Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s There Is No Evil, co-produced by Kaveh Farnam, is nominated under the Best Feature Film category.
Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has nominated 38 films from 25 Asia Pacific countries for its 14th edition. Japan and the Islamic Republic of Iran lead the field with seven nominations each.
The 14th edition of the film festival will see Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s There is No Evil, co-produced by Kaveh Farnam, CEO of Dubai-based distributor Advanced Media, take part in the Best Feature Film category. Payal Kapadia’s breakthrough A Night of Knowing Nothing (India) and Russian director Natalya Nazarova’s The Pencil (Prostoy karandash) will also compete in the same category.
Two films, both winners at Cannes this year, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car and Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero (Ghahreman), achieved the most nominations, with both films up for the same four categories – Best Feature Film, Achievement in Directing, Best Screenplay and Best Performance by an Actor.
Best Youth Feature Film award features three emerging women directors with their debut or second features nominated. They are Yoon Dan-bi for Moving On (Nam-mae-wui Yeo-reum-bam, Republic of Korea), Granaz Moussavi’s When Pomegranates Howl (Afghanistan, Australia, Netherlands, Iran) and Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen’s Scales (Sayidat Al Bahr, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia), who follows in the footsteps of Haifaa al-Mansour, the first Saudi woman filmmaker who was nominated in this category in 2013. Completing the nominations for Best Youth Feature Film are Ferit Karahan’s Brother’s Keeper (Okul Tıraşı, Turkey, Romania) and Nobuhiro Suwa’s Voices in the Wind (Kaze no Denwa, Japan) which also features Drive My Car Best Actor nominee Hidetoshi Nishijima.
Best Animated Feature Film offers a diverse selection of themes, cultures and disciplines of animation amongst the five nominees: Bashir El Deek and Ibrahim Mousa’s The Knight and The Princess (Saudi Arabia, Egypt), Beauty Water (Gigigoegoe Seonghyeongsu, Republic of Korea), Ayumu Watanabe’s Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Gyoko no Nikuko-chan, Japan), Andrey Khrzhanovsky’s The Nose or The Conspiracy of Mavericks (Nos ili zagovor netakikh, Russian Federation) and Ari Folman’s Where is Anne Frank (Belgium).
The nominees for Best Documentary Feature Film are Vitaly Mansky’s Gorbachev. Heaven (Latvia, Czech Republic), Eliane Raheb’s Miguel’s War (Aanaf Hob, Lebanon, Spain, Germany), Hogir Hirori’s Sabaya (Sweden), Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty’s The Devil’s Drivers (Lebanon, Qatar, France, Germany) and finally Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Writing With Fire (India).
Winners will be announced on November 11 at the 14th APSA Ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast, and streamed across the globe. The winners will also be announced in APSA’s three special categories, the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO, the Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC and GFS, and the FIAPF Award for Contribution to Asia Pacific Cinema.
The APSA Ceremony will include the annual announcement of recipients of the four MPA APSA Academy Film Fund grants for 2021.
The APSA Ceremony on November 11 will also launch the third Asia Pacific Screen Forum, a six-day programme of industry-led networking opportunities, designed to facilitate relationships and collaborations between filmmakers across the Asia Pacific. Like the ceremony, the forum will take place both in-person and virtually, with many nominees and APSA Academy members participating from around the globe.
Commenting on the nominations, Tracey Vieira, Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, said: “The Asia Pacific Screen Academy is incredibly proud to present the 14th awards ceremony in 2021 with the full complement of award categories, our special awards in collaboration with founding partners UNESCO and FIAPF, and the Academy-specific initiatives with the MPA and APSL. APSA continues to identify, support and amplify the careers of emerging storytellers throughout Asia Pacific, with 18 of the 38 nominated films by first or second feature directors, and the annual presentation of the Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC and GFS. And perhaps most importantly, APSA continues to honour and respect the many cultures of this richly diverse region as represented through cinematic excellence. In 2021, the APSA International Nominations Council considered films in APSA competition from 43 Asia Pacific countries and areas, and we are thrilled to see the first nomination for a film from Vietnam with cinematographer Nguyễn Vinh Phúc nominated for his work in LÊ Bảo’s Taste (Vị). My sincere thanks to the 2021 APSA International Nominations Council, headed once again by the eminent Professor Hong-Joon Kim for your outstanding work with this most difficult task.”
Tom Tate, Mayor of Gold Coast, added: “As Mayor, I’ve replaced the red carpet with a gold carpet as we roll out the welcome mat for these awards and the amazing talent that supports the industry.’ The Asia Pacific Screen Forum underscores our city’s commitment to this global industry.”
Kylie Munnich, CEO of Screen Queensland, stated: “Each year, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards shines a light on inspirational talent from the region, including Queensland’s diverse and creative local content creators. As host for the Awards and the Forum, our state is positioned as an important screen hub for the wider Asia Pacific region. Screen Queensland is proud of our ongoing support of the event, which allows Queensland practitioners to connect and collaborate with industry counterparts from across the Asia Pacific.”