Four Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) winners and a 2010 official entry will have their premiere in Mainland China this month at the inaugural Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF).

Darbareye Elly (About Elly, Islamic Republic of Iran), Levanon (Lebanon, Israel), Shi (Poetry, Republic of Korea), Tulpan (Kazakhstan/Russian Federation/Switzerland/Poland/Germany) and Australia’s Animal Kingdom have been selected for Beijing’s International Panorama section.

The festival runs from April 23 – 28. The foreign language line-up of 100 films were selected from more than 420 submissions from 50 countries.

APSA Chairman Des Power said: “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with the Beijing International Film Festival, the films’ distributors and our Academy members to put films forward for consideration in BJIFF’s inaugural year.

“I am delighted that APSA’s relationship with BJIFF has opened the door to a culturally diverse selection of APSA titles being seen by Chinese audiences next month. The festival’s aim to act as a platform for Beijing’s film industry to reach out to the world is to be commended.”

Queensland Minister for the Arts, Rachel Nolan said: “The five APSA films screening at the Beijing International Film Festival demonstrate the wonderful success of the organisation and their ability to successfully promote the region’s film industry to a global audience.”

At the Australia-China Film Industry Forum forum held in Beijing in December 2010, China Film Producers Association (CFPA) Chairman Han Sanping acknowledged Des Power’s contribution to relations between the two countries. Power was given ‘The Honourable Title of Friendship Ambassador’ in recognition of his valuable contribution to promote cooperation between the Chinese and Australian film industry.

“I was deeply honoured to receive the title of friendship ambassador to China,” Power said.

“Each year, through APSA, our friendships and networks throughout the countries of Asia Pacific are growing and strengthening. If APSA can enable more of our region’s films to be seen around the world, including China which is one of the world’s fastest growing film markets, then we are reaching our objectives.”

Tulpan was awarded Best Feature Film in the 2008 APSAs and won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in the same year. Asghar Farhadi’s Darbareye Elly (About Elly) was a four time APSA nominee in 2009 and won the Jury Grand Prize and Best Screenplay. Farhadi’s latest project Nader and Simin: A Separation received funding through the inaugural MPA APSA Academy film fund last year. It went on to win the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 61st Berlin Film Festival and the Silver Bear for Best Actor and Best Actress, awarded to the ensemble cast.

Levanon (Lebanon) and Shi (Poetry) both received top prizes in last year’s APSAs with the Israeli war drama taking out Best Screenplay and the Screen International Jury Grand Prize. Shi (Poetry) was awarded the prize for Achievement in Directing marking Lee Chang-dong’s third APSA win, and Best Performance by an Actress for legendary Korean actress Yun Jung-hee who this week was announced as being in line to receive a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres, an order of France presented by the French culture minister, for her services to the film industry. Australia’s highly acclaimed Animal Kingdom was an official entry in the 2010 APSA competition.

The fifth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards will take place on Australia’s Gold Coast on November 24, 2011.

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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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