The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in partnership with Queensland’s prestigious Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) today announced a specially curated screening programme of APSA nominated feature films, New Asia Pacific Cinema: The Best of 2013, to screen at the Australian Cinémathèque at GOMA from Sunday.

The screenings, which also form part of the special screening programme for the APSA International Jury, are open to the public and free of charge, welcoming the public to become part of APSA in a unique and unprecedented way.

The screenings mark the first time in the history of the awards that local audiences have the opportunity to preview the nominated films in a dedicated programme, which include Queensland and Australian premieres, award winners and box office hits.

“The public will be able to join Asia Pacific Screen Awards International Jury members in these viewings leading up to the awards ceremony at City Hall on 12 December,” said Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

“The screenings will be supported by special events where the actors and directors introduce and discuss a selection of films with the audience.”

Australia’s Aaron Pedersen, who has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor for his role in the Queensland-shot Mystery Road, will introduce his film to the audience on 7 December at 3pm.

Nominated in the same category is the star of Omar, Adam Bakri. Omar, the most nominated film in 2013 with three nominations including Best Feature Film, will also screen in the programme. From the director of the Golden Globe winning and Oscar® nominated Paradise Now, Omar is the first film to be fully funded by the Palestinian cinema industry and is Palestine’s official submission to the Academy Awards® 2014 Best Foreign Language Film category.

Three other films nominated in the Best Feature Film category are on the GOMA schedule – With You, Without You from Sri Lanka, Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son) from Japan and Le Passè (The Past). The Past, directed by Oscar® winner and two-time APSA winner Asghar Farhadi, is Iran’s official submission to the Academy Awards® 2014 Best Foreign Language Film category and already a winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

A special selection of short films by 2013 Achievement in Directing nominee Anthony Chen will screen in what is an Australian Premiere, ahead of the nominated film Ilo, Ilo on Thursday 5 December. Singapore’s official submission to the 2014 Academy Awards®, Ilo, Ilo has already seen Anthony Chen awarded with the 2013 Cannes Camera d’Or and was a major winner at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards where it collected four awards including Best Feature Film.

The programme also offers the opportunity to see the blockbuster Korean film Masquerade, starring superstar Lee Byung-hun (Hero, Red 2) who is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor. The fourth highest grossing Korean film in Korean history, Masquerade also cleaned up at the Grand Bell Awards (Korean Oscars), winning awards in an incredible fifteen categories.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring APSA films to Brisbane this year through our partnership with GOMA,” said APSA Executive Chairman Michael Hawkins.

“Some of these films including Kazakhstan’s Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons) and Shal (The Old Man) and Korea’s Masquerade have never before been screened in Queensland.”

There are four films nominated from India this year including the Hindi noir thriller directed by Amit Kumar Monsoon Shootout which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is on the GOMA bill.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said it was a perfect fit for the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque to host these screenings of selected APSA nominees.

“Since the opening of GOMA and its dedicated cinema facilities in 2006, the Gallery has strongly represented the best films of the Asia Pacific region, in particular through the cinema component of our flagship exhibition, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art,” Mr Saines said.

“Partnering with the Screen Awards reflects our focus on the visual culture of Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and gives Brisbane audiences a chance to see some of the best films emerging from the region.”

Screenings will commence on Sunday 1 December with a special event where the Honourable Dr Malani Fonseka, who this year celebrates 50 years on stage and screen, will introduce celebrated Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s Flowers of the Sky (2008) followed by an audience question and answer session with Fonseka, the film’s APSA-nominated lead actress. Shortly after will be a screening of Vithanage’s newest film and 2013 APSA Best Feature Film nominee, With You, Without You.

The GOMA program will conclude on 11 December with a panel discussion to mark 100 years of Indian cinema with acclaimed director and screenwriter and 2013 APSA International Jury President Shyam Benegal, moderated by well-known film writer and curator Latika Padgaonkar. The discussion will be framed by the Queensland premiere screening of the 2012 APSA Jury Grand Prize winner director Anurag Kashyap’s celebrated film Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 and 2. Kashyap, a juror at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is also the co-producer of Monsoon Shootout which will screen in the programme. Rajeev Ravi, who shot both films, is nominated in 2013 for Achievement in Cinematography for Monsoon Shootout.

Further screening introductions by APSA’s international guests will be confirmed in the coming days.

The nominations in 2013 include a record number of films from more countries and areas than ever before, with 39 films from 22 Asia Pacific countries and areas nominated for the awards.

The Awards, supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by economic development board Brisbane Marketing in a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations, recognise and promote cinematic excellence and 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.

For more information on the Asia Pacific Screen Awards visit www.asiapacificscreenawards.com

For the Australian Cinémathèque schedule of screenings see below or, visit: http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/cinematheque/current/apsa

All screenings will take place at:
Australian Cinémathèque, Cinema A, Gallery of Modern Art
Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank, Brisbane

Ticketing details:
Entry is free and the screenings are not ticketed. Patrons should arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled screening time to secure their seats on a “first in, first served” basis.

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