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APSAs ready for 2014 competition

Ahead of the reveal of the full in-competition line-up on Tuesday 28, the Asia Pacific Screen Academy has teased out some of the titles in contention for honours at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Omar

Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar, winner of the Best Feature award at the 2013 APSAs

Over 250 films were submitted from 42 Asia Pacific countries and areas, or from c60% of those countries and regions eligible to submit titles. Those entries put the submission rate considerably higher than for the Oscars which, despite claiming yet another record number of entries for the 2015 Foreign Language gong, has never received entries from half the world’s countries/territories nor from 60% of countries and territories where English is not the first language.

APSA scores entries from two newbies this year, Brunei Darussalam’s Yasmine and Timor-Leste’s A Guerra Da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War). Neither of those films are Oscar submissions although 20 other titles in the running at the APSAs have been submitted for the Academy’s subtitle gong.

Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, himself an Oscar winner for A Separation, heads this year’s APSA jury, which will consider titles including Rolf de Heer’s local favourite Charlie’s Country, a winner in Cannes. Also premiered in Cannes and in competition at APSA will be Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Russian Leviathan, the latter a winner at the London Film Festival last weekend.

Diao Yinan’s Berlinale winner, Chinese thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice lines up, and Filipino Lav Diaz demands over nine hours of viewing time for his two titles, From What is Before and Norte, The End Of History.

This year, Australians will have a better chance to see the competing titles following changes in June to the Brisbane International Film Festival, alongside which APSA runs. Now travelling as the Brisbane Asia-Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF), the festival will programme a much higher number of APSA titles than BIFF did.

The APSA nominees will be announced 28 October. The BAPFF will run 29 November – 14 December. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be presented 11 December in Brisbane.

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