajkummar Rao is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor, in a category won last year by Manoj Bajpayee for Aligarh with a Special Mention to Nawazuddin Siddiqui for his outstanding performance in Anurag Kashyap’s Psycho Raman (Raman Raghav 2.0).

Rajkummar Rao is competing against Paolo Ballesteros for Die Beautiful (Philippines), Koji Yakusho for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin, Japan),  Navid Mohammadzadeh for No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza; Islamic Republic of Iran) and father and son actors Mohammad Bakri & Saleh Bakrinominated for Wajib (Duty; Palestine, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates).

Newton also picked up a Best Screenplay nomination for director Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari.

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is nominated for Achievement in Directing for Sexy Durga (India). Sasidharan is up against Ana Urushadze for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda, Georgia, Estonia), Andrey Zvyagintsev for Loveless (Nelyubov Russian Federation, Belgium, France, Germany), Japanese master Kore-eda Hirokazu for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin Japan) and Mouly Surya for Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Thailand).

Haobam Paban Kumar’s Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee) is nominated for both Achievement in Cinematography for Shehnad Jalal and the prestigious APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO.

The APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is an award which represents the shared common goals of APSA and UNESCO, to promote diversity of cultural expression and raise awareness of the value of culture at local, national and international levels.

The other nominees in this prestigious and important Award are: Centaur (Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands), Dede (Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom)Die Beautiful

(Philippines) and Honeygiver Among the Dogs (Munmo Tashi Khyidron, Bhutan).

The nominations for the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film, celebrating cinematic excellence were announced in the seven narrative feature categories by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, together with former APSA International Jury President Lord David Puttnam, member of the APSA 2017 Nominations Council Kiki Fung and Chair of APSA and its Academy, Michael Hawkins.

41 films from 21 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific region have received nominations in 2017, including the first nomination for a film from Bhutan. Winners will be announced at the 11th APSA ceremony on November 23, where they will be presented with a unique and exquisite handmade APSA award vessel made by Brisbane-based internationally awarded glass artist Joanna Bone. 

Competing for the APSA for Best Feature Film in 2017 are Vivien Qu’s Angels Wear White (Jia Nian Hua, People’s Republic of China, France), Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot (Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland), Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature (Krotkaya; France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands), Mohammad Rasoulof’s A Man of Integrity (Lerd; Islamic Republic of Iran) and Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country (Australia). For the first time in the history of the event, three of these extraordinary filmmakers have had previous films win Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Vivien Qu (Black Coal, Thin Ice, 2014), Samuel Maoz (Lebanon, 2010), Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, 2009). Additionally, Mohammad Rasoulof ‘s Goodbye, received three nominations in 2011.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said “These five films tell unique stories from Australia, China, Iran, Israel and Russia, each representing the incredible diversity and high calibre of filmmaking from the Asia Pacific region. This is an significant opportunity for our city to host some of the world’s most respected names in film and a great chance for our local and national film industry to forge new connections with the region. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards helps to elevate Brisbane’s position as a cultural hub and is a testament to our role as a leader in the region.”

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy Michael Hawkins said ”As APSA forges into its 11th year, it is significant to note that amongst the nominees there are not only a great number of newer filmmakers, but also a large number of filmmakers who are already a part of the growing Asia Pacific Screen Academy, which was created precisely to encompass and connect the large body of talented filmmakers in the Asia Pacific Region. Significantly, this year there are APSA Academy members nominated across almost all categories, and we look forward to welcoming all of the nominees both to Brisbane as well as into the growing Academy”.

Across all Awards and Achievements, which encompasses the films judged by two International Juries, films from Australia, Japan and People’s Republic of China lead the nomination tally with six each.

Winners in these Awards and Achievements will be determined by the APSA International Jury, headed in 2017 by acclaimed Australian film editor Jill Bilcock, joined by Filipino writer/director Adolfo Alix Jr, Chinese actress He Saifei, Tokyo Film Festival Programmer Yoshi Yatabe and Kazakh writer, director and cinematographer Adilkhan Yerzhanov.

Winners in the three remaining Awards of previously announced Best Youth Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature Film and Best Animation Feature Film are judged by a second Jury – this year comprised of the internationally acclaimed filmmakers and APSA Academy members Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudi Arabia) and Melanie Coombs (Australia), together with renowned British producer Steve Abbott representing APSA’s Academy Alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA). A full list of these nominees is at the end of this press release.

 The nominations were drawn from the 298 films that were In Competition for APSA. The nominees were decided by the International Nominations Council from 47 Asia Pacific countries and areas – the largest country spread to date, which for the first time featured a film from Oman. In 2017, 26% of films In Competition were directed by women and 51% were directed by first or second time filmmakers. 

An additional two awards will be presented at the ceremony, the APSA Young Cinema Award and the FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film.

Now in its second year, the APSA Young Cinema Award presented by NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) will be presented at the ceremony. This important Award recognises the abundant emerging talent of Asia Pacific which increases in prevalence in the APSA competition each year. The award is eligible to directors of debut or sophomore feature narrative films, with the recipient chosen from the APSA feature narrative film competition.

The APSA FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, to be announced soon and presented at the APSA ceremony, celebrates a film practitioner from the region whose career and actions contribute strongly to the development of the film industry.



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