Five films - two co-productions and one each from Hong Kong, India and China - are in the running to be crowned best feature at the second Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs), being held in early November in Australia.

The films are Tulpan (Kazakhstan/Russia/Switzerland/Poland/Germany), Uc maymun (Three Monkeys, Turkey/France/Italy), Men Jeuk (Sparrow, Hong Kong), Om Shanti Om (India) and Hong Se Kang Bai Yin (The Red Awn, The People's Republic of China).

The nominations council, lead by Korean academic and festival programmer Hong-Joon Kim, today named 33 films from 17 countries in the nine categories. The awards aim to honour films that best reflect their cultural origins and demonstrate cinematic excellence. Men Jeuk (Sparrow) and Uc maymun (Three Monkeys) earned the most nominations.

The awards, which are only in their second year, cover 70 countries from the Middle East, right across to Japan and down through the Pacific. There were 180 films from 43 countries entered.

'We are greatly encouraged by the response from filmmakers from the Asia-Pacific in our mission to acclaim their work and promote it to an international audience,' said APSA Chairman Des Power. 'Once again, the nominees showcase the tremendous talent and creativity that exists in the burgeoning film industries of the region.'

The APSAs are run by the Queensland Government and their key collaborators are CNN International, UNESCO and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations. The ceremony is being held on Queensland's Gold Coast on November 11, the evening before the annual Screen Producers Association of Australia's annual conference.

The nominees in the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards are:

Hong Se Kang Bai Yin (The Red Awn): producers Li Xudong, Lin Nianxiu, Sun Xiaoxi, Wang Shunsheng, Chen Weidong (People's Republic of China)
Men Jeuk (Sparrow): producer Johnnie To (Hong Kong)
Om Shanti Om: producer Gauri Khan (India)
Tulpan: producers Gulnara Sarsenova, Karl Baumgartner, Valerie Fischer, Bulat Galimgereyev, Sergey Melkumov, Sergey Selyanov, Elena Yatsura, Henryk Romanowski, Thanassis Karathanos, Raimond Goebel (Kazakhstan/Russia/ Switzerland/Poland/Germany).
Uc maymun (Three Monkeys): producers Zeynep Özbatur, Fabienne Vonier, Valerio De Paolis, Cemal Noyan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey/France/Italy)

Byul-byul Yi-ya-gi 2: Yeo-seot-bit-ggal Mu-ji-gae (If You Were Me: Anima Vision 2): producer Nam Kyu-sun (Republic of Korea)
Stranger Mukoh Hadan (Sword of the Stranger): producer Masahiko Minami (Japan).
Vals im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir): producer Yael Nahlieli, Ari Folman, Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, Theirry Garrel, Pierette Ominetti (Israel/France/Germany)

33 Yaoum (33 Days): producers Mai Masri, Mohammad Belhaj, Jean Chamoun (Lebanon/Qatar)
Ggeutnaji Anhmeun Jeon Jaeng (63 Years On): producer Lee SeungGu (Republic of Korea).
Kantata Takwa. Producer Setiawan Djody, Erros Djarot, Gotot Prakosa (Indonesia).
Rain of the Children. Producer Vincent Ward, Marg Slater, Tainui Stephens, Kero Nancy Tait (New Zealand)
Tinar: producer Mahdi Moniri (Islamic Republic of Iran)

The Black Balloon: producers Tristram Miall (Australia), Sally Ayre-Smith, Elissa Down, Jimmy Jack, Mark Turnbull.
Mahek producer Children's Film Society, India (India).
Pisay (Philippine Science) producers Auraeus Solito Jr, Endi Balbuena and Paul Morales, Linda Cordova, Erwin Navarro (Philippines).
Siri Raja Siri (King Siri): producers Renuka Balasooriya, Somaratne Dissanayake (Sri Lanka)
Taare Zameen Par: producers Aamir Khan, Ajay Bijli, Sanjeev K Bijli (India)

Kim Jee-woon, Joheunnon nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Republic of Korea).
Johnnie To, Men Jeuk (Sparrow, Hong Kong).
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Tokyo Sonata (Japan/The Netherlands/Hong Kong).
Sergey Dvortsevoy, Tulpan (Kazakhstan/Russia/Switzerland-Poland-Germany).
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Uc maymun (Three Monkeys, Turkey/France/Italy).

Hong Sang-soo, Bam guan at (Night and Day, Republic of Korea)
Suha Arraf, Eran Riklis, Etz Limon (Lemon Tree, Israel/France/Germany)
Dervis Zaim, Nokta (Dot,Turkey)
Behnam Behzadi, Tanha do bar zendegui mikonim (Before the Burial, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Max Mannix, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Sachiko Tanaka, Tokyo Sonata (Japan/The Netherlands/Hong Kong)

Lee Mogae, Joheunnon nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Republic of Korea)
Kiiran Deohans, Jodhaa Akbar (India)
Cheng Siu-keung, Men Jeuk (Sparrow, Hong Kong)
Oleg Kirichenko, Rusalka (Mermaid, Russian Federation)
Gökhan Tiryaki, Uc maymun (Three Monkeys, Turkey/France/Italy)

Omarbekova Nesipkul, Baksy (Native Dancer, Kazakhstan/Russian Federation/France/Germany)
Hiam Abbass, Etz Limon (Lemon Tree, Israel/France/Germany)
Akie Namiki, Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama Sanso Eno Michi (United Red Army, Japan)
Miao Pu, Ying Tao (Cherries, People's Republic of China)
Daria Moroz, Zhivi I pomni (Live and Remember, Russian Federation)

Reza Naji, Avaze Gonjeshk-ha (The Song of Sparrows, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Kim Yoon-suk, Chugyeogja (The Chaser, Republic of Korea)
Simon Yam, Men Jeuk (Sparrow, Hong Kong)
Rajat Kapoor, The Prisoner (India)
Alireza Aghakhani, Tanha do bar zendegui mikonim (Before the Burial, Islamic Republic of Iran)

FIAPF, UNESCO awards and a grand jury prize will also be awarded on the night.