[Press Release by TM Publicity]

Winners in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film in 2008, were announced tonight at a special ceremony on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. More than 700 film industry luminaries from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States attended the ceremony.

Thirty two (32) films representing 17 countries were finalists in the Awards, with winners coming from Kazakhstan, Israel, Republic of Korea, Australia, Turkey, Islamic Republic of Iran, People’s Republic of China and India received Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The Awards were determined by an International Jury headed by Academy Award nominated Australian Director Bruce Beresford.

The BEST FEATURE FILM award was won by TULPAN (Kazakhstan/Russian Federation/ Switzerland/Poland/Germany). The Award was accepted by Producer, Karl Baumgartner. Karl Baumgartner shares the Award with
fellow Producers Valerie Fischer, Gulnara Sarsenova, Sergey Selyanov, Henryk Romanowski, Sergey Melkumov, Bulat Galimgereyev, Elena Yatsura, Thanassis Karathanos and Raimond Goebel.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM was won by VALS IM BASHIR (WALTZ WITH BASHIR, Israel/France/Germany). Producer Yael Nahlieli accepted the Award. Yael Nahlieli shares the Award with fellow producers Ari
Folman, Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM was/ /GGEUTNAJI ANHMEUN JEON JAENG (63 YEARS ON, Republic of Korea). The Award was accepted by Producer/Director Kim Dong-won, who shares the Award with Producer Lee

BEST CHILDREN’S FEATURE FILM was THE BLACK BALLOON (Australia). The Award was accepted by Producer Tristram Miall and Director/Writer/Co-Producer Elissa Down. They share the Award with Co-Producers Sally Ayre-Smith, Jimmy The Exploder and Mark Turnbull.

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING was awarded to Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan for UC MAYMUN (THREE MONKEYS/,/ Turkey/France/Italy).

The BEST SCREENPLAY Award was presented to Suha Arraf for ETZ HALIMON (LEMON TREE,/ /Israel/France/Germany/). /She shares the Award with Writer Eran Riklis, who also directed the film.


Israeli actress Hiam Abbass received the BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS Award for her performance in ETZ HALIMON (LEMON TREE, Israel/France/Germany).

Iranian actor Reza Naji was on the Gold Coast to accept his award for BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR for his performance in Majid Majidi’s AVAZE GONJESHK-HA (THE SONG OF SPARROWS, Islamic Republic of Iran).

Four additional major Awards were announced for outstanding achievement.

Yash Chopra, founder of Yashraj Films and a legend of the Indian film industry, has been awarded the FIAPF AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. The Award is determined by FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations, and was announced by Andrés Vincente Gomez, President of FIAPF, who travelled from Madrid to be at the ceremony.

THE UNESCO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROMOTION AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY THROUGH FILM was decided by the International Jury and awarded to the Iranian documentary feature film TINAR (Islamic Republic of Iran), produced and directed by Mahdi Moniri. The Jury noted that the film was a rich evocation of rural life in the mountainous regions of Iran.

The JURY GRAND PRIZE is presented at the discretion of the Jury. In 2008, the International Jury has decided to present two Jury Grand Prizes – to HONGSE KANGBAIYIN (THE RED AWN, People’s Republic of China); Directed by Cai Shangjun; and to THE PRISONER (India), Produced and Directed by Pryas Gupta and starring Best Actor nominee Rajat Kapoor.

Bruce Beresford, President of the 2008 APSA International Jury, said that: “I was very impressed by the quality and originality of the films – all of them – and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being around so many extraordinarily talented filmmakers.”

Asia Pacific Screen Awards Chairman Des Power thanked Bruce Beresford and his Jury colleagues, renowned Indian Director and Actress Aparna Sen, US Producer Richard Luke Rothschild (whose production credits include /Tender Mercies/ and/ The Truman Show), /Chinese Director and Professor of the Beijing Film Academy Zheng Dongtian, and Hanna Lee, Producer of the 2007 APSA Best Feature Film, the internationally-acclaimed /Miryang (Secret Sunshine), /from the Republic of Korea.

Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards said: “The Asia-Pacific region is the emerging giant of cinema. The quality and depth of story-telling amazed not only our jury this year but is certain to attract more audience at the global level. There is a growing fascination and respect for films from this diverse region. It is a tribute to the filmmakers that they now have a globally recognised award and the broadcast reach of CNN International to promote their work.”

The CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time, voted for by thousands of film fans around the world, at www.cnn.com/thescreeningroom, went to HIMALA, Ishmael Bernal’s 1982 work from The Philippines.


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