The APSA Jury Grand Prize was awarded to Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri Woman Leah Purcell for her debut feature The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson. The International Jury said “Not just for her singular vision in writing, directing, producing and starring in the film but for the journey to bring this remarkable story, viewed through the lens of a First Nations woman to the screen in its entirety, in what is not only an artist’s total dedication to her craft but also a spirited act of courage and tenacity. The Drover’s Wife is a film that quickly makes its way into the heart, taking a well known genre, and exploding it into a much needed story of survival, loss, and resilience.” This is the first APSA Jury Grand Prize awarded to an Australian.
In accepting the Prize, Leah Purcell said “Thankyou to the 14th Asia Pacific Screen Awards and their prestigious Jury for your recognition of my effort in making this film, the many hats that I wore and the voice that I had given it as a First Nations woman. Truly, thankyou for this validation. Ma altjeringa yirra Baiame. Thanks to the ancestors for this very moment.”
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.