Aparna Sen on APac Screen Awards international jury

MUMBAI: Indian director and actress Aparna Sen has joined the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) international jury for 2008.

The jury members, including Sen, join this year’s Jury President, Academy Award nominated director Bruce Beresford, in determining the winners of the second annual Awards, to be announced on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, on 11 November.

Other members of the APSA International Jury 2008 are Bruce Beresford, US producer Richard Rothschild (whose production credits include Tender Mercies and The Truman Show), Chinese director and Professor of the prestigious Beijing Film Academy Zheng Dongtian, and Hanna Lee, producer of the 2007 APSA Best Feature Film, Miryang (Secret Sunshine), from the Republic of Korea.

The International Jury will meet on the Gold Coast, Australia, from 4-10 November.

"I am grateful to Jury President Bruce Beresford for drawing together such a distinguished group of international filmmakers and I look forward to welcoming them to Queensland for their deliberations," said APSA chairman Des Power.

"The Jury’s task is formidable – they must determine winners from 33 films representing 17 countries of the Asia-Pacific region to have been nominated in this year’s APSAs."

Sen made her debut as an actress in 1961 in Satyajit Ray’s Two Daughters. She has since acted in the films of several noted film directors including Mrinal Sen, James Ivory, Tapan Sinha and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Sen is now Saregama India chief creative officer, responsible for commissioning Bengali films for the company.

Her directorial debut, 36 Chowringhee Lane, won the Grand Prix (The Golden Eagle) at the Manila International Film Festival and Aparna received India’s National Award for Best Direction for the same film.

Mr and Mrs Iyer, written and directed by Aparna, had its world premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival and has won several major international awards including the Grand Prix for Best Feature Film at the Hawaii and Las Palmas Film Festivals. It also won the National Awards in India for Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Actress in 2003. Aparna has just finished her latest film production, The Japanese Wife.

Retrospectives of Sen’s films have been held in London, Munich and at Nandan in Kolkata. She has served on several film juries including the international film festivals of India, Moscow and Hawaii. The President of India honoured Aparna with the prestigious Padmashree Award in 1986 in recognition of her contribution to cinema; she was awarded the Satyajit Ray Memorial Millennium for ‘Profound Contribution to Indian Cinema’ and the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cine Central Film Society.