Actors Leah Purcell, Essie Davis and Caleb Landry Jones have received nominations along with Australian feature When Pomegranates Howl in the region’s highest accolade in film, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Winners will be determined by the APSA International Jury, who will be announced in the coming weeks and announced on Thursday 11 November at the 14th APSA Ceremony on Australia’s spectacular Gold Coast, and streamed across the globe.
In 2021, 38 films from 25 Asia Pacific countries and areas were nominated, further highlighting the outstanding achievement of a nomination in the Awards, which encompass 70 countries and areas and represent half the world’s film output.
Two Australians are nominated for Best Performance by an Actress. Leah Purcell is nominated for her powerhouse performance in The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson which Purcell also wrote and directed. Essie Davis is nominated for her triumphant role in Gaysorn Thavat’s acclaimed social drama, The Justice of Bunny King (NZ). Both films are screening in the upcoming Brisbane International Film Festival, and Sydney Film Festival, ahead of their cinema release.
They are up against three remarkable actresses from the region. Alena YIV for her role in Asia, winner of Best Picture at Israel’s Academy Awards (Ophir Awards), Azmeri Haque Badhon for Rehana (Rehana Maryam Noor), the first Bangladeshi film to compete In Competition at Cannes, and from the remote Yakutia region of Russia Valentina Romana-Chyskyyray for Scarecrow(Pugalo).
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor, Nitram star Caleb Landry Jones was awarded the Cannes Best Actor for this role, and he vies with Iran’s Amir Jadidi for Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes Grand Prix winner A Hero(Ghahreman), and two actors from Georgia – Levan Tediashvili for who recently won Best Actor at Tribeca for Brighton 4th and Merab Ninidze for his role in Alexsy German Jnr’s Cannes’ Un Certain Regard selected House Arrest (Delo). Completing the Actor category is Japan’s Hidetoshi Nishijima for Cannes-winner Drive My Car, who also stars in another film, nominated for Best Youth Feature Film, Voices in the Wind (Kaze no Denwa).
Iranian-Australian Granaz Moussavi’s stunning When Pomegranates Howl(Afghanistan, Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Netherlands) is also nominated for Best Youth Feature Film. Shot on the streets of Kabul in Afghanistan, the film follows a nine-year old boy who dreams of stardom, with the significance of this work is brought into sharp focus following the recent events in that country.
When Pomegranates Howl is produced by Moussavi with Melbourne-based Afghan-Australian Baheer Wardak, Iranian Marzieh Vafamehr and South Australian Christine Williams, and will also screen in Sydney Film Festival.
Moussavi is one of three women directors whose films are nominated in this category, along with Yoon Dan-bi for Moving On (Nam-mae-wui Yeo-reum-bam, Republic of Korea) and Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen’s Scales(Sayidat Al Bahr, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia). The fifth film in this category is Ferit Karahan’s Turkish drama Brother’s Keeper (Okul Tıraşı).
The APSA Ceremony on November 11 will also launch the 3rd Asia Pacific Screen Forum, an action-packed six-day program of industry-led networking opportunities, designed to facilitate relationships and collaborations between filmmakers across Asia Pacific. Like the ceremony, the forum will take place both in-person and virtually, with many nominees and APSA Academy Members participating from around the globe.
Forum registrations now open and more information https://www.