'Leviathan' Wins Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards

'Leviathan'

Emile Sherman, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Lu Zhong were also winners

Russia’s Oscar entry and Cannes best screenplay winner, Leviathan, beat entries from Iran, Kurdistan, Kazakhstan and Turkey for best feature at the eighth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), held in Brisbane, Australia, on Thursday.

Jury president Asghar Farhadi said the award was presented to Leviathan, a tale of small-town corruption, "because of its deep approach to the story and ominous sense of what will unfold, and the use of the most dramatic potential possible to deliver the tale."

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan took the best director award for his Palme D’Or winner, Winter Sleep, his third win as best director at these awards.

In the acting categories, the jury handed out special mentions as well as best actor and actress awards. Best actor went to New Zealander Cliff Curtis for his role in The Dark Horse, with iconic Australian actor David Gulpilil receiving a special mention for his role in Charlie’s Country. Chinese veteran Lu Zhong won best actress for Red Amnesia while a special mention went to Iranian actress Merila Zareie for her performance in Track 143.

Other key awards went to Dong Jinsong for best cinematography for Black Coal, Thin Ice (China) and Iranian Nima Javidi, for best screenplay for Melbourne.

The best youth feature went to another Turkish film, Sivas, the debut feature from writer-director Kaan Mujdeci.

Iraqi Kurd Taha Karimi was honored posthumously for 1001 Apples as best documentary, while best animated feature was Japan’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya from Isao Takahata, marking the first win at these awards for the renowned animation house Studio Ghibli.

Two special awards announced last week went to producer Emile Sherman (Tracks, The King's Speech), winning the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region, and Iranian writer-producer-director Reza Dormishian, who won the $10,000 APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize for his second feature film, I’m Not Angry!

In addition, the UNESCO award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film was awarded to Shawkat Amin Korki for directing Memories on Stone (Iraqi Kurdistan, Germany).

The International Jury also awarded two Jury Grand Prizes for 2014, to the producers of Chinese film Blind Massage (People's Republic of China, France), Nai An, Li Ling, Kristina Larsen and Wang Yong and Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad for directing Tales.

The awards could be seen as a possible indicator for the Oscar best foreign-language film category, with many of the APSA winners also serving as their countries' entries in that category.

The APSA winners, shared evenly between 36 films from 21 Asia Pacific countries, were chosen by a jury headed by Iran’s Asghar Farhadi serving as president, with members including Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen,  Palestinian actress- director-writer Hiam Abbass, Chinese director-cinematographer Lu Yue; and Indian actor-producer-director Rajit Kapur; and representing APSA’s alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA), Polish actor Maciej Stuhr

The ceremony, hosted by indigenous Australian actor Aaron Pedersen, was streamed live over the Internet. More than 1,200 guests attended.

The winning films will all be screened at special sessions of the Brisbane International Film Festival this week.

The full list of APSA nominees and winners appears below.

BEST FEATURE FILM

Leviathan (Leviafan), Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov (Russian Federation) - Winner

Memories on Stone (Biraninen li ser keviri), Mehmet Aktaş (Iraqi Kurdistan)

The Owners, Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Olga Khlasheva and Serik Abishev (Kazakhstan)

Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu), Zeynep Özbatur Atakan (Turkey, France, Germany)

I'm Not Angry! (Asabani Nistam!), Reza Dormishian (Iran)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu) Turkey, France, Germany - Winner

Rolf de Heer, Charlie's Country Australia

Andrey Zvyagintsev, Leviathan (Leviafan) Russian Federation

Im Kwon-taek, Revivre (Hwajang) Republic of Korea

Rakhshan Banietemad, Tales (Ghesseha) Iran

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nima Javidi Melbourne Iran - Winner

Prasanna Jayakody 28 Sri Lanka

Alexey Fedorchenko, Denis Osokin and Oleg Loyevsky Angels of Revolution (Angely Revolucii) Russian Federation

Shawkat Amin Korki and Mehmet Aktas Memories on Stone (Biraninen li ser keviri) Iraqi Kurdistan

Giancarlo Abrahan Sparks (Dagitab) Philippines

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

Dong Jinsong for Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai Ri Yan Huo) PRC, Hong Kong - Winner

Zeng Jian for Blind Massage (Tui Na) People's Republic of China, France

Mikhail Krichman for Leviathan (Leviafan) Russian Federation

Levan Kapanadze for Test (Ispytanie) Russian Federation

Yerkinbek Ptyraliyev for The Owners Kazakhstan

 

BEST ACTOR

Cliff Curtis in Dark Horse New Zealand  - Winner

Mahendra Perera in 28 Sri Lanka

Liao Fan in Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai Ri Yan Huo) PRC Hong Kong

David Gulpilil in Charlie's Country Australia - Special Mention

Navid Mohammadzadeh in I'm Not Angry! (Asabani Nistam!) Iran

 

BEST ACTRESS

Lü Zhong in Red Amnesia (Chuangru Zhe) China  - Winner

Ronit Elkabetz in Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Israel, France, Germany

Nora Aunor in Justice (Hustisya) Philippines

Tang Wei in The Golden Era (Huangjin Shidai) Hong Kong (PRC)

Merila Zareiein Track 143 (Shiar-E 143) Iran

 

BEST YOUTH FEATURE FILM

Sivas Yasin Müjdeci Turkey, Germany - Winner

52 Tuesdays Bryan Mason, Matthew Cormack, Rebecca Summerton and Sophie Hyde Australia

Corrections Class (Klass Korrekzii) Natasha Mokritskaya and Uliana Savelieva Russian Federation

The Fort (Killa) Madhukar R. Musle, Ajay G. Rai and Alan McAlex India

Theeb Bassel Ghandour and Rupert Lloyd Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1001 Apples (Hezar-o yek Siv) Taha Karimi Iraq  - Winner

Bidesia in Bambai Surabhi Sharma India

Sanda: Surviving Kim Mi-re Korea

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (Eau Argentee, Syrie autoportrait) Serge Lalou, Camille Laemle, Orwa Nyrabia, and Diana El Jeiroudi Syrian Arab Republic, France

Wukan: The Flame of Democracy (Wukan: Minzu Zhi Guang) James Leongand Lynn Lee Singapore

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) Yoshiaki Nishimura Japan - Winner

Frog Kingdom (Qingwa Wangguo) Zheng Liguo China

Maya The Bee Movie Barbara Stephen and Thorsten Wegener Australia, Germany

On The White Planet (Chang-baek-han Eol-gul-deul) KimKi Hwan Korea

The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (Woo-ri-byul Il-ho-wa Ul-ruk-so) Cho Young-kag Korea

 

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