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Two outstanding films dominated this year’s APSAs, but the Jury Highly Recommend several others – and Ivan Sen won the UNESCO Award for Toomelah.

Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, Iran) has won the Best Feature Film Award at the fifth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards, held on the Gold Coast last week; Farhadi accepted his Award from 2011 APSA International Jury President, Hong Kong’s Nansun Shi.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina), written and directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and produced by Zeynep Özbatur Atakan, won three awards: Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the Achievement in Directing, Gökhan Tiryaki was presented with the Award for Achievement in Cinematography and producer Zeynep Özbatur Atakan was awarded the Screen International Jury Grand Prize.

"all very, very wonderful films"

“The films in the competition are all very, very wonderful films,” Nansun Shi said, “but two films stood out to the Jury as outstanding in all aspects of their filmmaking – A Separation and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. They are very different kinds of films, but both of them are the same in their excellence in every aspect of their filmmaking: from screenplay, to directing, to performances, to their technical craftsmanship such as cinematography and editing, everything,”.

The Jury also awarded a High Commendation for the Screen International Jury Grand Prize to the Ensemble Cast of the Egyptian film Cairo 678 - Nahed El Sebai, Bushra and Nelly Karim.

The APSA ceremony was attended by more than 550 Australian and international guests, including filmmakers from all 19 countries and territories represented in the Awards nominations.

"the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity"

The UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film was won by Australian filmmaker Ivan Sen for his film Toomelah, which he wrote and directed. Toomelah was released in Australian cinemas on the day of the presentation (Nov. 24). 

The Best Performance by an Actress Award was won by Nadezhda Markina, from the Russian Federation, for Elena. The Jury made a High Commendation to the film’s director Andrei Zviagintsev. 

The Best Performance by an Actor Award was won by Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang for Hello! Shu Xian Sheng (Mr Tree).

The Best Screenplay Award went to Denis Osokin for Ovsyanki (Silent Souls, Russian Federation). A High Commendation in the Best Screenplay category was awarded to Yoon Sung-hyun for Pa-soo-kkoon (Bleak Night, Republic of Korea).

The Best Documentary Feature was won by producer Maryam Ebrahimi for Jag Var Värd 50 Lamm (I Was Worth 50 Sheep, Sweden, Japan, USA.) The film was directed by Nima Sarvestani. A High Commendation was awarded to Pink Saris (UK, India), produced by Amber Latiff and Girjashanker Vohra and directed by Kim Longinotto.

Buta has become the first APSA winner from Azerbaijan, with producers Khamis Muradov and Ilgar Najaf taking home the Award for Best Children’s Feature Film. Ilgar Najaf also directed Buta and co-wrote the screenplay. A High Commendation for Best Children’s Feature Film was awarded to Bad o Meh (Wind and Fog, Iran), produced by Naser Dehghani Poudeh and written and directed by Mohammad Ali Talebi.

Best Animated Feature Film Award was won by Lee Eun, Shim Jaemyung, and Kim Sunku for Madangeul naon amtak (Leafie, Republic of Korea). Leafie was directed by Oh Seongyun and written by Kim Eunjung and Na Hyun.

"outstanding achievement"

Each year FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations - determines the winner of the FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia-Pacific region. Influential Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou was the recipient of this year’s FIAPF Award.

Published December 1, 2011

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