Brisbane, Australia: Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk today announced nominees for the 8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), with 36 films from 21 Asia Pacific countries and areas vying for the region’s highest accolade in film.

Films in the running for the 2014 APSA for Best Feature Film are Winter Sleep (Turkey, France, Germany), Leviathan (Russian Federation), I’m Not Angry (Islamic Republic of Iran), The Owners (Kazakhstan), and Memories on Stone (Iraqi Kurdistan).

Films from the People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation lead the nominations, with six each, closely followed by Islamic Republic of Iran, with five nominations. Films from Australia and Republic of Korea have received 4 nominations; films from Turkey and Hong Kong (PRC) received three nominations; films from India, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kazakhstan, Philippines, and Sri Lanka received 2 and the following countries and areas received one nomination each: Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Syrian Arab Republic, and the United Arab Emirates.

Nominees vying for the award in the Achievement in Directing category are: Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country, Australia), Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Russian Federation), Im Kwon-taek (Revivre, Republic of Korea), Rakhshan Banietemad (Tales, Islamic Republic of Iran) and Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Winter Sleep, Turkey, France, Germany). Of these 5 eminent directors, three are returning to this category: Rakhshan Banietemad won the inaugural APSA for Mainline, Nuri Bilge Ceylan has collected the award twice, in 2008 for Three Monkeys and 2011 for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, and Andrey Zvyagintsev was nominated in 2011 for Elena.

Leviathan, also nominated for Achievement in Cinematography for Mikhail Krichman, has received three nominations in total, the most for any film. A further 7 films have received two nominations each: 28 (Sri Lanka), Black Coal, Thin Ice(People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong(PRC)), Charlie’s Country (Australia), I’m Not Angry (Islamic Republic of Iran), Memories on Stone (Iraqi Kurdistan, Germany), The Owners (Kazakhstan), and Winter Sleep (Turkey, France, Germany).

For the first time, a film from Syrian Arab Republic has received a nomination, with Silvered Water, Syria Self-portrait (Syrian Arab Republic, France) nominated for the APSA for Best Feature Documentary.

The 2014 Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony will be held in Brisbane’s historic City Hall on Thursday 11 December at a glittering event, with nominees and industry luminaries in attendance.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said “It will be an honour for our city to welcome these talented filmmakers from all over the region to Brisbane’s King George Square and City Hall for the ceremony in December. This year marks the third year that APSA will take place in Brisbane and the city is very proud to host such an important international event that celebrates cinema and culture.

APSA Chairman Michael Hawkins said: ‘It comes as no surprise that 2014 sees the strongest APSA nominees to date. It has been an incredible year for films from Asia Pacific on the world stage and we look forward to celebrating these films within their own region, and with the region’s most prestigious award.

Professor Hong-Joon Kim, Chair of the International Nominations Council since APSAs inaugural year in 2007, said of the 2014 nominations: “2014 has seen another competitive year of amazing films from the Asia Pacific region. One remarkable aspect of this year’s films is that almost half of the films seriously considered for the final nominations were from first or second time directors. Although the final nominees include more experienced masters, these emerging new talents will prove to make future APSA nominations all the more competitive!

All Nominees are inducted into the APSA Academy, with twelve of this year’s nominees already APSA Academy members. The APSA Academy, led by President Jack Thompson AM PhD, is a growing body of the region’s most influential names in film including past APSA nominees, International Jury and Nominations Council members.

Winners in the feature film categories will be determined by the 2014 APSA International Jury, headed by the internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (The PastA Separation).

Two additional major awards for outstanding achievement will be presented at the ceremony:
The UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film and the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film which celebrates a film practitioner from the region whose career and actions contribute strongly to the development of the film industry.

Three streams of development funding are supported through the Asia Pacific Screen Academy.

  • MPA APSA Academy Film Fund which awards USD$100,000 in development funds through four grants exclusive to APSA Academy members, supported wholly by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
  • APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund by 4 Boys Films is a development fund specifically for films for and about the youth of Asia Pacific, and exclusive to APSA Academy members.
  • An award for emerging talent, the APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize of USD$10,000, proudly supported by the Griffith Film School, Griffith University, is awarded to a first or second time feature filmmaker in the narrative feature competition. The prize is awarded by the NETPAC Jury which in 2014 is Hong-Joon Kim, Mohammad Atebbai and Wang Qun.

The Awards, proudly presented by Treasury Casino and Hotel, is 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.

View the full list of 2014 APSA Nominees here.

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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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