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Curtis wins at APSA

From 250+ films submitted this year, 36 titles competed in Brisbane on Thursday night for the gongs of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. NZ’s sole nominee, Cliff Curtis, took the Best Acting gong for his performance in The Dark Horse.

Cliff Curtis & David Gulpilil

Best Actor winner Cliff Curtis, presenter Hiam Abbass and Special Mention awardee David Gulpilil
Photo: Natalie Bochenski, Brisbane Times

Australia’s David Gulpilil, who won in Cannes for his performance in Charlie’s Country, received a Special Mention and was, predictably, a popular awardee in front of a home crowd.

Russia’s Leviathan went into the evening as the most-nominated title with three nods, and left with the Best Film gong. Leviathan and fellow Best Film nominee Winter Sleep, which took the APSA for Best Director, will go head to head again over the weekend as both are also nominated for the Best Film gong at the European Film Awards.



The evening’s first award, for Best Documentary Feature, was won posthumously by Taha Karimi, who died after completing 1001 Apples, which made this writer feel a little guilty for tweeting during the extended speechifying before the presentations got under way

The evening wasn’t without its challenges. A lightning strike took out the venue lights and video stream as – ironically – the winner of the Cinematography gong began his acceptance speech. Dong Jinsong, who won for Black Coal, Thin Ice, noted wrily that lighting crews often worked in difficult circumstances. The storm caused further interruptions to proceedings, with unscheduled breaks extending the show.

The 2014 Asia Pacific Screen Awards were presented in Brisbane on Thursday 11 December. The accompanying Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, which includes The Dead Lands in its programme, runs to Sunday 14.

In addition to the awards presented, APSA also announced the recipients of its new incubator programme, filmmakers Balaka Ghosh (India) and Vilsoni Hereniko (Fiji).

The 2014 APSA winners are (marked ***):

Best Feature Film
Asabani Nistam! (I’m Not Angry!) Iran
*** Leviafan (Leviathan) Russia
Bîranînên li ser kevirî (Memories on Stone) Iraqi Kurdistan
The Owners Kazakhstan
Kiş Uykusu (Winter Sleep) Turkey, France, Germany

Best Youth Feature Film
52 Tuesdays Australia
Klass Korrekzii (Corrections Class) Russia
*** Sivas Turkey, Germany
Killa (The Fort) India
Theeb Jordan, Qatar, UAE, UK

Best Documentary Feature Film
*** Hezar-o yek Siv (1001 Apples) Iraq
Bidesia in Bambai India
Sanda (Sanda: Surviving) Korea
Eau Argentée, Syrie autoportrait (Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait) Syria, France
Wukan: Minzu Zhi Guang (Wukan: The Flame of Democracy) Singapore

Best Animated Feature Film
Qingwa Wangguo (Frog Kingdom) China
Maya The Bee Movie Australia, Germany
Chang-baek-han Eol-gul-deul (On The White Planet) Korea
Woo-ri-byul Il-ho-wa Ul-ruk-so (The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow) Korea
*** Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) Japan

Achievement In Directing
Rolf de Heer, Charlie’s Country Australia
Andrey Zvyagintsev, Leviafan (Leviathan) Russia
Im Kwon-taek, Hwajang (Revivre) Korea
Rakhshan Banietemad, Ghesseha (Tales) Iran
*** Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Kiş Uykusu (Winter Sleep) Turkey, France, Germany

Best Screenplay
Prasanna Jayakody, 28 Sri Lanka
Alexey Fedorchenko, Denis Osokin and Oleg Loyevsky, Angely Revolucii (Angels of Revolution) Russia
*** Nima Javidi, Melbourne Iran
Shawkat Amin Korki and Mehmet Aktaş, Bîranînên li ser kevirî (Memories on Stone) Iraqi, Kurdistan, Germany
Giancarlo Abrahan, Dagitab (Sparks) The Philippines

Achievement In Cinematography
*** Dong Jinsong, Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) China, Hong Kong
Zeng Jian, Tui Na (Blind Massage) China, France
Mikhail Krichman, Leviafan (Leviathan) Russia
Levan Kapanadze, Ispytanie (Test) Russia
Yerkinbek Ptyraliyev, The Owners Kazakhstan

Best Performance By An Actor
Mahendra Perera, 28 Sri Lanka
Liao Fan, Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) China, Hong Kong
David Gulpilil, Charlie’s Country Australia
Navid Mohammadzadeh, Asabani Nistam! (I’m Not Angry!) Iran
*** Cliff Curtis, The Dark Horse New Zealand
Also, a special mention was awarded to David Gulpilil

Best Performance By An Actress
Ronit Elkabetz, Gett (Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem) Israel, France, Germany
Nora Aunor, Hustisya (Justice) The Philippines
*** Lü Zhong, Chuangru Zhe (Red Amnesia) China
Tang Wei, Huangjin Shidai (The Golden Era) Hong Kong, China
Merila Zareie, Shiar-E 143 (Track 143) Iran
Also, a special mention was awarded to Merila Zareie

In addition to its juried awards, APSA also presented a number of special/non-juried awards

Shawkat Amin Korki, Memories on Stone Iraqi Kurdistan

APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize
Reza Dormishian (writer/producer/director), Asabani Nistam! (I’m Not Angry)

The FIAPF Award
Emile Sherman (producer)

APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund
2 x $20,000 awards
Andrew Pike, Boomer Australia
Shilpa Ranade, A Man from Kabul India

MPA APSA Academy Film Fund
4 x $25,000 awards. More information on the awardees is available in the media release
Dror Moreh, Corridors of Power (doco) Israel
Signe Byrge Sorensen, On Screen Off Record (doco) Denmark
Mostafa Sarwar Farooki, No Land’s Man Bangladesh
Jafar Panahi, Flower Iran

Jury Grand Prizes
Blind Massage China, France
Rakhshan Banietemad, Tales

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