Oscar contenders win Asia Pacific Screen Awards – Blog
by Nathaniel R.
Even if you’re a deeply committed movie buff, there are movies you’ve never heard of that will win or be nominated for awards during awards season. This is one of the reasons we like to inquire with overseas award bodies. If only all films could be released everywhere for us moviegoers! We just caught up with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, now in their 15th year. indonesia Before Now & Then took home the top prize, but in addition to a few nominees we hadn’t heard of yet, five current Oscar nominees took home awards: joyland, Back to Seoul, Aurora’s Sunrise, and Muru, and the documentary anything that breathes…
- ★ “Before, Now & Then” (aka “Nana”) (Indonesia) dir. Kamila Andini
- “Poet” (aka “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan) dir. Darezhan Omirbayev
- “Return to Seoul” (aka “Return a Seoul”) (Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany) dir. Davy Chou
- “That’s What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France) dir. Aktan Arym Kubat
- “When The Waves Are Gone” (aka “Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon”) (Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal) dir. Lav Diaz.
Before Now and Thenof the too little known Kamila Andini (seen and unseen, yuni) won an actor award at the Berlinale and now he’s had a historic win at APSA. This is the first film directed by a woman to win and also the first Indonesian film to win!
BEST YOUTH FILM
- “Alam” (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia) dir. Firas Khoury
- ★ “Farha” (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden) dir. Darin J Sallam
- “Hanging Gardens” (aka “Janain mualaqa”) (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UK) dir. Ahmed Yassine Al Daradji
- “Jaggi” (India) dir. Anmol Sidhou
- “Sweet As” (Australia) dir. Jub Clerc
Farha is about a teenage girl in Palestine who witnesses a disaster in her home while locked in the pantry. This is the feature debut of Jordanian director Darin J Sallam.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
- ★ “Aurora’s Sunrise” (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania)
- “Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo” (aka “Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo”) (Canada)
- Goodbye, Don Glee! (aka “Gubbai, Don Gurîzu!”) Japan
- “Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish” (“USA, Netherlands”)
- “To The Bright Side” (aka “Xiang zhe ming liang na fang”) China
Aurora’s Sunrise, a documentary about a silent film actress who survived the genocide, is also Armenia’s Oscar submission this season.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
- ★ “All That Breathes” (India, US, UK)
- “Blue Island” (Hong Kong, Japan)
- “Children of the Mist” (Vietnam)
- “Delikado” (Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, USUK)
- “Woodgirls – A duet for a dream” (Iran, Czech Republic)
anything that breathes, a documentary about Indian siblings rescuing injured birds, is getting a lot of attention. After debuting with a Jury Prize at Cannes, it was named an IDA finalist and also made the DOC NYC shortlist, which often leads to buzz at the Oscars. Unfortunately, HBO doesn’t show it until 2023. They haven’t announced a date yet, so we’re guessing they’ll wait and see their Oscar prospects (sigh).
- Kamila Andini for “Before, Now & Then” (“Nana”)
- Shin Su-won for “Tribute” (aka “Omaju”) (Korea)
- ★ Davy Chou for “Return to Seoul”
- Ameer Fakher Eldin for “The Stranger” (aka “Al Garib”) (Palestine, Syria, Qatar, Germany)
- Lav Diaz for “When The Waves Are Gone” (Philippines)
Return to Seoul, which is about an adopted French woman traveling to Korea to search for her biological parents, is Cambodia’s entry to the Oscars this year. Davy Chou, the director, is Franco-Cambodian. This is his second feature film after Diamond Island (2016). He also produced Cambodia’s excellent bid for the Oscars last year, white building (2021).
- ★ Makbul Mubarak for “Autobiography” (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, France, Poland, Germany)
- Vahid Jalilvand for “Beyond the Wall” (aka “Shab, Dkheli, Divar”) (Iran)
- Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyeong for “Decision to Leave” (aka “Heojil kyolshim”) (Korea)
- Darezhan Omirbayev for “Poet” (aka “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan)
- Aktan Arym Kubat, Dalmira Tilepbergenova for “That’s What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France).
A good year for Indonesia at APSA. The autobiography is a thriller about a cleaner for a politician. It premiered in Venice this year.
- Batara Goempar for “Before, Now & Then” (Indonesia)
- Lv Songye for “One and Four” (aka “Yige he Sige”) (China)
- Boris Troshev for “Poet” (Kazakhstan)
- Florent Herry for “Snow and the Bear” (aka “Kar ve Ay?”) (Turkey, Germany, Serbia)
- ★ Niklas Lindschau for “The Stranger” (Syria, Germany, Palestinian Territories, Qatar)
the stranger was Palestine’s Oscar submission last year. It’s a drama about an unlicensed doctor in the Golan Heights and a wounded soldier he encounters. This is a first film for Ameer Fakher Eldin who is based in Germany but was born in Ukraine to Syrian parents.
- Happy Salma for “Before, Now and Then”
- Navid Mohammadzadeh for “Beyond the Wall”
- ★ Lee Jeong-eun for “Tribute” (also known as Omaju)
- Aktan Arym Kubat for “That’s What I Remember”
- John Lloyd Cruz for “When The Waves Are Gone”
Yes, it’s the same Lee Jeong-eun who was so excellent in Parasite (2019) as a maid/cook whom the protagonists conspire to get the wealthy couple out of employment. In this film, she plays a filmmaker who decides to restore an old film when she has no job of her own.
OTHER NON-COMPETITIVE PRICES
BEST NEW PERFORMANCE
- ★ Park Ji-Min for “Return to Seoul”
FIAPF PRIZE 2022
AWARD FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY UNDER THE PATROL OF UNESCO
- ★ Muru (New Zealand) dir. Tearepa Kahi.
Muru is New Zealand’s Oscar nomination. Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead, Whale Rider) stars in this true story about a police chief torn between his people and his job when the government orders a raid on his community.
YOUNG CINEMA PRIZE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NETPAC AND GFS
- ★ Saim Sadiq for “Joyland” (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s Oscar submission, which we’re big fans of, recently made international headlines by being banished to his home but after the resulting outcry, the ban was reversed and it was allowed in theaters, so its Oscar eligibility was not in jeopardy after all. Director Saim Sadiq is only 31 and it’s a great start.