Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 'Cemetery Of Splendor' Wins Best Feature
Palestine's 'The Idol' was another major winner at the Brisbane ceremony.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor won best feature Thursday during the 9th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.
The legendary Thai director's latest film, which had its world premiere at Cannes, was one of the “best of the best,” according to jury president Kim Dong-Ho.
“The deliberating process was incredibly hard work, due to all the nominated films being outstanding, but we’ve done our best to select ‘the best of the best,' " said Kim. "I’d like to express my deep congratulations, not only to the winners, but also to all the nominees for their great achievement.”
The organization's other major prize, the APSA UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film, was awarded to Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad for The Idol, which focuses on Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian singer to win Arab Idol.
Idol was the opening-night pic of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, which runs ahead of the APSAs and showcases many contenders.
“Giving us the UNESCO Award is a courageous decision at this time," Abu-Assad said from the set of his next film. "The world seems to lose hope in the future. The Idol is a film about hope, and our job as an artist is to keep believing in a better future. Our main job is to let people believe in making the world better, and to believe yourself that you can make a difference."
Films from Thailand, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, Palestine, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia were among those to receive nods at the event.
Two films from China, River and The Chinese Mayor, were named best youth feature and best documentary feature, respectively, while Japan’s Miss Hokasui won animated feature honors.
Alexey German, Jr., son of Russian filmmaking legend Alexey German, was tapped as best director for Under Electric Clouds.
In the acting categories, An's Kirin Kiki took home Japan’s first-ever best actress APSA honor, while Korea’s Jung Jaeyong was named best actor for Right Now, Wrong Then, mirroring the prize he received at the Locarno International Film Festival in August.
Taiwanese master cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing nabbed the best cinematography award for Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, while the best screenplay trophy went to Turkish writer-director Senem Tüzen for Motherland.
Other honors included the FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region, which went to Egyptian screen icon Esaad Younis, and the previously announced APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize, which was awarded to Kyrgyz actor-turned-director Mirlan Abdykalykov for his full-length helming debut Heavenly Nomadic. The award of $10,000 is supported by Griffith Film School, Griffith University and is given to a first- or second-time feature filmmaker.
The five feature craft awards and three special mentions were determined by the six-member international jury, which included Kim, co-founder and former chairman of the Busan International Film Festival; Iranian actress Negar Javaherian; award-winning Bangladesh writer-director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki; Chinese writer/director/curator/producer and Beijing Film Academy professor Zhang Xianmin; Malaysian new-wave cinema figure U-Wei Bin HajiSaari; and Russian writer-director Alexei Popogrebsky, who represents APSA’s alliance with the European Film Academy.
The full list of APSA winners and special mentions follows:
BEST FEATURE FILM
Cemetery of Splendour (Rak ti Khon Kaen), Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, United Kingdom
Produced by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Keith Griffiths, Simon Field, Charles de Meaux,
Michael Weber, Hans W. Geißendörfer
Co-produced by Viola Fügen, Najwa Abu Bakar, Moisés Cosio Espinosa, Eric Vogel, Ingunn
Sundelin, Joslyn Barnes, Caroleen Feeney, Danny Glover.
BEST YOUTH FEATURE FILM
River (Gtsngbo), People’s Republic of China
Produced by Sangye and Alexandra Sun
Co-Produced by Pema Tseden and Du Qingchun
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai), Japan
Produced by Keiko Matsushita, Asako Nishikawa
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
The Chinese Mayor (Datong)
People's Republic of China
Produced by Zhao Qi
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Alexey German, Jr. for Under Electric Clouds (Pod elektricheskimi oblakami)
Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland
Senem Tüzen for Motherland (Ana Yurdu)
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Mark Lee Ping-bing for The Assassin (Nie Yinniang), Taiwan
Special Mention: Achievement in Cinematography
Lu Songye for Tharlo, People's Republic of China
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Kirin Kiki in An
Japan, France, Germany
Special Mention: Best Performance by an Actress
Fatemeh Motamed Arya in Avalanche (Bahman)
Islamic Republic of Iran
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Jung Jaeyoung in Right Now, Wrong Then (Jigeumeun Matgo Geuttaeneun Teullida)
Republic of Korea
APSA UNESCO AWARD
Hany Abu-Assad for The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer)
Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Netherlands
Special Mention: APSA UNESCO Award
Stephen Page for Spear
FIAPF AWARD for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region
Esaad Younis (Egypt)
APSA ACADEMY NETPAC DEVELOPMENT PRIZE
Mirlan Abdykalykov for Heavenly Nomadic (Sutak)
JURY GRAND PRIZE
Park Jungbum for writing/directing/acting in Alive (Sanda),
Republic of Korea
JURY GRAND PRIZE
Emin Alper for writing and directing Frenzy (Abluka)
Turkey, Qatar, France