Asia Pacific Screen Awards Spots Golden Talent Early

Iranian Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi is arguably the greatest discovery in a journey filled with them at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Years before the heights achieved by “A Separation,” the awards had unearthed Farhadi’s “About Elly” in 2009, rewarding it with the jury grand prize, the screenplay award and nominations for direction, actress (Golshifteh Farahani), and best feature.

Thus when 2011 rolled around, it came as no surprise to those following the Asia Pacific Screen Awards closely that “A Separation” won best feature, the win predating Oscar and Golden Globe glory. His “The Past” scored feature and screenplay nominations in 2013. Farhadi’s latest feature “The Salesman” won the lead actor prize for Shahab Hosseini at Cannes this year and also picked up the screenplay award.

The kudos have also showered Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan with trophies. His “Three Monkeys” scored cinematography and feature noms in 2008, and won the director prize. And in 2011, Ceylan won the director trophy for “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” and the film also won for cinematography. The trend continued in 2014 when Ceylan took home the APSA director award again for “Winter Sleep.”

The awards also recognize films that are not necessarily saluted elsewhere. In 2012, the APSAs nominated Pakistani filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor’s screenplay for “Bol” and Humaima Malik for lead actress. The awards also reward emerging talent: Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “Television,” for example, won the jury grand prize in 2013 and also secured a screenplay nom. Farooki is now Bangladesh’s most visible face in the global film industry and has a raft of films in the works including “No Bed of Roses,” starring Irrfan Khan.

Popular on Variety

The APSAs have also consistently rewarded the best-animated films in the region. The inaugural winner that year was Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai’s “5 Centimeters Per Second.” Shinkai’s latest feature “Your Name” is rewriting Japanese box-office records.

The Unesco award for cultural diversity has been a mainstay of the APSAs since inception. Eran Kolirin’s Israeli “The Band’s Visit” won the inaugural award in 2007 and put the filmmaker firmly on the map. His latest feature “Beyond the Mountains and Hills” bowed at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year and received several noms at the Israeli Film Academy awards. Hany Abu-Assad’s Palestinian film “The Idol” won last year.

The APSAs also reward debutantes’ work. In 2012 Turkish filmmaker Emin Alper’s debut feature “Beyond the Hill” won best feature in a heavyweight field; in 2015, his “Frenzy” won the jury grand prize.

More Film

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Scores Big With $66 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” is showing plenty of power at the North American box office with an impressive  launch of around $66 million at 3,740 venues over the four-day holiday weekend. Sony’s sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys” and 2003’s “Bad Boys II” far exceeded the studio’s pre-release forecasts of a $38 million weekend. The film, [...]

  • A Bump Along the Way Movie

    'A Bump Along the Way': Film Review

    While “Derry Girls” continues to be the last word in young, raucous female rebellion on the Emerald Isle, “A Bump Along the Way” has a little something to add. Sin the same Northern Irish city as the hit Netflix sitcom, but shedding the ’90s nostalgia for the Snapchat age, Shelly Love’s appealing, unassuming debut feature [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content