CNN celebrates best of Asia Pacific Films

MUMBAI: The outstanding works of filmmakers across more than 70 nations in the Asia Pacific region are celebrated in two new documentaries produced in association with CNN International that are to air on the international news network in November.

The two hour-long programs include interviews with some of the most respected names in contemporary film. While the first documentary ‘Scene By Scene – Films of Asia Pacific’ looks at the people behind the films, the second, ‘Scene By Scene – Best Films of Asia Pacific’ includes the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast.

The documentaries feature luminaries from the region including Hong Kong’s John Woo on the set of his new film The Battle of Red Cliff, Egyptian screen idol Omar Sharif, Chinese director Chen Kaige, Indonesia’s foremost director Garin Nugroho, Indian superstar and APSA International jury president Shabana Azmi, co-founder of Japan’s legendary anime house Studio Ghibli Mamuro Oshii and director of the Korean blockbuster ‘The Host’, Bong Joon-Ho.

The interviews in the Scene By Scene programs are intercut with footage from film studios, film festivals and film sets spanning Cairo, Istanbul, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, New Zealand, Bhutan and Beijing.

Exclusive access is granted to the set of The Battle of Red Cliff, the biggest and most expensive Asian movie ever made, to see the construction of the elaborate Tang dynasty fort and medieval Chinese battleships. Another highlight comes from “The Roof of the World”, the mystic Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The production team visited Bhutan at the invitation of the eminent filmmaker Khyentse Norbu, the third incarnation of a revered Buddhist lama whose film The Cup premiered at Cannes.

“From high in the Himalayan mountains, the two Scene By Scene documentaries weave their way through the sub continent, Central Asia and the Middle East, then on to North and South East Asia and Australasia. These will be a landmark moment for Asia Pacific film and a wonderful opportunity for our viewers to see the extraordinary talent in the region,” said CNN Executive Producer of the ‘Scene By Scene’ documentaries, David Lindsay.

“The programs are shaping up as compelling television, reflecting issues of cultural, social and political diversity, and they will showcase the region’s films and filmmakers to an unparalleled global audience,” said Des Power, Chairman of APSA.