The Asia Pacific Screen Academy today announced the full list of nominees for the 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), as well as the International Juries who will determine the winners ahead of the glamorous APSA Ceremony at HOTA on Australia’s Gold Coast on Friday November 11. The full Asia Pacific Screen Forum programme and screening schedule were also announced.

The first two APSA Award winners have also been revealed, with the films confirmed to participate in the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Forum.

Muru (New Zealand), directed by Tearepa Kahi and starring Tame Iti and APSA Academy Member Cliff Curtis, takes home the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO, an award that is at the heart of what APSA represents.

Saim Sadiq, for his debut feature Joyland (Pakistan), has won the Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS), which recognises the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific.

APSA honours the cinematic excellence of 78 countries and areas from the region producing half the world’s film, celebrating cinematic storytelling that best reflects its cultural origins and the diversity of the Asia Pacific.

Unprecedentedly, in 2022, 19 of the 26 films are from first or second time directors, heralding a bright future for the region’s filmmaking. Across all 94 nominees, a total of 45% are female and 55% male.

Nominated for the APSA for Best Film in 2022 are Before, Now & Then (Nana, Indonesia), also nominated for Best Director (Kamila Andini), Best Performance (Happy Salma) and Best Cinematography (Batara Goempar); Poet (Akyn, Kazakhstan), also nominated for Best Screenplay (writer, director Darezhan Omirbayev) and Best Cinematography (Boris Troshev); Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul, Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany), also nominated for Best Director (Davy Chou); This Is What I Remember (Esimde, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France), with writer, director and star Aktan Arym Kubat nominated for Best Performance and Best Screenplay together with Dalmira Tilepbergenova; and When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon, Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal) which sees Lav Diaz nominated for Best Director and John Lloyd Cruz nominated for Best Performance.

The winners of Best Film, Screenplay, Cinematography, Performance and Director will be determined by the APSA International Jury, presided over by eminent Egyptian screenwriter and producer, Mohamed Hefzy. Hefzy will be joined by leading Indian producer Guneet Monga, actor, director and producer Numan Acar (Turkey/Germany), renowned Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde and acclaimed Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara. The International Jury will also award a Jury Grand Prize.

The four-person Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury will determine the winners in these feature categories. In 2022, the Jury Chair is Shin Su-Won (Republic of Korea), who is also nominated for Best Director for her film Hommage (Omaju). Shin will be joined on the Jury by documentarian Zhao Qi (People’s Republic of China), documentarian and writer Baby Ruth Villarama (Philippines) and New Zealand filmmaker Tearepa Kahi (Muru).

In the running for APSA Best Youth Film are Alam (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia), Farha (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden), Hanging Gardens (Janain mualaqa, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom), Jaggi (India) and Sweet As (Australia).

Competing for the APSA for Best Animated Film are Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania), Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo (Dounia et la princesse d’Alep, Canada), Goodbye, Don Glees! (Gubbai, Don Gurîzu!, Japan), Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish (United States of America, Netherlands) and anthology feature To The Bright Side (Xiang zhe ming liang na fang, People’s Republic of China).

Vying for APSA Best Documentary are All That Breathes (India, United Kingdom, United States of America), Blue Island (Hong Kong, Japan), Children of the Mist (Vietnam), Delikado (Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, United States of America, United Kingdom) and Woodgirls – A Duet for a Dream (Islamic Republic of Iran, Czech Republic).

See below for a full list of nominations. Also presented on the night will be the FIAPF Award, determined by International Federation of Film Producers Associations for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region, the Best New Performer Award and the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund recipients for 2022.

Bookending the Awards Ceremony on November 11 is the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Forum and Screening Programme, November 9-13. The line-up of industry-led sessions released today is an action-packed schedule featuring a ‘Spotlight on the Middle East’ and topics focusing on filmmaking for social change, rights and recoupment in structuring investments, co-productions, film-friendly locations, and a panel discussion to unpack the role of festivals, awards and media in a film’s journey to audiences.

The Forum includes APSA’s annual Reel Connections event which brings together early-career filmmakers to share ideas, stories, processes and experiences in a special networking event. Additionally, audiences have the opportunity to watch APSA-nominated films and hear directly from the filmmakers at seven public cinema screenings held at HOTA -Home of the Arts.

The dynamic Forum programme enables the local screen industry to access the incredible filmmaking talents of the region and engage with issues that matter to filmmakers through an Asia Pacific lens. Connecting the national industry with the global conversation, it fosters connections and collaborations, as well as cultural and knowledge exchange both from within Australia and across the Asia Pacific.

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Tracey Vieira said:

“In 2022 APSA reaches a momentous milestone, celebrating its 15th year. In that time the APSA Academy has grown to unite more than 1400 esteemed filmmakers from the region. The AP Screen Forum has become a cornerstone of the event, offering the chance to gather, connect and converse with industry peers. Looking at the 2022 nominees, the number of international co-productions, the greater gender balance and the phenomenal representation of first and second time filmmakers are all signs of an industry that continues to grow and evolve toward a bright future and, 15 years on, APSA has stayed true to its main aim, the celebration and preservation of culture through the cinematic storytelling across our region.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said:

“The Gold Coast attracts major film production from all over the world. APSA is a jewel in the crown, offering the opportunity to welcome filmmakers from all over the region to come together, to celebrate their cinematic achievements, and to do it in style at a summery Red Carpet gala event. With the borders open to travel once again, we look forward to welcoming everyone in person to our unique Gold Coast.’’

Major Partner Screen Queensland Chief Creative Officer, Dr Belinda Burns said:

“Screen Queensland would like to congratulate all of the nominees at the 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), as well as the first two winners. We are proud that Queensland is the host state of this prestigious event, now 15 years strong, and we look forward to welcoming all guests of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and participating Australian filmmakers to the Gold Coast. As well as being a celebration of the achievements of those nominated and awarded, APSA is an important opportunity for fostering connections and collaborations across our diverse region, relationships that will see the filmmaking industry in our state go from strength to strength.”

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Forum are presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy with the support of major partners the City of Gold Coast, Screen Queensland, the Motion Picture Association and Griffith Film School, Griffith University.

The Asia Pacific Screen Forum is also supported by Major Government Partner Screen Australia, ATOM QLD, Screenrights, Essential Screen Skills and QT Gold Coast.

APSA acknowledges and celebrates its founding partnerships with UNESCO and FIAPF- International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

Tickets are on sale for the full Forum and the 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony. Both events will be presented as physical events at HOTA on the Gold Coast and the Forum will be globally streamed.