Mumbai: Winners in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards were announced on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. More than 700 film industry luminaries from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States attended the ceremony.
Some of the Indian films that were competing at the awards were Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar. However, neither of the films won any awards.
Thirty two (32) films representing 17 countries were finalists in the Awards, with winners coming from Kazakhstan, Israel, Republic of Korea, Australia, Turkey, Islamic Republic of Iran, People’s Republic of China and India received Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
The Awards were determined by an International Jury headed by Academy Award nominated Australian Director Bruce Beresford.
The Best Feature Film award was won by Tulpan (Kazakhstan/Russian Federation/ Switzerland/Poland/Germany). The Award was accepted by producer Karl Baumgartner. Baumgartner shared the Award with fellow producers Valerie Fischer, Gulnara Sarsenova, Sergey Selyanov, Henryk Romanowski, Sergey Melkumov, Bulat Galimgereyev, Elena Yatsura, Thanassis Karathanos and Raimond Goebel.
Best Animated Feature Film was won by Vals im bashir (waltz with bashir, Israel/France/Germany). Producer Yael Nahlieli accepted the Award. Nahlieli shared the Award with fellow producers Ari Folman, Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul.
Best Documentary Feature Film was ggeutnaji anhmeun jeon jaeng (63 years on, Republic of Korea). The Award was accepted by producer/director Kim Dong-won, who shared the Award with producer Lee SeungGu.
Best Children’s Feature Film was the black balloon (Australia). The Award was accepted by producer Tristram Miall and director/writer/Cc-producer Elissa Down. They shared the Award with co-producers Sally Ayre-Smith, Jimmy The Exploder and Mark Turnbull.
Achievement in Directing was awarded to Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan for UC Maymun (Three Monkeys, Turkey/France/Italy).
The Best Screenplay Award was presented to Suha Arraf for Etz Halimon (Lemon Tree, Israel/France/Germany). She shared the Award with Writer Eran Riklis, who also directed the film.
The Achievement in Cinematography was awarded to Korean Lee Mogae for Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Republic of Korea).
Israeli actress Hiam Abbass received the Best Performance by an Actress Award for her performance in Etz Halimon (Lemon Tree, Israel/France/Germany).
Iranian actor Reza Naji was on the Gold Coast to accept his award for Best Performance by an Actor for his performance in Majid Majidi’s Avaze Gonjeshk-HA (The Song of Sparrows, Islamic Republic of Iran).
Four additional major Awards were announced for outstanding achievement.
Yash Chopra, founder of Yashraj Films and a legend of the Indian film industry, has been awarded the FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia-Pacific region. The Award is determined by FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations, and was announced by Andrés Vincente Gomez, President of FIAPF, who travelled from Madrid to be at the ceremony.
The UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film was decided by the International Jury and awarded to the Iranian documentary feature film Tinar (Islamic Republic of Iran), produced and directed by Mahdi Moniri. The Jury noted that the film was a rich evocation of rural life in the mountainous regions of Iran.
The Jury Grand Prize is presented at the discretion of the Jury. In 2008, the International Jury has decided to present two Jury Grand Prizes – to Hongse Kangbaiyin (The Red Awn, People’s Republic of China); directed by Cai Shangjun; and to The Prisoner (India), produced and directed by Pryas Gupta and starring Best Actor nominee Rajat Kapoor.
APSA International Jury president Bruce Beresford said that: "I was very impressed by the quality and originality of the films – all of them – and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being around so many extraordinarily talented filmmakers."
Asia Pacific Screen Awards chairman Des Power thanked Beresford and his Jury colleagues, Indian director and actress Aparna Sen, US Producer Richard Luke Rothschild (whose production credits include Tender Mercies and The Truman Show), Chinese Director and Professor of the Beijing Film Academy Zheng Dongtian, and Hanna Lee, Producer of the 2007 APSA Best Feature Film, the internationally-acclaimed Miryang (Secret Sunshine), from the Republic of Korea.
Power said, "The Asia-Pacific region is the emerging giant of cinema. The quality and depth of story-telling amazed not only our jury this year but is certain to attract more audience at the global level. There is a growing fascination and respect for films from this diverse region. It is a tribute to the filmmakers that they now have a globally recognised award and the broadcast reach of CNN International to promote their work."