Tepenin Ardi (Beyond the Hill, Turkey/Greece) has taken out the Best Feature Film award at the sixth Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, announced on Friday night at a glittering ceremony at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Awards and High Commendations went to films from a further ten countries and areas of Asia Pacific including India, Indonesia, Iraqi-Kurdistan, Israel, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, and for the first time, Iraq.

Click here to see the full list of the 2012 APSA Nominees and Winners

Produced by Enis Köstepen, Emin Alper and the late Seyfi Teoman, and co-produced by Nikos Moutselos, Tepenin Ardi(Beyond the Hill) was written and directed by Emin Alper and is his first feature film. Producers Emin Alper and Enis Köstepen accepted the award on the night from International Jury President Jan Chapman. Nominated lead actor Tamer Levent was also at the ceremony.

APSA International Jury President Jan Chapman said “Beyond the Hill took us on a journey to hidden secrets within a family. It was a microcosm of what can happen in a more universal situation. The characters were truthful and complex, it told the story in an original and different way. Beyond the Hill dealt with our tendency to look on the outside for a solution when the real problems lie within.”

The International Jury also gave a High Commendation in the category of Best Feature Film to Bumchoiwaui Junjaeng(Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time) from Republic of Korea, produced by Park Shin-kyu and Han Jae-duk. Producer Han Jae-duk and director Yoon Jong-bin were in attendance at the ceremony.

Also from Turkey, writer/director Reis Çelik collected the award for Best Screenplay for Lal gece (Night of Silence) and the award for Achievement in Cinematography went to Touraj Aslani for Bahman Ghobadi’s Fasle Kargadan (Rhino Season), a co-production between Iraqi-Kurdistan and Turkey.

Winner of two Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2012, Sinapupunan (Thy Womb) from the Philippines saw Brillante Ma. Mendoza awarded with the Achievement in Directing prize, and iconic Filipino actress Nora Aunor take home the Best Performance by an Actress award. Brillante Ma. Mendoza was a guest of APSA in attendance at the APSA Jury Welcome Function earlier in the week, before returning to the Philippines for the Filipino premiere, also taking place on Friday evening.

High Commendations were also awarded in these two categories. In the category of Achievement in Directing, Cheng Er received the High Commendation for his film Lethal Hostage, from the People’s Republic of China. Darya Ekamasova received a High Commendation in the Best Performance by an Actress category, for her role in Zila bila odna baba (Once Upon a Time There Lived a Simple Woman), from the Russian Federation.

The APSA ceremony was attended by more than 700 Australian and international guests and filmmakers from across Asia Pacific who are true leaders in their fields.

Winner of Best Performance by an Actor in 2012 is Choi Min-sik for Bumchoiwaui Junjaeng (Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time) from Republic of Korea. A High Commendation was also awarded to Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi for Hearat shulayim (Footnote).

In 2012 the APSA International Jury awarded two Screen International Jury Grand Prizes. APSA Academy member and three-time APSA-nominated writer/director/producer Anurag Kashyap from India, received the award for his direction ofGangs of Wasseypur. Korean actress Cho Min-soo was awarded for her performance in Kim Ki-duk’s Korean film Pieta. Both recipients accepted their awards in person at the ceremony.

A High Commendation was also awarded by the Jury for Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) for its screenplay written by Joseph Cedar.

The winners in three categories were determined by APSA Academy members through Academy voting: Best Children’s Feature Film, Best Animated Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature Film.

For the first time, a film from Iraq has won an APSA, with In My Mother’s Arms receiving the Best Documentary Feature Film Award. In My Mother’s Arms (Iraq, UK and Netherlands) was produced by Isabelle Stead, Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji and Atia Jabarah Al-Daradji, the last of whom accepted the award on the night.

A High Commendation for Best Documentary Feature Film was awarded to Planet of Snail (Republic of Korea, Japan, Finland), produced by Kim Min-chul, Gary Kam and co-produced by Janne Niskala and Imamura Ken-ichi.

Best Animated Feature Film was awarded to Momo e no tegami (A Letter to Momo) from Japan, produced by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Hiroyuki Ikeda, Shigeru Watanabe and Kazuya Hamana.

Laut Bercermin (The Mirror Never Lies) from Indonesia won the Best Children’s Feature Film, produced by Garin Nugroho and Nadine Chandrawinata.

Japanese composer, actor and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto was the recipient of the 2012 APSA FIAPF award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region. An Oscar®, Grammy® and two-time Golden Globe® winner for his film compositions, Ryuichi Sakamoto personally accepted the award at the ceremony. In a ceremony highlight and an Australian exclusive performance, Ryuichi Sakamoto performed two pieces during the ceremony; Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence, a film in which he also starred alongside friend and APSA Academy President Jack Thompson AM PhD. He also performed a composition from Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor.

The UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film went to director Wei Te-sheng and producers John Woo, Terence Chang and Jimmy Huang for their Taiwanese film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Seediq Bale).

The APSAs – an initiative of the Queensland Government, Australia through Events Queensland, endorsed by UNESCO and in collaboration with FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations – acclaim films from 70 countries and areas in Asia Pacific, encompassing one-third of the earth, is home to 4.5 billion people and produces half the world’s film. Films are judged on cinematic excellence and the way in which they attest to their cultural origins.

IMAGES: Red carpet and APSA ceremony images are available to download free of charge from: http://www.image.net

DOWNLOAD/FTP SITE: Quicktime file of the news package will be available to download via FTP from 1.00 AEST on Saturday 24 November. FTP download details to be advised on request to [email protected]

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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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