Acclaimed Australian actor and director David Wenham returns to host the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), joined in 2017 by broadcaster, journalist and face of Australia’s SBS World News, Lee Lin Chin. The region’s highest accolade in film, the APSAs will be announced on Thursday 23 November in a star-studded ceremony at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, and livestreamed at asiapacificscreenawards.com.
Guests attending include APSA Academy President Jack Thompson AM, the APSA International Jury comprised of Jury President, acclaimed Academy Award®-nominated Australian film editor Jill Bilcock (Moulin Rouge!, Elizabeth, Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom), Filipino writer/director Adolfo Alix Jr (Donsol, Tambolista), Chinese actress He Saifei (Lust, Caution; Raise the Red Lantern), Tokyo Film Festival Programmer Yoshi Yatabe and Kazakh writer, director and cinematographer Adilkhan Yerzhanov (The Owners, The Plague at the Karatas Village).
The APSA Youth, Animation and Documentary International Jury members are Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour (Mary Shelley, Wadjda), Australian producer Melanie Coombs (Mary & Max, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom), and renowned British producer Steve Abbott (A Fish Called Wanda, Brazil with Michael Palin) representing APSA’s Academy Alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA).
Nominees and guests are confirmed representing films from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand, Palestine, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation.
Three nominated actors are confirmed to attend the Awards in Brisbane. Palestinian actor Mohammad Bakri for Wajib (Duty) and Iranian actor Navid Mohammadzadeh for No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza) are both marking their second APSA nomination.
Indian star Rajkummar Rao, in his first APSA nomination, will attend along with his Newton screenwriter Mayank Tewari, nominated for Best Screenplay.
Two nominated actresses are also confirmed to attend, including popular Indonesian star Cut Mini for Emma’ (Mother) (Athirah).
Nominated Georgian actress Nata Murvanidze will attend alongside nominated director Ana Urushadze for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda). The other directing nominee confirmed to attend so far is Sanal Kumar Sasidharan for Sexy Durga (India).
Representatives are already confirmed from all five nominees for the prestigious Cultural Diversity Award, under the patronage of UNESCO awarded for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film. The award is presented to the director of the nominated film. Centaur (Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan) producer Gulmira Kerimova will represent director Aktan Arym Kubat and lead actress Sonam Tashi Choden will represent director
Dechen Roder for Bhutan’s first APSA nominee Honeygiver Among the Dogs (Munmo Tashi Khyidron).
Georgian director Mariam Khatchvani and line producer Temo Chkhvimiani for Dede and Indian director/ producer Haobam Paban Kumar for Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee) will also travel to Brisbane for the Awards.
Die Beautiful (Philippines) director/producer Jun Robles Lana will attend and also represent Best Performance by an Actor nominee Paolo Ballesteros, who is unable to attend
Other guests confirmed to attend include FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region recipient, producer Bianca Balbuena (Philippines).
Best Youth Feature Film nominees are well represented with producer/director Kamila Andini and producer Ifa Ifansyah representing The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala Indonesia, Australia, Netherlands, Qatar), producer Mohammad Ahmadi and director Fereidoun Najafi representing The Skier (Ski-Baz Islamic Republic of Iran). French cinematographer Florent Herry will represent the producer of Big Big World (Turkey).
Australian producer David Jowsey is nominated in both Best Youth Feature Film (Jasper Jones) and Best Feature Film (Sweet Country) and will attend with Sweet Country producer Greer Simpkin.
Best Feature Film nominees attending include A Gentle Creature (Krotkaya France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands) Russian co-producer Valentina Mikhaleva, Foxtrot (Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland) producer Marc Baschet and Mohammad Rasoulof’s A Man of Integrity (Lerd Islamic Republic of Iran) will be represented by nominated co-producer Kaveh Farnam.
The nominated producers of four of the five Best Animated Feature Films will attend. They are:
Yang Cheng for Have a Nice Day (Da Shi Jie People’s Republic of China)
Producer/director Avid Liongoren for Saving Sally (Philippines, France)
Producer/director Ann Marie Fleming for Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (Canada)
Producers Genki Kawamura and Noritaka Kawaguchi for your name. (Kimi no na wa Japan)
APSA Young Cinema Award winner Ilgar Najaf (Azerbaijan) for Pomegranate Orchard in his second trip to Queensland following his win for Best Children’s Feature Film in 2011 for Buta.
Best Documentary Feature Film nominees attending are Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web (New Zealand) producers Annie Goldson and Alexander Behse and A Yangtze Landscape (Changjiang People’s Republic of China) director XU Xin.
Two further films nominated for Best Screenplay have confirmed their nominated writers to attend.
Natalia Meshchaninova for Arrhythmia (Russian Federation, Finland, Germany), and both screenwriters and directors Bakyt Mukul and Dastan Zhapar Uulu for A Father’s Will (Atanyn Kereezi Kyrgyzstan).
Russian cinematographer Timofey Lobov for The Bottomless Bag (Meshok Bez Dna) and Indian cinematographer Shehnad Jalal for Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee), with the film also nominated for the Cultural Diversity Award.