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APSA 2009: finds a local champion

NZ’s only nominated film, The Strength of Water, missed out on the gongs at last night’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) on the Gold Coast. A couple of Aussie features picked up awards, for Best Feature and Best Animated Feature.

Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah

Best Feature Samson & Delilah continued to sweep all before it, having already won the Camera d’Or prize at Cannes and six awards at the recent Inside Film Awards. It is nominated for 13 Australian Film Institute Awards.

Best Animated Feature went to Mary and Max , which screened here earlier this year.

A good number of co-produced films won awards, although none featuring the host country.

And David MacDougall was awarded a High Commendation in Documentary Feature Film for Gandhi’s Children. A 183 minute observational film about the children “accommodated, fed and educated in the Prayas Children’s School for Boys run by a non-profit NGO in a poor area on the outskirts of Delhi”. A truly classical observational documentary, it was directed, produced, shot and edited by David M.

S&D was prevented from any possible clean sweep by the simple fact that it was only nominated in that one category, reflecting the strong claims of the other films. One of the valuable things about the APSA Awards. now in its third year, is the spread of nominees and winners.

The other nominations for Best Animation were:

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

It is a kind of WW2 ninja anima with swords and Stukas.

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

It is a kind of WW3 ninja anima with swords and Sabre jets.

Sam? W?zu (Summer Wars), Japan
Produced by Nozomu Takahashi, Takuya Ito and Takashi Watanabe. Co-Produced by Yuichiro Saito.

“Mamoru Hosada continues where Hayao Miyazaki leaves off in this film loaded with action and emotion that combines beautiful tradition and humor with one of the season’s most imaginative creations: the luminous world of Oz. Virtual rabbit-like heroes take on monstrous shadows in this indisputable summit of anime.”

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

The whole film is on YouTube; ” Based on characters and stories from Russian folklore, The Tale of Soldier Fedot, the Daring Fellow, is a social and political satire on contemporary realities of life in Russia.”

More on these films on the APSA site.

And the winners were …

Best Feature
Samson & Delilah

Best Actor
Masahiro Motoki
Okuribito (Departures)

Best Actress
Kim Hye-ja
Madeo (Mother)
South Korea

Achievement in Directing
Lu Chuan
Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death)

Achievement in Cinematography
Cao Yu
Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death)

Best Screenplay
Asghar Farhadi
Darbareye Elly (About Elly)

Best Documentary Feature
Hashmatsa (Defamation)
Producers Knut Ogris, Karoline Leth, Sandra Itkoff, Philippa Kowarsky

Best Animated Feature
Mary and Max
Producer Melanie Coombs

Best Children’s Feature
Ye Haeng Ja (A Brand New Life)
South Korea/France
Producers Lee Chang-dong, Laurent Lavole, Lee Joon-dong

Sawan Baan Na (Agrarian Utopia)
Writer/director/producer Uruphong Raksasad.

FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film
Isao Matsuoka Japan

Jury Grand Prize
(joint winners)
Elia Suleiman, director
The Time That Remains
Palestinian Territories/France/Italy/Belgium/UK
Asghar Farhadi, director
Darbareye Elly (About Elly)

High commendations:

Performance by an Actor
Yang Ik-june
Ddongpari (Breathless)

Alisher Khamidhodjaev, Maxim Drozdov
Bumaznyj Soldat (Paper Soldier)

Children’s Feature
Tahaan: A Boy with a Grenade
Producers Shripal Morakhia, Mubina Rattonsey

Documentary Feature
Gandhi’s Children
Producer David MacDougall

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