Chinese drama “So Long, My Son” was nominated in six categories for this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards, an unprecedented haul that makes the Wang Xiaoshuai-directed film a clear favorite.
A drama about separation, secrets, a lifetime of regret, and the consequences of China’s one-child policy, “So Long, My Son” had its premiere in February at the Berlin festival. There it won Silver Bear prizes for both lead actor Wang Jingchun and actress Yong Mei. Both received APSA nominations, most of which were announced Wednesday.
Those unveiled encompass 11 categories, and cover 37 films from 22 countries and territories.
China emerged as the dominant contender. Seven mainland Chinese films together earned 13 nominations, more than double the six nods for films from Iran and four for pictures from India. (That stands in contrast to the AACTA nominations announced a day earlier, where, of the nine nominations available, Chinese and Indian films picked up three each.)
Surprisingly, Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and is considered a hot favorite for an Oscar nomination, was nominated only in a single category.
The best film contenders are Pema Tseden’s “Balloon,” Kantemir Balagov’s “Beanpole,” “Parasite,” “So Long, My Son,” and Sona Dhwandi Bhed Te Suchha Pahad’s “The Gold Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain.”
Best director nominations go to Kazakhstan’s Adilkhan Yerzhanov for “A Dark, Dark Man,” the Philippines’ Lav Diaz for “The Halt,” Palestine’s Elia Suleiman for “It Must Be Heaven,” Thailand’s Anocha Suwichakornpong and the U.K.’s Ben Rivers for “Krabi, 2562,” and Wang for “So Long.”
The youth film section is particularly strong. It includes nominations for human-trafficking drama “Buoyancy,” China-Hong Kong co-production “The Crossing,” China’s “A First Farewell,” Afghanistan’s “The Orphanage,” and Bhutan-Nepal-Germany venture “The Red Phallus.”
Other notable selections include New Zealand-China co-production “Mosley” and Japan’s “Weathering With You” in the animated feature category, “The Australian Dream” and “One Child Nation” in the documentary feature section, and a cinematography nomination for Teoh Gay Hian for Indonesia’s “The Science of Fictions.”
APSA noted that the long list included 12 female directors from 11 nominated films and 30 male directors from 29 nominated films.
Nominations for the FIAPF Award and for members of the jury deciding the APSAs will be announced shortly. The prizes will be presented at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 21.