Indian films receive 5 nominations at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Nawazuddin Siddiqui for his role as writer Manto in the movie ‘Manto’ is nominated is in the running for Best Actor category

Brisbane:  The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film, celebrating and honouring the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the region, have unveiled the full list of nominations for the 12th  edition. Films from India have received 5 nominations:

Best Performance by an Actor:  Nawazuddin Siddiqui  for  Manto  – this is Siddiqui’s second APSA nomination after receiving a Special Mention in this category in 2016 for Anurag Kashyap’s Raman  Raghav 2.0, only just missing out to  Manoj Bajpayee  for his portrayal in  Aligarh.At that time APSA Jury President  Lord David Puttnam said the competition was so close between the actors, the International Jury had to award a Special Mention to  Siddiqui.  

Nominated for Best Youth Feature Film: Village Rockstars (India)  Directed and produced by Rima DAS

Nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film:  Up Down & Sideways  (kho ki pa lü, India)  Directed by Anushka MEENAKSHI, Iswar SRIKUMAR  Produced by Manas MALHOTRA  

Nominated for Achievement in Directing:  Ivan AYR  for  Soni  (India)
Nominated for Achievement in Cinematography:  Saumyananda SAHI  for  Balekempa  (India)

In 2018,  films from Japan and People’s Republic of China lead the tally with 7 nominations each, while films from Australia, India and Kazakhstan each received 5 nominations and Uzbekistan has received a nomination for the first time. Nominations go to a total of 46 films from 22 countries from the vast region,  comprised of 70 countries and areas and responsible for half of the world’s film output.

Japan’s  Shoplifters  (Manbiki Kazoku) is the only film to receive three nominations and will compete for the highly coveted  Best Feature FilmAward with four other twice-nominated features, Lee Chang-dong’s  Burning  (Republic of Korea),  The Gentle Indifference of the World  (Laskovoe Bezrazlichie Mira; Kazakhstan, France),  Balangiga: Howling Wilderness  (Philippines), and  Manta Ray  (Kraben Rahu; Thailand, People’s Republic of China, France), the directorial debut of Phuttiphong Aroonpheng.

Shoplifters, nominated for Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay and Achievement in Directing, is the fourth film from Japanese auteur APSA Academy member Kore-eda Hirokazu to be nominated at the awards, where his previous films have received a total of 5 nominations. Already the 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, the highly lauded  Shoplifters  stars the 2015 APSA Best Performance by an Actress winner Kirin Kiki who sadly passed away last month.

Nominated alongside Kore-eda for  Achievement in Directing  are Ivan Ayr for  Soni (India)  and three APSA Academy members Nadine Labaki forCapharnaüm  (Lebanon), Australia’s Bruce Beresford for  Ladies in Black, and Emir Baigazin for  The River (Ozen; Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland).

Republic of Korea’s Lee Chang-dong, nominated for Best Feature Film alongside his producer brother Lee Joon-dong, has also received a  Best Screenplay  nomination for  Burning  together with Oh Jung-mi. Chang-dong, a four-time APSA winner and an APSA Academy member since 2007, was a recipient of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund for  Burning, which premiered to international acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Also nominated for Best Screenplay alongside  Shoplifters  and  Burning  are APSA Academy Member and 2017 APSA International Jury member Adilkhan Yerzhanov together with Roelof Jan Minneboo for  The Gentle Indifference of the World (Laskovoe Bezrazlichie Mira;  Kazakhstan, France), Dan Kleinman and Sameh Zoabi for  Tel Aviv on Fire  (Israel, Belgium, France, Luxembourg) and Payman Maadi for  Bomb, A Love Story(Bomb, Yek Asheghaneh; Islamic Republic of Iran). Maadi was a recipient of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund for this film, which is also nominated for Best Original Score.

Actors from five different countries will compete for the  Best Performance by an Actor  award: Karim Mirkhadiyev, the first ever nominee from Uzbekistan, nominated for his role in  Fortitude (Sabot, Uzbekistan) is up against superstar Nawazuddin Siddiqui for  Manto  (India),  child actor and former Syrian refugee Zain Al Rafeea for  Capharnaüm  (Lebanon),  Bahman Farmanara for  Tale of the Sea (Hekayat-e Darya; Islamic Republic of Iran) and Akylbek Abdykalykov for  Night Accident  (Tunku Kyrsyk; Kyrgyzstan).

Nominated for  Best Performance by an Actress  are Chinese actress Zhao Tao for  Ash is Purest White  (Jiang hu er nv;  People’s Republic of China, France), Rooney Mara for  Mary Magdalene  (Australia, United Kingdom), Turkey’s Damla Sönmez for  Sibel  (Turkey, France, Germany, Luxembourg) and two actresses from Kazakhstan, Cannes Best Actress winner Samal Yeslyamova for  Ayka  (Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, People’s Republic of China, Germany, Poland), and hearing-impaired actress Laura Koroleva for  Sveta  (Kazakhstan).

The five nominees for  Achievement in Cinematography  are Saumyananda Sahi for  Balekempa  (India), APSA Academy member Zhang Miaoyan and Xu Zhiyong for  Silent Mist  (People’s Republic of China, France), Hideho Urata for  A Land Imagined  (Singapore, France, Netherlands) and two Thai cinematographers Chaiyapruek Chalermpornpanit for  Malila: The Farewell Flower  (Thailand) and Nawarophaat Rungphiboonsophit for  Manta Ray  (Kraben Rahu;  Thailand, People’s Republic of China, France).

The  Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO  (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is an award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film. Nominated for this unique award that represents the shared goals of the two organisations are  Ala  Changso  (People’s Republic of China),  Balangiga: Howling Wilderness  (Philippines),  The Lord Eagle (Toyon Kyyl; Russian Federation),  Memories of My Body (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku; Indonesia) and  The Taste of Rice Flower (Mi Hua Zhi Wei; People’s Republic of China).

Nominated for Best Youth Feature Film  is  Ava  (Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar, Canada),  Nervous Translation  (Philippines),  Passage of Life(Boku no kaeru basho; Japan, Myanmar),  The Pigeon  (Güvercin; Turkey) and  Village Rockstars  (India).

In the running for  Best Animated Feature Film  are two films from Russian Federation,  Hoffmaniada  and  Rezo  (Znaesh’, mama, gde ya byl), two Japanese films  Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms  (Sayonara no asa ni yakusoku no hana o kazarô) and  Mirai  (Mirai no Mirai)  and  On Happiness Road  (Hsing Fu Lu Shang) from Taiwan (PRC).

The nominees for  Best Documentary Feature Film  hail from all corners of the region:  Amal  (Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark),  Gurrumul  (Australia),  Of Fathers and Sons  (Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon, Qatar, Germany),  Of Love & Law  (Japan, United Kingdom, France) and  Up Down & Sideways  (kho ki pa lü; India).

This year marks the first time that the categories of Best Feature Film, Best Youth Feature Film, Best Animated Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature Film will honour the directors as nominees alongside the producers.  

The winners of both the APSA FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region and the APSA Young Cinema Award, presented in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School to recognise the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific, will be announced ahead of the 2018 APSA ceremony, and will be presented to the winners at the event.

The APSA International Jury  will also award a feature film with a Jury Grand Prize.

The 12th  APSA ceremony and red carpet event will take place on Thursday 29 November in Brisbane, Australia, with nominees and special guests attending from across the region and world.

The International Juries who will determine the 2018 APSA winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

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