Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations announced

MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific Screen Awards has announced nominees in nine award categories with 37 films representing 16 countries and areas. They are: Australia, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Palestinian Territories, People’s Republic of China (Mainland China/Hong Kong), Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey.

APSA Chairman Des Power said, "I congratulate the 2009 nominees who represent the extraordinary breadth of talent that exists in our region in a year when the quality of Asia-Pacific films is exceptional. Nominees were determined from a record number of 212 entries from 43 countries. The response indicates that the filmmakers of Asia-Pacific value our mission to acclaim their work and take it to a global audience." APSA is a collaboration between CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations. Films are judged on cinematic excellence and the way in which they attest to their cultural origins.

Japan is strongly represented in 2009 with a total of seven nominations followed by the People’s Republic of China with six. India, Iran, Russian Federation and Republic of Korea all received five nominations. Three Australian films are nominated (Maryand Max, Gandhi’s Children, Samson & Delilah) and this marks the first time an Australian film has been recognised in the Best Feature category. Countries and areas nominated in the APSAs for the first time this year are Thailand, Cambodia and Palestinian Territories.

Asghar Farhadi’s drama, Darbareye Elly (About Elly, Islamic Republic of Iran), has received the most nominations of any film (Best Feature Film, Achievement in Directing, Best Screenplay and Best Performance by an Actress), followed closely by Lu Chuan’s arresting war epic, Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death, People’s Republic of China), which earned three nominations for Directing, Cinematography and Best Feature Film.

The nominated actresses are: Zhou Xun, Kim Hye-ja, Golshifteh Farahani’s, Yana Troyanova’s and Malini Fonsekas .

The nominated actors are: Masahiro Motoki, Yang Ik-june, Ddongpari  Mohamed Bakri, Ge You and Naseeruddin Shah  .

Winners are decided by the International Jury headed by Huang Jianxin who will assemble on Australia’s Gold Coast ahead of the APSA ceremony on 26 November . The 2009 Nominees join past Jury members and nominees as members of the Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The nominees in the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards are:

Best Feature Film

* Nanjing! Nanjing! (City Of Life And Death), People’s Republic of China
Produced by Han Sanping, Qin Hong, Zhou Li, John Chong, and Andy Zhang

* Mei Lanfang (Forever Enthralled), People’s Republic of China
Produced by Han Sanping, Du Jiayi

* Darbareye Elly (About Elly), Islamic Republic of Iran
Produced by Asghar Farhadi and Mahmoud Razavi

* Samson & Delilah, Australia
Produced by Kath Shelper

* The Time That Remains, Palestinian Territories/France/Italy/Belgium/UK
Produced by Hani Farsi and Elia Suleiman. Co-Produced by Avi Kleinberger.

Best Animated Feature Film

* Sukai Kurora (The Sky Crawlers), Japan
Produced by Tomohiko Ishii

* Samâ Wôzu (Summer Wars), Japan
Produced by Nozomu Takahashi, Takuya Ito and Takashi Watanabe. Co-Produced by Yuichiro Saito.

* Perviy Otryad (First Squad: The Moment Of Truth), Russian Federation / Japan / Canada
Produced by Eiko Tanaka, Misha Sprits and Aljosha Klimov

* Mary and Max, Australia
Produced by Melanie Coombs

* Pro Fedota-Streltsa, Udalogo Molodtsa (The Tale Of Soldier Fedot, The Daring Fellow), Russian Federation, Produced by Alexander Boyarsky and Sergey Selyanov

Best Documentary Feature Film

* Seishin (Mental), Japan / USA
Produced by Kazuhiro Soda

* Polamuang Juling (Citizen Juling), Thailand
Produced by Ing K, Manit Sriwanichpoom and Kraisak Choonhavan

* Hashmatsa (Defamation), Israel / Austria / Denmark / USA
Produced by Knut Ogris, Karoline Leth, Sandra Itkoff and Philippa Kowarsky

* Gandhi’s Children, Australia
Produced by David MacDougall

* L’important, C’est De Rester Vivant (The Main Thing Is To Stay Alive), Cambodia / France Produced by Gerard Lacroix, Leslie F. Grunberg, Gerard Pont; Co-Produced by Rosane Chan, Antoine Martin

Best Children’s Feature Film

* Ye Haeng Ja (A Brand New Life), South Korea / France
Produced by Lee Chang-dong, Laurent Lavole and Lee Joon-dong
* 3 Doa 3 Cinta (Pesantren: 3 Wishes 3 Loves), Indonesia
Produced by Nan Achnas, Nurman Hakim and Adiyanto Sumarjono
* Tahaan (Tahaan: A Boy With A Grenade), India
Produced by Shripal Morakhia and Mubina Rattonsey
* Mommo – Kizkardesim (The Bogeyman), Turkey
Produced by Atalay Taşdiken
* The Strength Of Water, New Zealand / Germany
Produced by Fiona Copland, Co-produced by Karl Baumgartner and Raimond Goebel

Achievment in Directing

* Lu Chuan for Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death), People’s Republic of China
* Sion Sono for Ai No Mukidashi (Love Exposure), Japan
* Asghar Farhadi for Darbareye Elly (About Elly), Islamic Republic of Iran
* Vimukthi Jayasundara for Ahasin Wetei (Between Two Worlds), Sri Lanka / France
* Anurag Kashyap for Dev.D (India)

Best Screenplay

* Kundo Koyama for Okuribito (Departures), Japan
* Baek Seung-bin for Jang-rye-sik-ui Member (Members of the Funeral), Republic of Korea
* Bong Joon-ho and Park Eun-kyo for Madeo (Mother), Republic of Korea
* Asghar Farhadi for Darbareye Elly (About Elly), Islamic Republic of Iran
* Yogesh Vinayak Joshi and Upendra Sidhaye for Mumbai Meri Jaan (Mumbai My Life), India

Achievment in Cinematography

* Cao Yu for Nanjing. Nanjing. (City of Life and Death), People’s Republic of China
* Uruphong Raksasad for Sawan Baan Na (Agrarian Utopia), Thailand
* Ali Mohammad Ghasemi for Cheraghi Dar Meh (A Light in the Fog), Islamic Republic of Iran
* Alisher Khamidhodjaev and Maxim Drozdov for Bumazhyj Soldat (Paper Soldier), Russian Federation
* Alexei Arsentiev for Volchok (Wolfy), Russian Federation

Best Performance by Actress

* Zhou Xun for Li Mi De Caixiang (The Equation of Love and Death), People’s Republic of China (Mainland China / Hong Kong)
* Golshifteh Farahani for Darbareye Elly (About Elly), Islamic Republic of Iran
* Malini Fonseka for Akasa Kusum (Flowers of the Sky), Sri Lanka / India
* Kim Hye-ja for Madeo (Mother), Republic of Korea
* Yana Troyanova for Volchok (Wolfy), Russian Federation

Best Performance by Actor

* Ge You for Fei Cheng Wu Rao (If You Are the One), People’s Republic of China (Mainland China / Hong Kong)
* Masahiro Motoki for Okuribito (Departures), Japan
* Yang Ik-june for Ddongpari (Breathless), Republic of Korea
* Naseeruddin Shah for A Wednesday, India
* Mohamed Bakri for Eid Mila Laila (Laila’s Birthday), Palestinian Territories/Tunisia/Netherlands

Three additional major awards will be presented for outstanding achievement:

1. FIAPF Award FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations will determine the winner of the award for outstanding achievement     in film in the Asia-Pacific region.
2. UNESCO Award – The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Award for outstanding contribution to the     promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film.
3. Jury Grand Prize -The Jury can, at its discretion, present a further award: the Jury Grand Prize.

Nominees and nominated films from all award categories are eligible for these prizes to be decided by the APSA Jury.

The works of filmmakers across the Asia-Pacific region will feature in television programs titled Scene by Scene to be broadcast globally on CNN International during 2009. The award ceremony will also be featured on CNN’s‘The Screening Room Xtra airing 3 December  at 1500hrs,  4 December at 1000hrs, 5 December at 1430hrs and 2100hrs, 6 December  at 0500hrs and 2100hrs, 7 December  at 0900hrs (IST).

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