by Nathaniel R
Even if you’re a deeply committed film obsessive, there are movies you’ve never heard of that will win or be nominated for awards during awards season. This is one of the reasons why we like to contact award bodies abroad. If only every movie could be released everywhere for moviegoers! We just caught up with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, now in their 15th year. from Indonesia Before now and then took home the top prize, but in addition to a few nominees we hadn’t heard of yet, five current Oscar contenders won awards: international feature contenders Joyland, Back to Seoul, Aurora sunrise, i wall, and the documentary Everything That Breathes…
- ★ “Before, now and after” (also known as “Nana”) (Indonesia) dir. Kamila Andini
- “Poet” (also known as “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan) dir. Darezhan Omirbayev
- “Return to Seoul” (also known as “Retour a Seoul”) (Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany) dir. Davy Chou
- “This Is What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France) dir. Aktan Arym Kubat
- “When The Waves Are Gone” (aka “Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon”) (Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal) dir. Lav Diaz
Before Now and Thenof the little-known Kamila Andini (Seen and unseen, Yuni) won an acting award at the Berlinale and now has a historic win at the APSAs. It is the first female-directed film to win and also the first Indonesian film to win!
BEST YOUTH FILM
- “Alam” (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia) dir. Fairs Khoury
- ★ “Farha” (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden) dir. Darin J Sallam
- “Hanging Gardens” (aka “Janain mualaqa”) (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UK) dir. Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji
- “Jaggi” (India) say. Anmol Sidhu
- “Sweet As” (Australia) dir. Jub Clerc
Farha is about a teenage girl in Palestine who witnesses a catastrophe in her home while locked in the pantry. It is the directorial debut of Jordanian director Darin J Sallam.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
- ★ “Aurora’s Sunrise” (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania)
- “Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo” (aka “Dounia et la princesse d’Aleppo”) (Canada)
- Farewell, Don Glees!” (aka “Gubbai, Don Gurîzu!”) Japan
- “Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish” (“USA, Netherlands”)
- “On the bright side” (also known as “Xiang zhe ming liang na fang”) China
Aurora’s Sunrise, a documentary about a silent film actress who survived the genocide is also Armenia’s submission to the Oscars this season.
- ★ “All That Breathes” (India, USA, UK)
- “Blue Island” (Hong Kong, Japan)
- “Children of the Mist” (Vietnam)
- “Delikado” (Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom)
- “Woodgirls – A Duet for a Dream” (Iran, Czech Republic)
Everything That Breathes, a documentary about Indian brothers rescuing injured birds, is getting a lot of attention. Having debuted with a Jury Prize at Cannes, it was named an IDA Finalist and also made the DOC NYC Shortlist, which often leads to the Oscar. Unfortunately, HBO isn’t showing it until 2023. They haven’t announced a date yet, so we guess they’ll wait and see about their Oscar prospects (sigh).
- Kamila Andini for “Before, Now and After” (“Nana”)
- Shin Su-won for “Hommage” (aka “Omaju”) (Korea)
- ★ Davy Chou for “Return to Seoul”
- Ameer Fakher Eldin for “The Stranger” (aka “Al Garib”) (Palestine, Syria, Qatar, Germany)
- Lav Diaz for “When The Waves Are Gone” (Philippines)
Return to Seoul, about an adopted French woman who travels to Korea to look for her birth parents, is Cambodia’s Oscar entry this year. Davy Chou, the director, is Cambodian-French. This is his second feature film after that Diamond Island (2016). He also produced Cambodia’s excellent Oscar presentation last year, White Building (2021).
- ★ Makbul Mubarak for “Autobiography” (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, France, Poland, Germany)
- Vahid Jalilvand for “Beyond the Wall” (aka “Shab, Dkheli, Divar”) (Iran)
- Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyeong for “Decision to Leave” (aka “Heojil kyolshim”) (Korea)
- Darezhan Omirbayev for “Poet” (aka “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan)
- Aktan Arym Kubat, Dalmira Tilepbergenova for “This Is What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France).
A strong year for Indonesia at the APSA. The autobiography is a thriller about a housewife for a politician. This year it premiered in Venice.
- Batara Goempar for “Before, Now & Then” (Indonesia)
- Lv Songye for “One and Four” (aka “Yige he Sige”) (China)
- Boris Troshev for “Poet” (Kazakhstan)
- Florent Herry for “The Snow and the Bear” (aka “Kar ve Ay?”) (Turkey, Germany, Serbia)
- ★ Niklas Lindschau for “The Stranger” (Syria, Germany, Palestinian Territories, Qatar)
the outsider it was Palestine’s Oscar presentation last year. It is a drama about an unlicensed doctor in the Golan Heights and a wounded soldier he meets. It is a debut film for Ameer Fakher Eldin, who lives in Germany but was born in Ukraine to Syrian parents.
- Happy Salma for “Before, now and after”
- Navid Mohammadzadeh for “Beyond the Wall”
- ★ Lee Jeong-eun for “Hommage” (aka Omaju)
- Aktan Arym Kubat for “This is what I remember”
- John Lloyd Cruz for “When The Waves Are Gone”
Yes, it’s the same Lee Jeong-eun who was so excellent parasite (2019) as the maid/cook that the protagonists conspire to get the wealthy couple out of a job. In this film she plays a filmmaker who decides to restore an old film when she has no work of her own.
OTHER NON-COMPETITIVE PRIZES
BEST NEW PERFORMANCE
- ★ Park Ji-Min for “Return to Seoul”
FIAPF AWARD 2022
AWARD FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF UNESCO
- ★ Muru (New Zealand) dir. Tearepa Kahi
wall is New Zealand’s Oscar presentation. Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead, Whale Rider) stars in this true story about a police chief torn between his people and his job when the government orders a raid on his community.
YOUNG CINEMA AWARD IN COLLABORATION WITH NETPAC AND GFS
- ★ Saim Sadiq for “Joyland” (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s Oscar submission, which we’re big fans of, recently made international headlines for being banned at home, but after the resulting outcry, the ban was reversed and allowed into cinemas, so its Oscar eligibility was not in jeopardy after all. Director Saim Sadiq is only 31 years old and this is a major debut.