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APSA: Aftershock rumbles through Gold Coast

China’s biggest ever box office success, Tangshan dadizheng/Aftershock, left the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) clutching the gongs for Best Film and Best Actor last night.

Aftershock

Aftershock

Boy and Home By Christmas left without winning the ‘Best’ categories, although Tony Barry took away a special prize for his turn as Gaylene Preston’s dad.

From an entry pool of 239 films the judges, led by Lord David Puttnam, whittled away to award seven films the Best in CAtegory prizes, as well as handing out some jury, commendation and special awards.

Host country Australia picked up no Best prizes, settling for a couple of High Commendations, Tony Barry’s and an VFX nod for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
 
Lee Chang-dong’s Shi/Poetry, seen here in this year’s NZFF and a winner at Cannes (Best Screenplay), earned its director his third APSA prize, this time as Best Director. The award follows his Best Film win at the 2007 inaugural bash (Miryang/Secret Sunshine) and last year’s Best Children’s Feature Film (Ya Haeng Ja/A Brand New Life).

Poetry also won the Best Actress award for veteran Korean actress Jeong-hee Yoon, who came out of retirement to take the role. Not that the actress needed another prize, having won 22 awards during her career including being an eight-time winner at Korea’s Blue Dragons.

Easing the road to future nominations, Lee left the ceremony with a cheque for US$25,000 in his pocket as one of four recipients of the inaugural round of MPA APSA Academy Film Fund grants for script development. The awards are available to APSA Academy members (previous nominees, winners and jury members). The other recipients were Sergey Dvortsevoy (Tuplan), Ashar Farhadi (About Elly) and Peng Tao (Xue Chan).

Aftershock was the only other film to come out of the evening with more than one award. In addition to picking up the grand prize, the Best Actor nod went to Chen Daoming.

All in all, APSA lived up to its name, sharing the gongs and special awards right across the region from Turkey and Israel, through Iran, India, China, Korea and Indonesia down to Aussie.  
 
The winners of the fourth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards were:
 
BEST FEATURE FILM
Tangshan dadizheng (Aftershock)
People’s Republic of China (Mainland China / Hong Kong)
Produced by Guo Yanhong, Han Sanping, Wang Zhonjun, Peter Lam Kin Ngok, Wang Tonguan and Albert Yeung.
 
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Lee Chang-dong for Shi (Poetry)
Republic of Korea 
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY ACTRESS
Yun Jung-hee for Shi (Poetry)
Republic of Korea
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY ACTOR
Chen Daoming for Tangshan dadizheng (Aftershock)
People’s Republic of China (Mainland China / Hong Kong)
 
BEST SCREENPLAY
Samuel Maoz for Levanon (Lebanon)
Israel / France / Germany 
 
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Sudhir Palsane for Vihir (The Well)
India  
 
BEST CHILDREN’S FEATURE FILM
Digari (The Other)
Islamic Republic of Iran
Produced by Mohammad Ali Najafi 
 
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Piercing I
People’s Republic of China
Produced by Lynne Wang
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
Last Train Home
People’s Republic of China / Canada
Produced by Mila Aung-Thwin and Daniel Cross.
Co-Produced by Bob Moore

SPECIAL AWARDS

SCREEN INTERNATIONAL JURY GRAND PRIZE
Actress Shinobu Terajima for Caterpillar
Japan
 
Writer/Director Samuel Maoz for Levanon (Lebanon)
Israel / France / Germany 
 
FIAPF AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM
Christine Hakim
  
UNESCO AWARD
Bal (Honey)
Turkey / Germany
Written and directed by Semih Kaplano?lu
 
HIGH COMMENDATION
High Commendation for Performance by an Actor
Tony Barry for Home by Christmas
 
High Commendation for Outstanding Technology and Special Effects
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole 

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