Elia Suleilman was born in 1960 and is a Palestinian filmmaker who is best known for his films Divine Intervention (2002), which won the Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. With a cinematic style that is often compared to comedic and visually witty legends like Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton, his films cover themes of cultural disembodiment with comic tones. His first film was the documentary Introduction to the End of an Argument (1990) made during his time living in New York City. In 2009, he made The Time that Remains that also played at Cannes, but his next feature was not for another ten years. It Must Be Heaven was awarded a Special Mention at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and garnered him his first APSA nomination for Achievement in Directing. It Must Be Heaven was also announced as Palestine’s official entry to the Best International Film category of the Academy Awards®.
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.