11th Asia Pacific Screen Award Nominations Announced! Sweet Country Leads!



The nominations for the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film, celebrating cinematic excellence were today announced in the seven narrative feature categories by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, together with former APSA International Jury President Lord David Puttnam, member of the APSA 2017 Nominations Council Kiki Fung and Chair of APSA and its Academy, Michael Hawkins.

41 films from 21 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific region have received nominations in 2017, including the first nomination for a film from Bhutan. Winners will be announced at the 11th APSA ceremony on November 23, where they will be presented with a unique and exquisite handmade APSA award vessel made by Brisbane-based internationally awarded glass artist Joanna Bone.

Competing for the APSA for Best Feature Film in 2017 are Vivien Qu’s Angels Wear White (Jia Nian Hua, People’s Republic of China, France)Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot (Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland), Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature (Krotkaya; France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands), Mohammad Rasoulof’s A Man of Integrity (Lerd; Islamic Republic of Iran) and Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country (Australia). For the first time in the history of the event, three of these extraordinary filmmakers have had previous films win Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Vivien Qu (Black Coal, Thin Ice, 2014), Samuel Maoz (Lebanon, 2010), Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, 2009). Additionally, Mohammad Rasoulof’s Goodbye, received three nominations in 2011.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said “These five films tell unique stories from Australia, China, Iran, Israel and Russia, each representing the incredible diversity and high calibre of filmmaking from the Asia Pacific region. This is a significant opportunity for our city to host some of the world’s most respected names in film and a great chance for our local and national film industry to forge new connections with the region. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards helps to elevate Brisbane’s position as a cultural hub and is a testament to our role as a leader in the region.”

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy Michael Hawkins said ”As APSA forges into its 11th year, it is significant to note that amongst the nominees there are not only a great number of newer filmmakers, but also a large number of filmmakers who are already a part of the growing Asia Pacific Screen Academy, which was created precisely to encompass and connect the large body of talented filmmakers in the Asia Pacific Region. Significantly, this year there are APSA Academy members nominated across almost all categories, and we look forward to welcoming all of the nominees both to Brisbane as well as into the growing Academy”.

Across all Awards and Achievements, which encompasses the films judged by two International Juries, films from Australia, Japan and People’s Republic of China lead the nomination tally with six each.

Three films have received three nominations each:

– Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country (Australia) received three nominations in total. As well as Best Feature Film, the film also received nominations for Achievement in Cinematography (the father and son team of Warwick Thornton and Dylan River) and Best Screenplay (David Tranter and Steven McGregor). Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah won the APSA for Best Feature Film award in 2009 and is the only Australian film ever to win in this category.

– Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin, Japan) is also nominated for three APSAs in 2017. A Japanese auteur and APSA Academy member, Kore-eda is nominated for Achievement in Directing and Best Screenplay, and eminent performer Koji Yakusho is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor. Kore-eda has previously received APSA nominations for his films I Wish (Kiseki) in 2009 and Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru) in 2013.

– Also receiving three nominations is Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda; Georgia, Estonia), nominated for Achievement in Directing (Ana Urushadze), Achievement in Cinematography (Mindia Esadze) and Best Performance by an Actress (Nata Murvanidze).

Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev is again an APSA nominee, receiving an Achievement in Directing nomination for Loveless (Nelyubov; Russian Federation, Belgium, France, Germany). An APSA Academy member, Zvyagintsev won the APSA for Best Feature Film in 2014 for Leviathan, which also received a further two nominations including Achievement in Directing. Zvyagintsev received a High Commendation for directing Elena, which also won Best Performance by an Actress, in 2011. Also receiving nominations for the Achievement in Directing APSA are Mouly Surya for Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak; Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Thailand) and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan for Sexy Durga (India).

Completing the Best Screenplay Award alongside Sweet Country and The Third Murder are Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari for Newton (India), Boris Khlebnikov and Natalia Meshchaninova for Arrhythmia (Aritmiya; Russian Federation, Finland, Germany) and Dastan Zhapar Uulu and Bakyt Mukul for A Father’s Will (Atanyn Kereezi, Kyrgyzstan).

Achievement in Cinematography nominations went to films from People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Russian Federation, India and Australia. In addition to Mindia Esadze for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda) and Warwick Thornton and Dylan River for Sweet Country, the nominees are 2015 APSA Cinematography winner Lyu Songye for Ghost in the Mountains (Kong Shan Yi Ke, People’s Republic of China), Pyotr Dukhovskoy and Timofey Lobov for The Bottomless Bag (Meshok Bez Dna, Russian Federation) and Shehnad Jalal for Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee, India).

Five extraordinary performances are nominated for Best Performance by an Actress. They are Cut Mini for Emma’ (Mother) (Athirah, Indonesia), Ecem Uzun for Clair Obscur (Tereddüt; Turkey, France, Germany, Poland), Na Moon-hee for I Can Speak (Republic of Korea), Nata Murvanidze for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda; Georgia, Estonia) and Zhou Xun for Our Time Will Come (Ming Yue Ji Shi You, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong (PRC)). Zhou Xun was previously nominated in 2009 for The Equation of Love and Death (Li Mi De Caixiang).

Actors from Islamic Republic of Iran, Philippines, Japan, India and Palestine will compete for Best Performance by an Actor. Nominated are Paolo Ballesteros for Die Beautiful (Philippines), Koji Yakusho for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin, Japan) and Rajkummar Rao for Newton (India). Navid Mohammadzadeh for No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza; Islamic Republic of Iran) who was previously nominated in 2014 for I’m Not Angry!(Asabani Nistam!). Father and son actors share the final nominations as the APSA International Nominations Council were unable to separate the performances of Mohammad Bakri & Saleh Bakri. Both nominated for Wajib (Duty; Palestine, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates) because each were integral to the other. This is the second nomination for Mohammad Bakri following his 2009 nomination for Eid Milad Laila (Laila’s Birthday), while his other son Adam Bakri was also nominated in 2013 for Hany Abu Assad’s APSA Best Feature Film winner Omar.

The APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is an award which represents the shared common goals of APSA and UNESCO, to promote diversity of cultural expression and raise awareness of the value of culture at local, national and international levels.

The nominees in this prestigious and important Award are: Centaur (Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands), Dede (Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom), Die Beautiful

(Philippines) Honeygiver Among the Dogs (Munmo Tashi Khyidron, Bhutan) and Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee, India).

Winners in these Awards and Achievements will be determined by the APSA International Jury, headed in 2017 by acclaimed Australian film editor Jill Bilcock, joined by Filipino writer/director Adolfo Alix Jr, Chinese actress He Saifei, Tokyo Film Festival Programmer Yoshi Yatabe and Kazakh writer, director and cinematographer Adilkhan Yerzhanov.

Winners in the three remaining Awards of previously announced Best Youth Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature Film and Best Animation Feature Film are judged by a second Jury – this year comprised of the internationally acclaimed filmmakers and APSA Academy members Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudi Arabia) and Melanie Coombs (Australia), together with renowned British producer Steve Abbott representing APSA’s Academy Alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA). A full list of these nominees is at the end of this press release.

The nominations were drawn from the 298 films that were In Competition for APSA. The nominees were decided by the International Nominations Council from 47 Asia Pacific countries and areas – the largest country spread to date, which for the first time featured a film from Oman. In 2017, 26% of films In Competition were directed by women and 51% were directed by first or second time filmmakers.

An additional two awards will be presented at the ceremony, the APSA Young Cinema Award and the FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film.

Now in its second year, the APSA Young Cinema Award presented by NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) will be presented at the ceremony. This important Award recognises the abundant emerging talent of Asia Pacific which increases in prevalence in the APSA competition each year. The award is eligible to directors of debut or sophomore feature narrative films, with the recipient chosen from the APSA feature narrative film competition.

The APSA FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, to be announced soon and presented at the APSA ceremony, celebrates a film practitioner from the region whose career and actions contribute strongly to the development of the film industry.


11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards – Full list of nominated films




Angels Wear White (Jia Nian Hua)

People’s Republic of China, France

Produced by Sean CHEN

Co-Produced by Alain DE LA MATA

Directed by Vivian QU



Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland

Produced by Michael WEBER, Viola FÜGEN, Eitan MANSURI, Cedomir KOLAR, Marc BASCHET, Michel MERKT

Directed by Samuel MAOZ


A Gentle Creature (Krotkaya)

France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands

Produced by Marianne SLOT


Directed by Sergei LOZNITSA


A Man of Integrity (Lerd)

Islamic Republic of Iran

Produced by Mohammad RASOULOF

Co-Produced by Kaveh FARNAM, Rozita HENDIJANIAN, Michal KŘEČEK

Directed by Mohammad RASOULOF


Sweet Country


Produced by Greer SIMPKIN, David JOWSEY

Co-Produced by David TRANTER

Directed by Warwick THORNTON





Big Big World (Koca Dünya)


Produced by Ömer ATAY

Directed by Reha ERDEM


Jasper Jones


Produced by Vincent SHEEHAN, David JOWSEY

Directed by Rachel PERKINS


The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala)

Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, Qatar

Produced by Gita FARA, Kamila ANDINI, Ifa ISFANSYAH

Directed by Kamila ANDINI


The Skier (Ski-Baz)
Islamic Republic of Iran

Produced by Mohammad AHMADI

Directed by Fereidoun NAJAFI


The Summer is Gone (Ba Yue)
People’s Republic of China

Produced by ZHAO Yanming, ZHANG Jian, LI Liangwen

Directed by ZHANG Dalei





Have a Nice Day (Hao ji le)
People’s Republic of China

Produced by YANG Cheng, LIU Jian

Co-Produced by JIN Rui

Directed by LIU Jian


Saving Sally
Philippines, France

Produced by Avid LIONGOREN, Alain DE LA MATA, Hervé PENNEQUIN, Catherine JACQUES

Directed by Avid LIONGOREN


A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi)

Produced by OHASHI Nagaharu, TATEISHI Kensuke, UETSUKI Mikio, NAKAMURA Shinichi, IIZUKA Toshio

Directed by Naoko YAMADA



Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

Directed and Produced by Ann Marie FLEMING

Co-Produced by Shirley VERCRUYSSE, Michael FUKUSHIMA


your name. (Kimi no na wa)

Produced by Genki KAWAMURA, Noritaka KAWAGUCHI

Directed by Makoto SHINKAI




Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web
New Zealand

Produced by Alexander BEHSE

Directed and Co-Produced by Annie GOLDSON


Last Men in Aleppo

Syrian Arab Republic, Denmark, Germany

Produced by Søren Steen JESPERSEN, Kareem ABEED, Stefan KLOOS

Directed by Feras FAYYAD



The Opposition

Australia, Papua New Guinea

Produced by Rebecca BARRY, Madeleine HETHERTON, Hollie FIFER

Directed by Hollie FIFER


Taste of Cement

Germany, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Produced by Ansgar FRERICH, Eva KEMME, Tobias N. SIEBERT

Directed by Ziad KALTHOUM


A Yangtze Landscape (Changjiang)

People’s Republic of China

Produced by XU Feixue, LU Zhixin, ZHANG Jun

Directed by XU Xin





Ana URUSHADZE for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda)

Georgia, Estonia


Andrey ZVYAGINTSEV for Loveless (Nelyubov)

Russian Federation, Belgium, France, Germany


KORE-EDA Hirokazu for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin)



Mouly SURYA for Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak)

Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Thailand


Sanal KUMAR SASIDHARAN for Sexy Durga





Amit V MASURKAR, Mayank TEWARI for Newton



Boris KHLEBNIKOV, Natalia MESHCHANINOVA for Arrhythmia (Aritmiya)
Russian Federation, Finland, Germany

Dastan ZHAPAR UULU, Bakyt MUKUL for A Father’s Will (Atanyn Kereezi)



David TRANTER, Steven MCGREGOR for Sweet Country



KORE-EDA Hirokazu for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin)






LYU Songye for Ghost in the Mountains (Kong Shan Yi Ke)

People’s Republic of China

Mindia ESADZE for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda)

Georgia, Estonia


Pyotr DUKHOVSKOY, Timofey LOBOV for The Bottomless Bag (Meshok Bez Dna)

Russian Federation


Shehnad JALAL for Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee)



Warwick THORNTON, Dylan RIVER for Sweet Country






Cut MINI for Emma’ (Mother) (Athirah)



Ecem UZUN for Clair Obscur (Tereddüt)

Turkey, France, Germany, Poland


NA Moon-hee for I Can Speak

Republic of Korea


Nata MURVANIDZE for Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda)

Georgia, Estonia


ZHOU Xun for Our Time Will Come (Ming Yue Ji Shi You)

People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong (PRC)





Navid MOHAMMADZADEH for No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza)

Islamic Republic of Iran


Paolo BALLESTEROS for Die Beautiful



KOJI Yakusho for The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin)



Rajkummar RAO for Newton



Mohammad BAKRI, Saleh BAKRI for Wajib (Duty)

Palestine, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates





Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan
Directed by Aktan ARYM KUBAT
Produced by Altynai KOICHUMANOVA, Cedomir KOLAR, Marc BASCHET, Danis TANOVIC, Thanassis KARATHANOS, Martin HAMPEL, Gulmira KERIMOVA, Denis VASLIN, Fleur KNOPPERTS, Yuji SADAI


Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom

Directed by Mariam KHATCHVANI

Produced by Vladimer KATCHARAVA, Samantha TAYLOR, Mike DOWNEY, Igor NOVA

Co-Produced by Conrad ALLEBLAS, Jamillah VAN DER HULST


Die Beautiful


Directed by Jun ROBLES LANA

Produced by Ferdinand LAPUZ, Jun ROBLES LANA


Honeygiver Among the Dogs (Munmo Tashi Khyidron)


Directed by Dechen RODER

Produced by Dechen RODER, Esther KOO


Lady of the Lake (Loktak Lairembee)


Directed by Haobam PABAN KUMAR

Produced by Haobam PABAN KUMAR
Co-Produced by Thiyam ROMOLA DEVI, Haobam IBETOMBI, Warepam JHANSIRANI