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Chinese blockbuster Aftershock leads Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations

Aftershock from China, Honey from Turkey, Monga from Taiwan, and Paju and Poetry, both from Korea, have been nominated for best feature in the fourth-annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).

Four of the five directors driving these films — Feng Xiaogang (Aftershock), Semih Kaplanoglu (Honey), Doze Niu (Monga) and Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) — also have nominations. Wang Quanan, who made the Chinese film Weaving Girl, is the fifth nominee vying for best director.

In all, 31 feature-length dramas, documentaries, children’s and animated films from 15 countries were selected from a field of 239.

Other countries represented include India, Japan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Russia and Cambodia. A Hong Kong film is among those from China.

The winners will be decided by a jury that will meet in Australia about 10 days before the Dec 2 ceremony on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Jury head is UK producer and film advocate Lord Puttnam (The Killing Fields) and he will be making his judgements alongside Kazakhstan director Sergey Dvortsevoy (Tulpan), Indian actress and singer Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane) and others not yet announced.

APSA distinguishes itself from other awards by its very big footprint — it claims its 70 constituent countries make half the world’s films — and its recognition of cultural value as well as cinematic excellence.

The stand-out film this year, with a record six nominations, is Chinese blockbuster Aftershock — China’s highest grossing local film ever and its foreign language Oscar entry. Set during the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that killed an estimated 240,000 people, the epic drama shows the impact on one family of the one decision by a distraught mother.

Poetry, about a grandmother with Alzheimer’s Disease and a problem grandson, has six nominations. Honey, the final instalment of the director’s part-autobiographical trilogy, and the gangster film Monga, set in the 1980s, have three nominations each.

The director of Poetry also directed the 2007 best film winner Secret Sunshine. The other two best film winners were Tulpan in 2008 and Samson & Delilah in 2009.

The APSAs are backed by the Queensland Government and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) are major partners.

Nominations:

BEST FEATURE
Aftershock (China)
Honey (Turkey)
Monga (Taiwan)
Paju (Republic of Korea)
Poetry (Republic of Korea)

BEST CHILDREN’S FEATURE
Boy (New Zealand)
Bran Nue Dae (Australia)
Echoes Of The Rainbow (China)
The Other (Iran)
Udaan (India)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
King Of Thorn (Japan)
Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Gahoole (Australia)
Mai Mai Miracle (Japan)
Oblivion Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror  (Japan)
Piercing I (China)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
12 Angry Lebanese (Lebanon)
Budrus (Palestinian Territories)
Enemies Of The People (Cambodia)
Karamay (China)
Last Train Home (China)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Aftershock (China)
Caterpillar (Japan)
Intimate Grammar (Israel)
Lebanon (Israel)
Poetry (Republic of Korea)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Aftershock (China)
Honey (Turkey)
Monga (Taiwan)
Ravaan (India)
The Well (India)

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Aftershock – Feng Xiaogang (China)
Honey – Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey)
Monga – Doze Niu (Taiwan)
Poetry – Lee Chang-dong (Republic of Korea)
Weaving Girl – Wang Quanan (China)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Aftershock - Yu Fan (China)
I Am Sindhutai Sakpal – Tesjaswini Pandit (India)
Paju – Seo Woo (Republic of Korea)
Poetry – Yun Junghee (Republic of Korea)
Weaving Girl – Yu Nan (China)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Aftershock – Chen Daoming (China)
Home By Christmas – Tony Barry (New Zealand)
How I Ended This Summer – Sergei Puskepalis (Russia)
The Human Resources Manager – Mark Ivanir (Israel, Romania, Germany, France)
Natarang – Atul Kulkarni (India)

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