Kore-eda Hirokazu's Shoplifters Wins Best Feature Film

Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku) was tonight named Best Feature Film at the 12th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA). The Award was accepted by producer Taguchi Hijiri at the glittering APSA ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.

This marks the first time a film from Japan has won the APSA for Best Feature Film, and is Kore-eda’s first APSA win from eight nominations. Previous nominations include Best Children’s Feature Film nomination for I Wish (Kiseki, 2012), Best Feature Film and Achievement in Directing nominations for Like Father, Like Son (2013), Best Screenplay and directing nominations for The Third Murder (2017) and three nominations for 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winning Shoplifters. The film is Japan’s official submission for the Oscars®.

In a spread of awards representing the geographical and cultural diversity of the Asia Pacific region, APSAs went to films from Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore and Turkey.

The Awards, hosted by New Zealand movie star Cliff Curtis and popular Australian TV presenter Sofie Formica were held at Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre. Winners are presented with a unique hand-crafted glass trophy created by Brisbane-based glass artist Joanna Bone.

The Jury Grand Prize was awarded to Lee Joon-dong and Lee Chang-dong for Burning (Republic of Korea). The win adds to their collection of APSA wins. Both previously won Best Feature Film for Secret Sunshine (Miryang, 2007) and were nominated together for Poetry (Shi, 2010) and Burning. Alongside his win for Secret Sunshine, Chang-dong has also won Best Children’s Feature Film for A Brand New Life (Ye Haeng Ja, 2009), Achievement in Directing for Poetry and Best Youth Feature Film for The World of Us (Woorideul, 2016). His three winning APSA vessels appeared on the set of Ben’s (Steven Yeun) apartment in Burning.

The Cultural Diversity Award under the Patronage of UNESCO was awarded to Garin Nugroho and Ifa Isfansyah for Memories of My Body (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku) (Indonesia) and accepted on the night by lead actor Muhummad Khan. The winner was determined by the APSA Cultural Diversity International Jury comprised of Jury Chair Khadija Al-Salami (Yemen), Anthony Krause (UNESCO) and Mattie Do (Lao People’s Democratic Republic).

As the winner in this category, Garin Nugroho will present a screening of his winning film on December 15 in Paris at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters as part of the Intergovernmental Committee meeting on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Both Burning and Memories of My Body were developed with a grant from APSA’s long-running Academy partnership with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) through the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. Now in its 9th year, the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund received a record 125 submissions from Academy members in 36 different countries, and four more recipients of a US$25,000 grant were announced tonight, with successful projects from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey.

Nadine Labaki won the Achievement in Directing award for Capharnaüm (Lebanon), having been nominated in the same category for the inaugural APSA in 2007 for her film Caramel. A Special Mention in this category went to Ivan Ayr for Soni (India).

After being awarded a Special Mention for Best Performance by an Actor in 2016, narrowly beaten by fellow countryman Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui took the Award this year for Manto (India). The award was accepted during the ceremony by internationally acclaimed actress and director of Manto, Nandita Das, who was also the recipient of the prestigious FIAPF Award for achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region.

Best Performance by an Actress went to Chinese star Zhao Tao for Ash is Purest White (Jiang hu er nv) (People’s Republic of China, France), accepted by the film’s producer Shozo Ichiyama. In a moving recorded message Zhao Tao said “I was lucky to become an actress, and have the opportunity to play different roles of ordinary Chinese women on screen, to express their difficulties and emotions in a country of radical changes, to share their love and hope. Thank you for your acknowledgment of my performance.  Thank you for your attention to those ordinary women. Love conquers all.”

Best Screenplay was awarded to Dan Kleinman and Sameh Zoabi for Tel Aviv on Fire (Israel, Belgium, France, Luxembourg).

Japanese cinematographer Hideho Urata was awarded the Achievement in Cinematography prize for A Land Imagined (Singapore, France, Netherlands). Singaporean filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua was also awarded the 2018 APSA Young Cinema Award for the film, which was the Locarno Festival Golden Leopard (Best Film) winner, and was supported by the Asia Pacific Screen Lab. The APSA Young Cinema Award is presented in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) to recognise the emerging filmmaking talent of Asia Pacific.

Winners in the feature fiction categories were determined by the APSA International Jury, comprised of Alexander Rodnyansky (Russian Federation), Nia Dinata (Indonesia), Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), Vladimer Katcharava (Georgia) and Antonia Zegers (Chile).

The inaugural Best Original Score award went to the celebrated composers Hildur Guðnadóttir and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson for Mary Magdalene (Australia, United Kingdom). The winner was determined by the Music in Film International Jury comprised of Jury Chair Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan), Sneha Khanwalkar (India) and Nigel Westlake (Australia).

Sakamoto said of the winning film “Mary Magdalene’s soundtrack is a meticulous work of art by the composers. The quality of craftsmanship and the depth of emotions are overwhelming.”

Best Documentary Feature Film went to Australian director Paul Damien Williams and producer Shannon Swan for Gurrumul, the first win for Australia in this category at APSA.

Best Youth Feature Film went to producer/director Banu Savıcı and producer Mesut Ulutaş, for Turkish film The Pigeon (Güvercin).

Best Animated Feature Film went to director Leo Gabriadze and producer Timur Bekmambetov for Rezo (Znaesh’ mama, gde ya byl) (Russian Federation).

Winners in these three categories were determined by the Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury made up of Jury Chair Mitzi Goldman (Australia), Rubaiyat Hossain (Bangladesh) and Luke Hetherington (Singapore).

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, honour cinematic excellence and the cultural diversity of the world’s fastest-growing film region; comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people and responsible for half of the world’s film output. In 2018, 46 films from 22 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific region received APSA nominations, including the first nomination for a film from Uzbekistan.

During the Ceremony, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) announced the four recipients of the 9th round of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, created to support, at script stage, new feature film projects originated by APSA Academy members and their colleagues across Asia Pacific. The fund awards four development grants of US$25,000 annually, and is wholly supported by the MPA. To date, 32 projects have now been funded, with many going into production and garnering success at film festivals around the world.


The four 2018 MPA APSA Film Fund recipients are:

Producer Ifa Isfansyah, director Kamila Andini (Indonesia) for Yuni

Producer Olga Khlasheva, director Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan) for Hell is Empty and All The Devils Are Here

Producer Mai Meksawan, director Uruphong Raksasad (Thailand) for Worship

Director, producer, screenwriter Semih Kaplanoğlu (Turkey) for Asli


A new script development film fund was also announced tonight, the APSA Academy Sun Yat-Sen Bo Ai Film Fund. Exclusive to APSA Academy members, the fund supports a film project which demonstrates cinematic excellence and aligns with the Foundations Ideals: the embodiment of the ‘Bo Ai’ (Universal Compassion) spirit, promotion of tolerance, inspiring positive change and fostering the human spirit.

The inaugural recipient was announced as director Feras Fayyad (Syria) for feature documentary The Cave. Fayyad was the winner of the APSA for Best Documentary Feature Film in 2017 for Last Men in Aleppo, which was also nominated for an Oscar®.


Quotes attributable to:


APSA International Jury President, Russian producer of 2014 APSA Best Feature Film Leviathan, Alexander Rodnyansky said “We have had the great fortune to be presented with a unique line up of films that represent the different countries, cultures and talents of our region. It’s a huge and very rare opportunity to learn and understand so much about other people’s lives and I have discovered new worlds by watching them. Shoplifters turns an intimate story about an unusual family into a metaphorical social analysis that is relevant not only for Japan, but everywhere, where we are faced with a frightening panorama of a family crisis and presented with a utopian alternative in which you can choose your relatives; where closeness becomes a conscious decision (even for children), not a predetermined fate.”


Chair of APSA and its Academy Michael Hawkins said “Now in its 12th year, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards grows in strength and influence throughout the region, and the success of the Academy and its initiatives are testament to this. The MPA APSA Academy Film has had a record number films premiere in Cannes and Venice this year, as well as the Asia Pacific Film Lab project winning at Locarno. It is heartening to receive Academy members back to Brisbane, with APSA nominations, and to welcome our new Academy members from the 2018 nominees.”


Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said: “My deepest congratulations to tonight’s winners. We are in awe of your creativity, perseverance and bravery. As Australia’s culturally-diverse New World City, we recognise the importance of connecting with our closest neighbours and of coming together to honour the creative talent of our vast region. I’m proud that Brisbane continues to shine a spotlight on powerful stories, foster cross-cultural dialogue and celebrate filmmakers whose accomplishments too often go unrecognised. The awards have brought some of the region’s most exciting filmmakers to the city alongside more than 600 film practitioners here for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards have been a driving force in transforming Brisbane into a film business hub, creating opportunity for local practitioners and strengthening the city’s significant business and cultural ties with the region.




Winner Ceremony clips for every category available: https://www.youtube.com/user/APSATV

Backstage interviews with winners available https://www.youtube.com/user/APSATV

Broadcast quality files available – please request link


Images available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2ycw6q0pm5517ao/AAB5SntLjPOFIzPIzg1CqLu1a?dl=0


Twitter @apscreenawards






Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku) (Japan)

Kore-eda Hirokazu, Matsuzaki Kaoru, Yose Akihiko, Taguchi Hijiri



Burning (Republic of Korea)

Lee Joon-dong, Lee Chang-dong



Memories of My Body (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku) (Indonesia)

Garin Nugroho, Ifa Isfansyah



Nadine Labaki for Capharnaüm (Lebanon)



Ivan Ayr for Soni (India)



Dan Kleinman, Sameh Zoabi for Tel Aviv on Fire (Israel, Belgium, France, Luxembourg)



Hideho Urata for A Land Imagined (Singapore, France, Netherlands)



Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Manto (India)



Zhao Tao for Ash is Purest White (Jiang hu er nv) (People’s Republic of China, France)



Hildur Guðnadóttir, Jóhann Jóhannsson for Mary Magdalene (Australia, UK)



The Pigeon (Güvercin)

Banu Savıcı, Mesut Ulutaş (Turkey)



Rezo (Znaesh’ mama, gde ya byl) (Russian Federation)

Leo Gabriadze, Timur Bekmambetov



Gurrumul  (Australia)

Paul Damien Williams, Shannon Swan



Yeo Siew Hua for A Land Imagined  (Singapore, France, Netherlands)


FIAPF Award for achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region

Nandita Das  (India)




Producer Ifa Isfansyah (Indonesia) for Yuni

Producer Olga Khlasheva for Hell is Empty and All The Devils Are Here

Producer Mai Meksawan for Worship

Director, producer, screenwriter Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey) for Asli


APSA Academy Bo Ai Film Fund recipient

Director Feras Fayyad (Syrian Arab Republic) for feature documentary The Cave


Asia Pacific Screen Lab Recipients

Sherwan Haji (Syrian Arab Republic)

Taro Imai (Japan)

Khanjan Koshore Nath (India)


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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.

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