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APSA 2011: The Orator short-changed

The Orator has picked up a single nomination in the list announced yesterday. Trimming the initial 240 submissions to 37, the selectors have gone for a mix of the obvious (films already awarded elsewhere) and the odd (two predominantly European films).

The Orator

The Orator

Making the nominee announcements in Busan, the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA) also announced an alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA). The two organisations will look for opportunities such as hosting reciprocal screenings of each others` winning films.

The Orator`s nomination is for lead actor Fa`afiaula Sagote. Host country Australia is also limited to two acting category nominations, for Judy Davis (The Eye of the Storm) and Daniel Connors (Toomelah) and one for children`s feature Red Dog.

According to the media release, “Films are judged on cinematic excellence and the way in which they attest to their cultural origins.” Given that 70 countries fall within the catchment area for APSA, one might be sceptical about selectors and judges` familiarity with and competency to assess the presentations of so many diverse cultures.

Festival followers will recognise many of the titles nominated. Asghar Farhadi`s A Separation and Zamanlar Anadolu`da`s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia lead the nominations board with four apiece; Farhadi`s film last year received one of four US$25,000 grants from the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund.

Other films nominated which screened here earlier this year in the NZFF include Nadezhda Markina`s Elena, Silent Souls, Norwegian Wood, Amber Latiff and Girjashanker Vohra`s doco Pink Saris, Jiang Wen`s Let the Bullets Fly, and Na Hong-jin`s The Yellow Sea.

The full list of nominations is:

Best Performance by an Actress
Judy Davis, The Eye of the Storm, Australia
Nahed El Sebai Cairo 678, Egypt
Nadezhda Markina, Elena, Russian Federation
Shayesteh Irani, Ayenhaye Rooberoo/Facing Mirrors, Iran
Leyla Zareh, Bé Omid É Didar/Goodbye, Iran

Best Performance by an Actor
Peyman Moadi, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/A Separation, Iran
Wang Baoqiang, Hello! Shu Xian Sheng/Mr Tree, China
Sasson Gabay, Boker Tov Adon Fidelman/Restoration, Israel
Fa`afiaula Sagote, O le Tulafale/The Orator, New Zealand/Samoa
Daniel Connors, Toomelah, Australia

Best Screenplay
Yoon Sung-hyun, Pa-soo-kkoon/Bleak Night, Republic of Korea
Denis Osokin, Ovsyanki/Silent Souls, Russian Federation
Alexey Balabanov, Kochegar/A Stoker, Russian Federation
Asghar Farhadi, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/A Separation, Iran
Ercan Kesal, Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bir Zamanlar Anadolu`da/Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Achievement in Cinematography
Vladimir Bashta, Brestskaia krepost/Brest Fortress, Russian Federation
Yuri Klimenko, Krai/The Edge, Russian Federation
Mark Lee Ping Bin, Noruwei no mori/Norwegian Wood, Japan
Sonthar Gyal, Khyi rgan/Old Dog, People’s Republic of China, Tibet
Gökhan Tiryaki, Bir Zamanlar Anadolu`da/Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best Children’s Feature Film
Wo 11/11 Flowers, People’s Republic of China, France
Buta, Azerbaijan
Mabul/The Flood, Israel, France, Germany, Canada
Di si zhang hua/The Fourth Portrait, Taiwan
Red Dog, Australia
Bad o Meh/Wind and Fog, Islamic Republic of Iran

Best Documentary Feature Film
Amin, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Canada, Ukraine
Bakhmaro, Georgia, Germany
Jag Var Värd 50 Lamm/I Was Worth 50 Sheep, Sweden, Japan, USA
Marathon Boy, India, UK
Pink Saris, India, UK

Best Animated Feature Film
Hoshi o Ou Kodomo/Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below, Japan
Madangeul naon amtak/Leafie, Republic of Korea
RPG Metanoia, Phillippines
Tatsumi, Singapore
Gadkiy Utyonok/The Ugly Duckling, Russian Federation

Achievement in Directing
Asghar Farhadi, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/A Separation, Iran
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bir Zamanlar Anadolu`da/Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mohammad Rasoulof, Bé Omid É Didar/Goodbye, Iran
Jiang Wen, Rang zidan fei/Let the Bullets Fly, China, Hong Kong
Na Hong-jin, Hwanghae/The Yellow Sea, Republic of Korea

Best Feature Film
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/A Separation, Islamic Republic of Iran
Rang zidan fei/Let the Bullets Fly, China, Hong Kong
Bé Omid É Didar/Goodbye, Iran
Bir Zamanlar Anadolu`da/Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Band Baaja Baaraat/Wedding Planners, India

In addition to the awards above, the jury can present the Screen International Jury Grand Prize, for which all nominated feature films are eligible.

APSA offers non-nomination awards from its MPA APSA Academy Film Fund (US$25,000, for script development); the APSA Children’s Film Fund (AU$20,000, for development of films for and about children of the Asia-Pacific); the International Federation of Film Producers (FIAPF) Award; and the UNESCO Award.

The ceremony takes place on the Gold Coast on 24 November.

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