The Asia Pacific Screen Academy today announced the first winners for the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, along with the full list of nominations, ahead of the November 3 Ceremony at Home of the Arts (HOTA) on Australia’s Gold Coast.

At this unique event, dedicated to celebrating culture through screen stories, the winner of the 16th APSA Cultural Diversity Award is Rapture (Rimdogittanga), directed by Dominic Megam Sangma. A rare co-production between India and China, this Garo-language story explores the politics of fear in a north-east Indian village, where the community fears kidnapping and the church prophesises a period of apocalyptic darkness.

In 2023, the APSA Young Cinema Award goes to director Phạm Thiên Ân for his feature debut Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Bên Trong Vỏ Kén Vàng), a Vietnamese-language film journeying from urban to rural Vietnam to reunite a grieving family. This award, given in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School, recognises the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific.

The five films in the running for the prestigious APSA Best Film Award are the two Japanese films Evil Does Not Exist (Aku Wa Sonzai Shinai) and Perfect Days, Snow Leopard (Xue bao) from the People’s Republic of China, the Georgian story Citizen Saint (Mokalake Tsmindani) and Qas from Kazakhstan.

32 films from 17 Asia Pacific countries and areas are nominated in the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, with films from Japan receiving 11 nominations and films from the People’s Republic of China receiving 9 nominations.

The film with the most nominations for the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, with a total of four, is Evil Does Not Exist (Aku Wa Sonzai Shinai), from Japanese writer-director and previous APSA Best Film winner Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car). It is nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography (Yoshio Kitagawa).

With three nominations including Best Film is the late Pema Tseden’s Snow Leopard (Xue bao, People’s Republic of China), which sees Pema Tseden nominated for Best Screenplay and Jinpa nominated for Best Performance.

In the running for APSA Best Screenplay alongside Pema Tseden and Ryusuke Hamaguchi are Anthony Shim for Riceboy Sleeps (Canada, Republic of Korea), Liang Ming for Carefree Days (Xiao yao you, People’s Republic of China) and Nicole Midori Woodford for Last Shadow at First Light (Singapore, Japan, Slovenia, Philippines, Indonesia).

For APSA Best Director, Hamaguchi is up against Celine Song for Past Lives (Republic of Korea, United States of America), Darkhan Tulegenov for Brothers (Bratya, Kazakhstan), Liang Ming for Carefree Days (Xiao yao you, People’s Republic of China) and Rima Das for Tora’s Husband (India).

Nominated for APSA Best Cinematography are Azamat Dulatov for Qas (Kazakhstan), Hao Jiayue for A Song Sung Blue (People’s Republic of China), Kenneth Cyrus for Whispers of Fire & Water (India), Krum Rodriguez for Citizen Saint (Mokalake Tsmindani; Georgia, France, Bulgaria) and the forementioned Yoshio Kitagawa.

Now in its second year, the ungendered APSA Best Performance has as its nominees Koji Yakusho for his role in Perfect Days (Japan), Mihaya Shirata for her role in Last Shadow at First Light (Singapore, Japan, Slovenia, Philippines, Indonesia), Mouna Hawa for her role in Inshallah a Boy (Inshallah Walad; Jordan, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar), Zhou Dongyu for her role in The Breaking Ice (Ran dong, People’s Republic of China) and the forementioned Jinpa for his role in Snow Leopard (Xue bao).

Stories from five countries spread right across the region are nominated for APSA Best Youth Film. Bauryna Salu (Kazakhstan) directed by Askhat Kuchinchirekov, Blueback (Australia) directed by Robert Connolly, A House in Jerusalem (Palestine, United Kingdom, Qatar, Netherlands, Germany) directed by Muayad Alayan, Monster (Kaibutsu, Japan) directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Tiger Stripes (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Germany, Netherlands, Indonesia, Qatar) directed by Amanda Nell Eu.

In the running for APSA Best Animated Film are Deep Sea (Shen hai, People’s Republic of China) directed by Tian Xiaopeng, The First Slam Dunk (Japan) directed by Takehiko Inoue, Scarygirl (Australia) directed by Ricard Cussó and co-directed by Tania Vincent, The Siren (La Sirène; France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium) directed by Sepideh Farsi and Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari, Japan) directed by Makoto Shinkai.

Competing in the category of APSA Best Documentary Film are Against the Tide (India, France) directed by Sarvnik Kaur, Beyond Utopia (United States) directed by Madeleine Gavin, Man in Black (France, United States, United Kingdom) directed by Wang Bing, Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV (United States, Republic of Korea) directed by Amanda Kim and To Kill a Tiger (Canada) directed by Nisha Pahuja.

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Tracey Vieira said: “APSA would like to congratulate the first winners and all nominees for the 16th edition of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. As the region’s film industry flourishes, it is significant that almost half of the nominations this year go to first or second time filmmakers, who are vying for the awards alongside some of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. APSA would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the sad loss of two highly accoladed filmmakers, Pema Tseden and Ryuichi Sakamoto, APSA winners whose last works are nominated this year, and whose stories live on in their films, cherished around the world.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said: “An internationally spectacular event like no other, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards is set to shine at HOTA this November. The 16th edition of APSA to take place on the Gold Coast will revel in uniting the best of the best from the world of Asia Pacific cinema for a memorable night.”

Major Partner Screen Queensland CEO, Jacqui Feeney said: “Screen Queensland is incredibly proud to host the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards and we heartily congratulate the nominees and first winners for this year. APSA has always been an event that brings talented filmmakers from across our vast region to Queensland to celebrate their work. Of equal importance, the Asia Pacific Screen Forum offers the chance to connect, to learn from each other and to help our respective industries strengthen, grow and diversify. We look forward to welcoming all guests from across the Asia Pacific this November.”

Nominations are determined by the APSA Nominations Councils. In 2023 the APSA International Nominations Council is composed of Bina Paul (India) – Chair, Anderson Le (United States), Delphine Garde-Mroueh (France), Gulnara Abikeyeva (Kazakhstan), John Badalu (Indonesia), Kiki Fung (Hong Kong) and Yoshi Yatabe (Japan). On the 2023 APSA Youth, Animation, Documentary International Nominations Council are Faramarz K-Rahber (Australia) – Chair, Carl Joseph Papa (Philippines) and Zoe Sua Cho (New Zealand, Republic of Korea).

Running concurrently from 1 – 4 November, the 5th Asia Pacific Screen Forum is a unique programme for the screen industry, encouraging relationshipbuilding networking opportunities, as well as cultural and knowledge exchange both from within Australia and across the Asia Pacific. It features in-conversations, workshops, panel discussions and intimate roundtables with a public programme of screenings and Q&As.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Forum are presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy with the support of major partners the City of Gold Coast, Screen Queensland, the Motion Picture Association and Griffith Film School, Griffith University.

APSA acknowledges and celebrates its founding partnership with FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

The 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Red Carpet and Ceremony will take place Friday 3 November at Home of the Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast, Australia, on the traditional land of the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.

See below for the complete list of nominations, winners and juries.

Tickets are on sale for the full Forum and the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony:




[email protected]

Cathy Gallagher +61 416 227 282 I Alicia Brescianini +61 400 225 603








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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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