Mumbai: The Asia Pacific Screen Awards marks its fifth year with the strongest competition to date. APSA Artistic Director Maxine Williamson announced that 240 films from 43 countries will compete in this year’s APSAs, including films from Samoa and Cyprus.
Nominees will be announced in October and the winners will be announced at the annual APSA Ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast on 24 November.
Ms Williamson noted that films competing include several which have received critical acclaim and awards at film festivals over the past year, including Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam, Sundance, Busan, and Karlovy Vary.
Films by Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige (People’s Republic of China), Aparna Sen (India), Asghar Farhadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Eric Khoo (Singapore), John Woo and Tsui Hark (Hong Kong – People’s Republic China), Hong Sang-soo (Republic of Korea), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Sion Sono (Japan), and Fred Schepisi, Julia Leigh and Ivan Sen (Australia) are amongst those under consideration for nominations in the 2011 APSAs.
“Ms Williamson noted that Farhadi’s film Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation), which is in the APSA competition this year was produced with the assistance of finance from the first round of MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. This fund is supported by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and is available to members of the APSA Academy, which includes previous Winners and Nominees, Jury and Nominations Council members. Earlier this year, APSA announced its second funding stream for Academy members, the APSA Children’s Film Fund wholly supported by 4 Boys Films. Both funds close 21 October.
150 feature films, 53 documentaries, 24 children’s films and 12 animated films will vie for nomination.
Entries in the 2011 APSAs include; Turkish film Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Elena, directed by Russian filmmaker Andrei Zviangintsev, Be Omid e Didar (Goodbye), directed by Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof ; Israeli film Boker Tov, Adon Fidelman (Restoration); Di ren jie zhi tong tian di guo (Detective Dee: and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame), directed by Hong Kong veteran filmmaker Tsui Hark; and Australian entries; Toomelah directed by Ivan Sen; The Eye of the Storm directed by Fred Schepisi and Sleeping Beauty, directed by Julia Leigh.
Also in the competition are new films from three of China’s most renowned filmmakers – Shan zha shu zhi lian (Under the Hawthorn Tree) by Zhang Yimou, Zhao shi gu er (Sacrifice) by Chen Kaige and Wo 11 (11 Flowers) directed by Wang Xiaoshuai – Jianyu (Reign of the Assassins) directed by Su Chao-Pin and co-directed and produced by Hong Kong film veteran John Woo; and Japanese film Noruwei no Mori (Norwegian Wood) from filmmaker Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya).
The APSA Feature Film Short-listing Panel has finalized reviewing eligible feature films in preparation for the Nominations Council meetings. This year, the deliberations of the Advisory Committee and the Nominations Council will take place using Cisco TelePrescence high-definition video technology. Council members from Australia, Hawaii, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan will be brought together by Cisco to deliberate on films and determine the nominees in six award categories without leaving their home city.
For the first time, APSA Academy members will have the right to view and vote in selected categories. Past Jury, Nominations Council, Documentary and Animation Academy members will determine the Nominees and Winners for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature Film in the 2011 competition. Children’s Feature Film Academy members will, along with past Jury and Council, decide on the Nominees for Best Children’s Feature Film with the Winner in that category to be determined by the International Jury ahead of the fifth annual APSA Ceremony on November 24.
The Nominations Council is chaired by Professor Hong-Joon Kim (Republic of Korea) and the 2011 Council members are Russell Edwards (Australia), Jeannette Paulson Hereniko (Hawaii, USA), Philip Cheah (Singapore), Yuka Sakano (Japan) and Peggy Chiao (Taiwan). APSA Chairman Des Power and Artistic Director Maxine Williamson will participate in the process.