‘Cemetery of Splendour’ Wins Asia Pacific Screen Awards Trophy

Cemetery of Splendour Cannes Film Festival
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

“Cemetery of Splendour,” by Thailand’s auteur champion Apichatpong Weerasethakul, was named as the best film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The film is a dreamy rumination on matters political and personal. It takes the form of a story involving the bonding between a hospital worker and a soldier with a mysterious infection. “Splendour,” which relied heavily on European production finance, had its premiere in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes film festival in May.

The APSA prizes were handed out on Thursday evening at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia. The ceremony opened with a tribute to Paris, home of APSA partner UNESCO, and site of the recent terror attacks. “We are greatly moved by your resolve and your strength,” said Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen, acting as ceremony co-host.

They were selected by a jury headed by Kim Dong-ho, co-founder of the Busan film festival, and also including Iranian actress Negar Javaherian, Bangladeshi writer/director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Chinese film maker and Beijing Film Academy professor, Zhang Xianmin, Malaysian film maker U-Wei Bin Haji Saari, and Russian writer/director Alexei Popogrebsky.

The awards recognise and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity in the world’s fastest-growing film region. Using a UNESCO definition, the region comprises 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people. It is responsible for half of the world’s film output.

The APSA UNESCO Award for cultural diversity through film went to Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad for “The Idol,” a film inspired by the true story of 2013 “Arab Idol” winner Mohammed Assaf, who has since become and ambassador for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The best directing prize went to Russia’s Alexey German Jr for “Under Electric Clouds.” Turkey’s writer/director Senem Tuezen won the screenplay award for “Motherland.”

Much decorated director of photography Mark Lee Ping-bing won the cinematography award. It was the only prize for “The Assassin,” the Hou Hsiao-hsien-directed art house martial arts drama that last weekend swept the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.

Best Feature Film
“Cemetery of Splendour” (aka “Rak ti Khon Kaen”) (Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, U.K.) Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Best Youth Feature Film
“River” (aka “Gtsngbo”) (China) Dir: Sonthar Gyal.

Best Animated Feature Film
“Miss Hokusai” (aka “Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai”) (Japan)

Best Documentary Feature Film
“The Chinese Mayor” (aka “Datong”) (China)

Achievement In Directing
Alexey German Jr for “Under Electric Clouds” (aka “Pod Elektricheskimi Oblakami”) (Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland)

Best Screenplay
Senem Tuezen for “Motherland” (aka “Ana Yurdu”) (Turkey, Greece)

Achievement In Cinematography
Mark Lee Ping-bing for “The Assassin” (aka “Nie Yinniang”) (Taiwan)

Special Mention, Achievement in Cinematography: Lu Songye for “Tharlo” (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” (aka “Bahman”) (Iran)

Best Performance By An Actor
Jung Jaeyoung in “Right Now, Wrong Then” (South Korea)

APSA UNESCO Award
Hany Abu-Assad for “The Idol” (aka “Ya Tayr El Tayer”) (Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, U.K., Netherlands)

Special Mention, APSA UNESCO Award: Stephen Page for “Spear” (Australia)

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” (aka “Sutak”) (Kyrgyzstan)

Jury Grand Prize
Park Jungbum for writing/directing/acting in “Alive” (aka “Sanda”) (South Korea)

Jury Grand Prize
Emin Alper for writing and directing “Frenzy” (aka “Abluka”) (Turkey, Qatar, France)

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