‘Sweet As’, ‘Delikado’ nominated for Asia Pacific Screen Awards

'Sweet As'.

Jub Clerc’s Sweet As and Karl Malakunas’ documentary Delikado are the Australian nominees for this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards, while director Sophie Hyde has joined the international jury.

Some 26 films from 25 countries will be honoured at the ceremony to be held at HOTA on the Gold Coast Friday November 11. Unprecedentedly, 19 of the 26 films are from first or second time directors. Forty-five per cent of all nominees are female and 55 male.

Sweet As is nominated for Best Youth Film, against Firas Khoury’s Alam (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia); Darin J Sallam’s Farha (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden); Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji’s Hanging Gardens (Janain mualaqa) (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UK) and Anmol Sidhu’s Jaggi (India).

A coming-of-age tale, Sweet As is the feature debut of Clerc, a Nyul Nyul and Yawuru writer/director. It follows Shantae Barnes-Cowan as 16-year-old Indigenous girl Murra, who finds herself abandoned after an argument with her mother. An unusual lifeline is thrown her way by her Uncle Ian (Mark Coles Smith), a local cop, in the form of a travelling photo safari.

Sweet As premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, where Clerc won the festival’s Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award. It has since played Toronto International Film Festival, where it became the first Australian film to ever win the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award.


Competing with Delikado for Best Documentary Film are Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes (India, UK, US); Chan Tze-woon’s Blue Island (Hong Kong, Japan); Hà Lệ Diễm’s Children of the Mist (Vietnam)

Delikado follows the tribulations of environmental crusaders on the Filipino island of Palawan. Bobby, Tata and Nieves, the three magnetic leaders of this network risk their lives in David versus Goliath-style struggles trying to stop politicians and businessmen from destroying the Philippines’ “last ecological frontier”. The film screened at the Sydney Film Festival earlier this year, where it won the $10,000 Sustainable Futures Award.

Nominated this year for Best Film are Before, Now & Then (Nana, Indonesia), Poet (Akyn, Kazakhstan), Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul, Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany); This Is What I Remember (Esimde, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France), and When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon, Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal).

‘Muru’ star, artist, activist and leader Tame Iti and director Tearepa Kahi.

Two prize winners have already been announced, with New Zealand filmmaker Tearepa Kahi winning the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO for his Muru, starring Tame Iti and Cliff Curtis.

Saim Sadiq, for his debut feature Joyland (Pakistan), has won the Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC and Griffith Film School.

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

Determining the winners of Best Youth Film, Best Animated Film, Best Documentary Film are jury chair Shin Su-Won (South Korea), Zhao Qi (China), Baby Ruth Villarama (Philippines) and Tearepa Kahi (New Zealand).

Bookending the awards ceremony on November 11 is the Asia Pacific Screen Forum and Screening Program, running November 9-13. The line-up of industry-led sessions features 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 will also includes APSA’s annual Reel Connections event which brings together early-career filmmakers to network, share ideas, stories, processes and experiences. Audiences will also have the opportunity to watch APSA-nominated films and hear directly from the filmmakers at seven public cinema screenings.

“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,” said Asia Pacific Screen Academy chair Tracey Vieira.

“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.”

See below for a full list of nominations:


Before, Now & Then (Nana)


Directed by Kamila Andini

Produced by Ifa Isfansyah, Gita Fara

Poet (Akyn)


Directed by Darezhan Omirbayev

Produced by Julia Kim

Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul)

Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany

Directed by Davy Chou

Produced by Charlotte Vincent, Katia Khazak

This Is What I Remember (Esimde)

Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France

Directed by Aktan Arym Kubat

Produced by Altynai Koichumanova, Denis Vaslin, Yuji Sadai, Carine Chichkowsky, Fleur Knopperts

When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon)

Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal

Directed by Lav Diaz

Produced by Bianca Balbuena, Bradley Liew, Jean-Christophe Simon, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves



Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia

Directed by Firas Khoury

Produced by Marie-Pierre Macia, Clare Gadéa, Naomie Lagadec


Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden

Directed by Darin J Sallam

Produced by Deema Azar, Ayah Jardaneh

Hanging Gardens (Janain mualaqa)

Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom

Directed by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji

Produced by Huda Al Kadhimi, Margaret Glover, May Odeh



Directed by Anmol Sidhu

Produced by Pardeep Taina, Dhruv Bakshi

Sweet As


Directed by Jub Clerc

Produced by Liz Kearney


Aurora’s Sunrise

Armenia, Germany, Lithuania

Directed by Inna Sahakyan

Produced by Vardan Hovhannisyan, Christian Beetz, Justé Michailinaité, Kestutis Drazdauskas, Eric Esrailian, Inna Sahakyan

Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo (Dounia et la princesse d’Alep)


Directed by Marya Zarif, André Kadi

Produced by Judith Beauregard

Goodbye, Don Glees! (Gubbai, Don Gurîzu!)


Directed by Atsuko Ishizuka

Produced by Kenji Nakamoto, Sho Tanaka

Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish

United States of America, Netherlands 

Directed by Lei Lei

Produced by Lei Lei, Isabelle Glachant

To The Bright Side (Xiang zhe ming liang na fang)

People’s Republic of China

Directed by Chen Chen, Liu Maoning, Liu Gaoxiang, Yu Kun, Zhao Yi, Li Nianze, Lan Xiya

Produced by Wang Lei


All That Breathes

India, United Kingdom, United States of America

Directed by Shaunak Sen

Produced by Aman Mann, Shaunak Sen, Teddy Leifer

Blue Island

Hong Kong, Japan

Directed by Chan Tze-woon

Produced by Peter Yam

Children of the Mist


Directed by Hà Lệ Diễm

Produced by Tran Phuong Thao, Swann Dubus


Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, United States of America, United Kingdom

Directed by Karl Malakunas

Produced by Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Karl Malakunas

Woodgirls – A Duet for a Dream

Islamic Republic of Iran, Czech Republic

Directed by Azadeh Bizargiti

Produced by Kaveh Farnam


Kamila Andini for Before, Now & Then (Nana)


Shin Su-won for Hommage (Omaju)

Republic of Korea

Davy Chou for Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul)

Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany

Ameer Fakher Eldin for The Stranger (Al Garib)
Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar, Germany

Lav Diaz for When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon)

Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal


Makbul Mubarak for Autobiography
Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, France, Poland, Germany

Vahid Jalilvand for Beyond the Wall (Shab, Dkheli, Divar)

Islamic Republic of Iran

Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyeong for Decision to Leave (Heojil kyolshim)

Republic of Korea

Darezhan Omirbayev for Poet (Akyn)


Aktan Arym Kubat, Dalmira Tilepbergenova for This Is What I Remember (Esimde)

Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France


Batara Goempar for Before, Now & Then (Nana)


Lv Songye for One and Four (Yige he sige)

People’s Republic of China

Boris Troshev for Poet (Akyn)


Florent Herry for Snow and the Bear (Kar ve Ayı)
Turkey, Germany, Serbia

Niklas Lindschau for The Stranger (Al Garib)
Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar, Germany


Happy Salma forBefore, Now & Then (Nana)


Navid Mohammadzadeh for Beyond the Wall (Shab, Dkheli, Divar)

Islamic Republic of Iran

Lee Jeong-eun for Hommage (Omaju)

Republic of Korea

Aktan Arym Kubat for This Is What I Remember (Esimde)

Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France

John Lloyd Cruz for When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon)

Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal



New Zealand

Directed by Tearepa Kahi

Produced by Reikura Kahi, Selina Joe, Tame Iti


Saim Sadiq for Joyland


The Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) recognises the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific.



Determined by FIAPF–International Federation of Film Producers Associations for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region.

BEST NEW PERFORMANCE  (Inaugural presentation)

For first or second time lead performance in a feature length role.


Recipients of four US$25,000 grants for 2022

A joint initiative of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) since 2010, the Fund supports both organisations’ goal to increase cultural diversity on screen in the world’s fastest growing region of film production. The Fund is open exclusively to APSA members.

MPA APSA Academy Film Fund Jury

Andrew Pike (Australia) – Chair

Mai Meksawan (Thailand) 

Maryam Ebrahimi (Islamic Republic of Iran/Sweden)


Successful Projects and Mentors to be announced for 2022/23 year-long immersive development program.

An initiative of the APSA Academy in association with Griffith University, Griffith Film School, 

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema), the Sun Foundation.

Herman Van Eyken, Chair of the CILECT Asia Pacific Association

Philip Cheah, (Advisor to NETPAC)

Ki Yong Park (Founder Asian Film Academy) 

Anne DemyGeroe (Vice-President NETPAC)