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APSA 2013: two nominations for NZ

The nominations for this year`s Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) were announced yesterday, with two NZ films among the 39 put forward.

White Lies

White Lies

Mark Albiston & Louis Sutherland`s Shopping gets a nod in the Best Children’s Feature Film category, while Whirimako Black is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress category for the role of Tuakiri Huna in Dana Rotberg`s White Lies.

Nine of the 39 titles nominated for APSAs are also their country`s current submission for the Foreign Language Oscar, including NZ`s White Lies. Despite three Australian titles receiving nominations, Australia`s subtitled Oscar submission, Kim Mordaunt`s Laos and Thailand-shot The Rocket, finds no APSA love.

Hany Abu-Assad`s Palestinian feature Omar leads the nominations with three. Five films received two nominations apiece: Hirokazu Koreeda`s Like Father, Like Son;
Ermek Tursunov`s The Old Man; Hiner Saleem`s My Sweet Pepperland; Mostofa Sarwar Farooki`s Television; and Farhadi`s The Past.

Although a lovely idea, APSA has experienced a turbulent year. Previously hosted on the Gold Coast and supported by Queensland`s state government, it seemed doomed to disappear from the calendar earlier this year after the state pulled its support – until Brisbane`s council eventually stepped in to host an event that fits its recent rebrand as “Australia`s new world city”.

The event sometimes struggles with where the Asia-Pacific region ends, stretching into Africa as far as Egypt for APSA`s purposes. Its eligibility rules allow organisers to exempt films from satisfying inconvenient criteria such as that films submitted “must have been predominantly created in the Asia-Pacific region, have been predominantly created by filmmakers from the Asia-Pacific region and must reflect the cultural origins of the nominating country or countries”.

This year two films credited entirely to European countries are nominated.

It`s unclear how The Past (a Franco-Italian co-production largely made in France) satisfies APSA`s points test, since the majority of its cast and crew are European. It also appears not to satisfy the requirement that “at least one Producer or Co-Producer must be from the Asia-Pacific region”.

But, it`s by Asghar Farhadi. The film has also been submitted as Iran`s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar, which Farhadi won two years ago with A Separation.

It`s harder to know if the Indonesia-set documentary The Act of Killing, credited to Denmark, Norway & the UK, meets APSA`s local cast and crew requirements, since several of the crew who worked on the film are credited as “Anonymous” – for understandable reasons, given the nature of the film.

This year`s jury is led by Indian writer and director Shyam Benegal, along with writer and director Kim Tae-yong, actors Malani Fonseka and Tamer Levent, director Christoph Schaub and producer Albert Lee.

APSA presents three non-juried awards at its ceremony: the UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film; the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film; and the APSA NETPAC Development Prize, to a first or second time feature filmmaker.

The APSA ceremony runs in Brisbane on 12 December.

The nominations are:
BEST FEATURE FILM
Soshite chichi ni naru/Like Father, Like Son, Japan
Omar, Palestine
Le Passe/The Past, France, Italy
Television, Bangladesh
The Turning, Australia
With You, Without You, Sri Lanka

BEST CHILDREN`S FEATURE FILM
Beom-joe So-nyeon/Juvenile Offender, Republic of Korea
Tabidachi no Shima Uta – Jugo no Haru/Leaving on the 1sth Spring, Japan
Shopping, New Zealand
Wadjda, Saudi Arabia, Germany
Lamma Shoftak/When I Saw You, Palestine, Jordan

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
The Act of Killing, Denmark, Norway, UK
Shomrei Hasaf/The Gatekeepers, Israel, France, Germany, Belgium
Menstrual Man, Singapore, India
Frihet Bakom Galler/No Burqas Behind Bars, Sweden, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark
Alam Laysa Lana/A World Not Ours, Lebanon, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Palestine

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Sa-i-bi/The Fake, Republic of Korea
Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza, Russian Federation
Sakasama no Patema/Patema Inverted, Japan
Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan
Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya/The World of Goopi and Bagha, India

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Anthony Chen for Ilo Ilo, Singapore
Emir Baigazin for Uroki Garmonii/Harmony Lessons, Kazakhstan, Germany, France
Hiner Saleem for My Sweet Pepperland, Iraqi Kurdistan, France, Germany
Hirokazu Kore-eda for Soshite chichi ni naru/Like Father, Like Son, Japan
Shahram Mokri for Mahi Va Gorbeh/Fish and Cat, Islamic Republic of Iran

BEST SCREENPLAY
Asghar Farhadi for Le Passe/The Past, France, Italy
Denis Osokin for Nebesnye Zeny Lugovykh Mari/Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, Russian Federation
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Anisul Haque for Television, Bangladesh
Ritesh Batra for The Lunchbox, India, France, Germany
U-Wei Bin Hajisaari for Hanyut/Almayer`s Folly, Malaysia

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ehab Assal for Omar, Palestine
Lu Yue for Yi Jiu Si Er/Back to 1942, People`s Republic of China
Mandy Walker ASC ACS for Tracks, Australia, United Kingdom
Murat Aliyev for Shal/The Old Man, Kazakhstan
Rajeev Ravi for Monsoon Shootout, India, United Kingdom, Netherlands

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Aaron Pedersen in Mystery Road, Australia
Adam Bakri in Omar, Palestine
Lee Byung-hun in Masquerade, Republic of Korea
Tatsuya Nakadai in Nippon no higeki/Japan`s Tragedy, Japan
YerboLat Toguzakov in Shal/The Old Man, Kazakhstan

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Ayc;a Damgac in Yozgat Blues, Turkey, Germany
GoLshifteh Farahani in My Sweet Pepperland, Iraqi Kurdistan, France, Germany
Negar Javaherian in The Painting Pool, Islamic Republic of Iran
Whirimako Black in Tuakiri Huna/White Lies, New Zealand
Zhang Ziyi in Yi dai zong shi/The Grandmaster, Hong Kong, People`s Republic of China

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