Actor Dev Patel was today nominated for the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Award (APSA) for Best Performance by an Actor for his stunning performance in Australian film Lion, with the actor competing against a co-star and acting stars from India, Republic of Korea and Islamic Republic of Iran for the coveted award. From the Academy Award® winning producers of The King’s Speech, Lion is a film already generating global award buzz and the APSA nomination marks its first major award nomination.


The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film which recognises and promotes cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, one third of the earth and responsible for half of the world’s film output today announced the nominees in the 10th APSA narrative feature film achievements. 


Patel’s nomination is one of two for Australian films alongside Best Documentary Feature Film nominee Snow Monkey by veteran war photographer and artist George Gittoes who last year was named winner of the 2015 Sydney Peace Prize. Australian Producer Jan Chapman (The Piano) will sit on the 2016 APSA International Jury.


Patel, star of Academy Award® winning film Slumdog Millionaire, is nominated for his portrayal of Saroo Brierley in the phenomenal true story of one boy’s global search to find his mother using Google Earth. Patel will be competing against one of the most celebrated and highly regarded screen stars in India, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee who is receiving his second APSA nomination. 


Siddiqui, who also appears in Lion, is nominated for his role as one of India’s worst serial killers in Psycho Raman, written and directed by internationally renowned auteur Anurag Kashyap, long considered the ‘Tarantino of India’ and nominated for Achievement in Directing. Psycho Raman also received an APSA nomination for Achievement in Cinematography for Jay Oza.


Bajpayee, who was nominated in the same APSA category in 2012 for Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, is nominated this year for his role in Aligarh (India).


Patel, Siddiqui and Bajpayee are up against Iranian Farhad Aslani for Daughter who recently won Best Actor for this role at Moscow International Film Festival and Korean superstar Song Kang-ho in The Throne (Republic of Korea), well known for The Host, Snowpiercer and Secret Sunshine in a nominated category of five established and award-winning masters of the craft.


Lion producer and APSA FIAPF Award career achievement winner, Joint Managing Director of See-Saw Films Emile Sherman said: “Everyone at See-Saw is delighted to hear of Dev’s nomination at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Dev put his heart and soul into this project and exceeded all of our extremely high expectations. He has such warmth and openness both as a person and actor. But above all we have been blown away by his bravery. He takes us right into the depth of Saroo’s character and his epic search for home.”


Winners will be determined by the APSA International Jury headed by Academy-Award® winner Lord David Puttnam (United Kingdom, APSA 2010 Jury President), producer of Chariots of Fire and the Killing Fields, who will be joined by APSA Patron and co-founder and current Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival Kim Dong-Ho, prolific and multi-award winning producer from Hong Kong (PRC) Nansun Shi (The Taking of Tiger Mountain; APSA 2011), Palme d’Or and Academy Award®-winning Australian producer Jan Chapman (The Piano; APSA 2012), and celebrated Indian master filmmaker Shyam Benegal (APSA 2013).


This nomination also means Dev is inducted into an elite network of actors and filmmakers, the APSA Academy whose President is Australian screen legend Jack Thompson. 


The Awards, held in Brisbane on November 24, and are hosted by Brisbane’s City Council. Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has said the APSAs are the event that will ultimately define Brisbane.


Australia has punched above its weight over the 10 years of APSA which encompasses the world’s fastest growing film and box office region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, a third of the earth and half of the world’s film output – including powerhouse film producing countries including People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Turkey, India and Russian Federation. 


Australia’s representation at the Awards over the last decade has included 8 wins from 24 nominations of 23 films, including 2 career achievement awards for Mad Max director George Miller and Lion producer Emile Sherman, plus direct investment into script development of 3 Australian projects. Australian films to have received nominations are 52 Tuesdays Another Country, The Black Balloon, Blinky Bill The Movie, Bran Nue Dae, Charlie’s Country, Downriver, Eye of the Storm, Gandhi’s Children, Happy Feet Two, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, Lion, Lucky Miles, Mary and Max, Maya The Bee Movie, Mystery Road, Red Dog , Samson & Delilah, Snow Monkey, Spear, Toomelah, Tracks and The Turning.


Films from Turkey, Russian Federation and Islamic Republic of Iran are vying for the Best Feature Film category – full list of nominees here:


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