'Sunshine' golden at Asia Pacific awards

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GOLD COAST, Queensland -- Korean writer-director Lee Chang Dong's "Secret Sunshine" and a trio of Iranian films dominated Tuesday's inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

"Sunshine" was a dual winner -- earning the award for best feature film as well as a best actress nod for its star, Jeon Do-Yeon, also a winner at the Festival de Cannes.

Three Iranian films took top prizes: "Mainline" helmers Raksha Bani-Etemead and Mohsen Abdolvahab won for achievement in directing; Hooman Behmanesh earned the cinematography nod for his work on "Those Three"; and "Nightbus," a black-and-white war drama set against the Iran-Iraq conflict of the 1980s, won a special Jury Grand Prize.

"The Jury Grand Prize to 'Night Bus' acknowledges the extraordinary achievements of Iran in filmmaking and the particular finesse that the writer and director, Kiumars Pourhamad, and his fine ensemble cast have brought to their craft," said jury president Shbana Azmi, an Indian actress.

The awards were "an initiative whose time has come, politically and culturally. A regional award gives these films the kind of platform they deserve," she added.

Other awards saw "Denias, Singing On the Cloud" (Indonesia) named best children's film; young Japanese animator Makoto Shinkai's "5 Centimeters Per Second," win for animated feature; and Mai Masri's "Beirut Diaries: Truth, Lies and Videos"(Lebanon) take documentary honors.
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