Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Japanese composer who will this week be honored as the Asian Filmmaker of the Year in Busan, will head the jury for the best original score prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. It is the first time that the APSAs, now in their 12th edition, present a best original score prize.

Sakamoto was previously the 2012 recipient of the APSA FIAPF award, and performed extracts from “Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence” at the Brisbane prize ceremony. Also on the jury are Indian composer and music director Sneha Khanwalkar (“Gangs of Wasseypur”) and Australian composer, conductor and musician Nigel Westlake (“Babe,” “Paper Planes”).

The five nominees are: Eleni Karaindrou for “Bomb, A Love Story” (aka “Bomb, Yek Asheghaneh”) (Iran); Harry Gregson-Williams for “Breath” (Australia); Hildur Guonadottir, Johann Johannsson for “Mary Magdalene” (Australia, U.K.); Ryan Cayabyab for “The Portrait” (aka “Ang Larawan”) (Philippines); and
Omar Fadel for “Yomeddine” (Egypt).

The full list of APSA nominations will be announced on Oct. 17. The winner will be unveiled at the APSA ceremony in Brisbane on Nov. 29.

“I strongly support APSA’s best original film score award to highlight the importance of music in film and to bring recognition to the collaborative effort between filmmakers and composers,” said Sakamoto in a prepared statement.