Labaki wins best director
LOS ANGELES, Nov 29, (RTRS): Japanese social drama, “Shoplifters”, was named best film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu, the film previously won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Jury Grand Prize, or second place award, went to “Burning”, by South Korea’s Lee Chang-dong. The best director prize went to Nadine Labaki for “Capharnaum” (Lebanon).
The prizes were presented at a ceremony at the Exhibition & Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia, on Thursday night. Winners each receive a stunning glass ornament made by Brisbane artist Joanna Bone.
Those treading the red carpet included MPA chief Charles Rivkin, Australia’s favorite actor Jack Thompson, British filmmaker and educationalist David Puttnam, Singapore director Anthony Chen, Australian producers Sue Milliken and David Jowsey, festival programmers Kiki Fung and Shozo Ichiyama, and Indian actress Nandita Das.
Das, recipient of a FIAPF-APSA achievement award, gave a pithy and heartfelt cry of pain. “This was much needed…I often wonder why I do what I do,” she said.
The acting prizes were awarded to India’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui for “Manto” and to China’s Zhao Tao for “Ash is Purest White”. Zhao was passed over in the same category at last week’s Golden Horse Awards. In a video message she said: “Zhao Tao said “I was lucky to become an actress, and have the opportunity to play different roles of ordinary Chinese women on screen, to express their difficulties and emotions in a country of radical changes.”
“’Shoplifters’ turns an intimate story about an unusual family into a metaphorical social analysis that is relevant not only for Japan, but everywhere,” said “Leviathan” producer Alexander Rodnyansky, who headed the main prize jury. The inaugural best original score award went to the celebrated composers Hildur Gudnadottir and the late Johann Johannsson for Australian director Garth Davis’ “Mary Magdalene”. A special jury was headed by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. He described the film’s soundtrack as “a meticulous work of art … the quality of craftsmanship and the depth of emotions are overwhelming.”
APSA uses a definition of Asia-Pacific that includes 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people and is responsible for half of the world’s film output. In 2018, 46 films from 22 territories received APSA nominations.
* Best Feature Film: “Shoplifters” (Japan) Kore-eda Hirokazu, Matsuzaki Kaoru, Yose Akihiko, Taguchi Hijiri
* Jury Grand Prize: “Burning” (South Korea) Lee Joon-dong, Lee Chang-dong
* Cultural Diversity Award Under The Patronage Of UNESCO: “Memories of My Body” (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku) (Indonesia), Garin Nugroho, Ifa Isfansyah
* Achievement In Directing: Nadine Labaki for “Capharnaum” (Lebanon)
* Special Mention For Achievement In Directing: Ivan Ayr for “Soni” (India)
* Best Screenplay: Dan Kleinman, Sameh Zoabi for “Tel Aviv on Fire” (Israel, Belgium, France, Luxembourg)
* Achievement In Cinematography: Hideho Urata for “A Land Imagined” (Singapore, France, Netherlands)
* Best Performance By An Actor: Nawazuddin Siddiqui for “Manto” (India)
* Best Performance By An Actress: Zhao Tao for “Ash is Purest White” (China, France)
* Best Original Score: Hildur Gudnadottir, Johann Johannsson for “Mary Magdalene” (Australia, UK)
* Best Youth Feature Film: “The Pigeon” Banu Savici, Mesut Ulutas (Turkey)
* Best Animated Feature Film: “Rezo” (Russia), Leo Gabriadze, Timur Bekmambetov
* Best Documentary Feature Film: “Gurrumul” (Australia), Paul Damien Williams, Shannon Swan
* Young Cinema Award: Yeo Siew Hua for “A Land Imagined” (Singapore, France, Netherlands)
* FIAPF Award for Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific Region: Nandita Das (India)
* MPA APSA Academy Film Fund Recipients: Producer Ifa Isfansyah, Director Kamila Andini (Indonesia) for “Yuni”, Producer Olga Khlasheva, Director Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan) for “Hell is Empty and All The Devils Are Here”, Producer Mai Meksawan, Director Uruphong Raksasad (Thailand) for “Worship”, Director, Producer, Screenwriter Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey) for “Asli”
* APSA Academy Bo Ai Film Fund recipient: Director Feras Fayyad (Syria) for feature documentary “The Cave”
* Asia Pacific Screen Lab Recipients: Sherwan Haki (Syria), Taro Imai (Japan), Khanjan Koshore Nath (India)