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APSA casts off first veil

Having welcomed members of its International Nominations Council to Brisbane, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has got out of the blocks quickly to announce the first nominations for its November ceremony, naming 15 films competing across three categories.

APSA will tease out nominations between now and 21 October. This year’s awards attracted 290 films from 41 of the Asia-Pacific region’s 70 countries. Of the nominations announced today, six of the titles have production partners from 10 countries beyond the region.

Among the children’s line-up, now travelling as ‘Best Youth Feature’, is River from Songtaijia aka Sonthar Gyal. Songtaijia is a previous nominee at APSA, for the cinematography on Pema Tseden’s 2011 Khyi rgan (Old Dog). Songtaijia’s River received support from the APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund.

Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, which played the NZIFF here and Deane Taylor’s Blinky Bill, currently doing the school holiday rounds, are both among the nominees for Best Animated Feature. The producers of Blinky Bill, Alexs Stadermann and Barbara Stephen, were nominated in the same category last year with Maya The Bee Movie.

Australia scores another nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category with Molly Reynolds’ Another Country, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in July.

Last year, the sole NZ nominee, Cliff Curtis (pictured) took the Best Acting gong for his performance in James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse. The Best Film gong was won by Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony runs in Brisbane 26 November.

The APSA 2015 nominees are:

Best Youth Feature Film
A Corner Of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo), dir. Miaoyan Zhang, People’s Republic of China, France
Mina Walking, dir. Yosef Baraki, Afghanistan, Canada
Mustang, dir. Deniz Ergüven, Turkey, Qatar, France, Germany
River (Gtsngbo), dir. Sonthar Gyal, People’s Republic of China
Set Me Free (Geo-in), dir. KIM Tae-yong, Republic of Korea

Best Animated Feature Film
Blinky Bill The Movie, dir. Deane Taylor, Australia, India, Ireland
Miss Hokusai, dir. Keiichi Hara, Japan
The Road Called Life (Mae-mil-ggot, Un-su Jo-eun Nal, Geu-ri-go Bombom), dir. AHN Jae-hun & HAN Hye-jin, Republic of Korea
The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King (Snezhnaya Koroleva 2: Snezhnyy Korol), dir. Aleksey Tsitsilin, Russian Federation
When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie), dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan

Best Documentary Feature Film
Among The Believers, dir. Hemal Trivedi & Mohammed Ali Naqvi, Pakistan, United States of America
Another Country, dir. Molly Reynolds, Australia
The Chinese Mayor (Datong), dir. Zhou Hao, People’s Republic of China
The Look Of Silence (Senyap), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, Indonesia, Denmark, Norway, Finland and UK
A Flag Without A Country, dir. Bahman Ghobadi, Iraq

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