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HONG KONG — The Middle and Near East topped the nominations list of the first ever Asia Pacific Screen Awards, a new regional kudofest to be held in Australia’s Gold Coast in November.

Lebanese movie “Caramel,” helmed by Nadine Labaki, Iranian film “Night Bus” (Autobus-E Shab) and Turkey’s “Takva: A Man’s Fear of God,” each collected three nominations, including nods for best film. So too did Korea’s “Secret Sunshine.”

Awards are a collaboration between CNN International, UNESCO and International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

Scope of Asia is based on UNESCO definition, which covers 70 countries and stretches from New Zealand to Turkey. First nominations, unveiled Tuesday at a gala in Singapore, honor 34 films from 19 countries.

“The range and quality of (the nominated) films undoubtedly reflects the aims of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards to celebrate both cinematic excellence and cultural diversity,” APSA chairman, Des Power said.

Winners will be selected by a jury headed by Shabana Azmi and announced Nov 13.

NOMINEES IN THE 2007 ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS

FEATURE FILM
“Caramel” (Lebanon); produced by Anne Dominique Toussaint
“Night Bus” (Autobus-E Shab) (Iran); produced by Mehdi Homayounfar
“Opera Jawa” (Indonesia); produced by Garin Nugroho and Simon Field
“Secret Sunshine” (Miryang) (Republic of Korea); produced by In-Soo Kim, Chang-Dong Lee and Hanna Lee
“Takva: A Man’s Fear of God” (Turkey); produced by Sevil Demirci Cakar

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“The Big Fighting Between Wukong and God Erlang” (Wukong da Zhan er Lang Shen) (China); produced by Hansen Liang and Meiling Zhou
“5 Centimeters Per Second” (Byosoku 5 Centimeters) (Japan); produced by Horitaka Kawaguchi
“Summer Days With Coo” (Kappa no coo to Natsuyasumi) (Japan); produced by Yutaka Sugiyama

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
“Beirut Diaries: Truth, Lies and Videos” (Yaoumiyat Beirut: Hakaek wa Akatheeb) (Lebanon); produced by Mai Masri and Jean Chamoun
“A Great Master Recaptured” (You Jian Mei Lan Fang) (China); produced by Feng Gao
“The Lost Land” (Sarzamine Gomshodeh) (Iran); produced by Documentary and Experimental Film Centre and Touba Film
“A Story of People in War and Peace” (Armenia); produced by Vardan Hovhannisyan
“Village People Radio Show” (Apa Khabar Orang Kampung) (Malaysia); produced by Tan Chui Mui

CHILDREN’S FEATURE FILM
“The Bicycle” (Gulong) (Philippines); produced by Menardo Jimenez and Socorro Fernandez
“Denias, Singing on the Cloud” (Denias, Senandung di Atas Awan) (Indonesia); produced by Ari Sihasale
“Locksmith” (Ghofl-saz) (Iran); produced by Hassan Agha-Karimi
“Mother Nanny” (Inang Yaya) (Philippines); produced by Antonio Gloria
“Mukhsin” (Malaysia) ; produced by Puad Onah

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Nadine Labaki for “Caramel” (Lebanon)
Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mohsen Abdolvahab for “Mainline” (Khoonbazi) (Iran)
Shawkat Amin Korki for “Crossing the Dust” (Parinawa la Ghobar) (Iraq/Kurdistan)
Tao Peng for “Little Moth” (Xue Chan) (China)
Zhanna Issabayeva for “Karoy” (Kazakhstan)

SCREENPLAY
Feroz Abbas Khan for “Gandhi, My Father” (India)
Michael James Rowland and Helen Barnes for “Lucky Miles” (Australia)
Kiumars Pourahmad and Habib Ahmadzadeh for “Night Bus” (Autobus-E Shab) (Iran)
Chang-Dong Lee for “Secret Sunshine” (Miryang) (Republic of Korea)
Onder Cakar for “Takva: A Man’s Fear of God” (Turkey)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Yu Wang for “The Go Master” (Wu Qingyuan) (China)
Trofimov R G C Sergey for “Mongol” (Russian Federation)
Palitha Perera for “Sankara” (Sri Lanka)
Zhao Fei, Mark Ping-bin Lee and Yang Tao for “The Sun Also Rises” (China)
Hooman Behmanesh for “Those Three” (An Seh) (Iran)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Nadine Labaki, Yasmine Al Masri, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisele Aouad, Siham Haddad & Asiza Semaan in “Caramel” (Lebanon)
Hanan Turk in “Cut and Paste” (Kas wa Lazk) (Egypt)
Joan Chen in “The Home Song Stories” (Australia)
Baran Kosari in “Mainline” (Khoonbazi) (Iran)
Do-Yeon Jeon in “Secret Sunshine” (Miryang) (Republic of Korea)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Sasson Gabai in “The Band’s Visit” (Bikur Hatizmoret) (Israel)
Antropov Evgeniy in “Hard-Hearted” (Kremen) (Russian Federation)
Deok-Hwan Ryu in “Like a Virgin” (Cheon ha Jang sa Madonna) (Republic of Korea)
Mehrdad Sedighian in “Night Bus” (Autobus-E Shab) (Iran)
Erkan Can in “Takva: A Man’s Fear of God” (Turkey)