Asghar Farhadi’s Golden Bear winner Nader and Simin: a Separation will premiere in France today closely followed by its Australian Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival which opens this evening.

The film is the first completed project of the four inaugural recipients of a new development funding stream initiated last year by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Motion Picture Association – the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. The fund is available exclusively to members of APSA’s Academy. Nader and Simin, A Separation’s writer/director/producer, Asghar Farhadi was inducted into the Academy when his film Darbareye Elly (About Elly) received four nominations in the 2009 APSA’s and went on to win the APSA for Best Screenplay and the Jury Grand Prize.

Nader and Simin: A Separation
 won the Golden Bear for Best Film in Berlin in February as well as the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Actor awarded to the ensemble cast.

Memento Films is handling international sales for the film which has been picked up widely for international distribution across multiple territories including North American distribution through Sony Pictures Classics. It opens widely in France this week followed by its German release on July 14.

Australian viewers can be among the first to see A Separation at the Sydney Film Festival ahead of its theatrical release through Hopscotch Films later this year. The Sydney Film Festival opens today and A Separation screens next week – Monday June 13 and Wednesday June 15. Tickets are selling fast so get in quick to secure your seat. It is one of twelve films in official competition for the Sydney Film Prize which will be determined by a Jury headed by APSA Academy member and legendary Chinese filmmaker, Chen Kaige, whose new film Sacrifice will also have its Australian Premiere at the festival.

We can’t wait to see the film and send our best wishes to Asghar and his team for the upcoming screenings and worldwide release. Follow us on twitter and Facebook for updates on release dates for other territories.

Click here for SFF screening details.



In other news, the Sydney Film Festival will present a special tribute to Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, both imprisoned earlier this year and sentenced to a twenty-year prohibition on leaving Iran or participating in the film industry, which is currently under appeal.

Jafar Panahi with Kim Dong-ho at the 2007 APSAs

Jafar Panahi is a member of our Academy and he served on APSA’s inaugural Jury alongside Shabana Azmi, Kim Dong-ho, Nik Powell and Tian Zhuangzhuang. In Cannes last month, the Un Certain Regard jury gave the award for Best Director to Mohammad Rasoulof for his most recent film, Be omid e Didar (Au Revoir).

We encourage Sydney-siders to support these screenings and embrace the opportunity to see these incredible films on the big screen. The Circle, Offside, Crimson Gold, Iron Island and White Meadows are among the line-up along with the collective film, Then and Now: Beyond Borders and Differences. This project – screening at Martin Place, the outdoor extension of the festival – is inspired by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”) and composed of seven short films by noteworthy independent filmmakers from around the world. Panahi is one of the seven filmmakers included in the collective.

The Brisbane International Film Festival and the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival 2011 will also present screenings later this year in support of Panahi and Rasoulof.

Click here to view details of SFF’s tribute screenings.

Our Chairman, Des Power, released a statement earlier this year about the imprisonment of Panahi and Rasoulof which you can read in our Newsroom.

APSA Nominations Council member and Iranian film specialist, Anne Demy-Geroe writes about the tribute screenings here for the Sydney Film Festival.

If you would like to voice your support for Panahi and Rasoulof, join the ‘Free Jafar Panahi’ facebook page.

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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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