The Asia Pacific Screen Awards has announced the first nominees for its 2017 edition, naming the contenders for the Animation, Youth Feature and Documentary gongs.
Annie Goldson’s Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, about which the director presented at last weekend’s Big Screen Symposium, is named in the Documentary section. Kim Dotcom faces some stiff competition in a field that includes Hollie Fifer’s The Opposition and Sundance awardee Last Men in Aleppo. Both films played Doc Edge this year, the former a year later than intended, having been delayed by injunctions following its 2016 selection.
While Dotcom is the only Kiwi title in the mix so far, The Opposition is one of a trio of Aussie titles in the mix so far. Two films in the Youth Feature line-up hail from across the ditch: Rachel Perkins’ Jasper Jones and Kamila Andini’s The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala), made with Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Qatar.
APSA has made jury announcements, which also feature an Aussie. The main jury will be led by Aussie editor Jill Bilcock, who’s edited six of the 20 highest-grossing Australian films of all time, including iconic Strictly Ballroom and Muriel’s Wedding, Sam Neill-starrer The Dish and Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker. Chinese actress He Saifei, Filipino writer/director Adolfo Alix Jr and Kazakh writer, director and cinematographer Adilkhan Yerzhanov will also serve.
The APSA Youth Animation & Documentary International Jury will be chaired by Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda), with members UK producer Steve Abbott (A Fish Called Wanda) and Aussie producer Melanie Coombs (Mary and Max, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom).
This writer has long been critical of the APSA’s willingness to interpet loosely the geographical constraints its remit poses. However, the nomination of a film whose country of origin is Canada is surely beyond the most elastic of interpretations. The fact that part of the story is set and shot in Asia isn’t enough to merit consideration, really, as many US features and several James Bond titles would also qualify under such criteria.
The Asia Pacific Screen Awards will run on Thursday 23 November in Brisbane. Kiwis selected will have the tough choice between a night out in Queensland for APSA or heading to Wellington for this year’s SPADA Conference.
The APSA nominees are:
Best Youth Feature Film
Big Big World (Koca Dünya), (Turkey)
Jasper Jones (Australia)
The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala), (Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, Qatar)
The Skier(Ski-Baz), (Islamic Republic of Iran)
The Summer is Gone (Ba Yue), (People’s Republic of China)
Best Documentary Feature
Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web (New Zealand)
Last Men in Aleppo (Syrian Arab Republic, Denmark)
Taste of Cement (Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Germany)
The Opposition (Australia, Papua New Guinea)
A Yangtze Landscape (Changjiang) , (People’s Republic of China)
Best Animated Feature Film
A Silent Voice (Japan)
Have a Nice Day (People’s Republic of China)
Saving Sally (Philippines, France)
Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (Canada)
your name (Japan)