Even if you are a deeply committed film obsessive – cpn

Cambodia’s Oscar submission won two awards at APSA

Even if you are a deeply committed film obsessive there are films you will never have heard of that will win or be nominated for prizes during awards season. That’s one of the reasons we love to check in with awards bodies overeas. If only all movies could be released everywhere for us cinephiles! We just caught up with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, now in their 15th year. Indonesia’s Before Now & Then took the top prize but in addition to a few nominees we hadn’t yet heard of, five current Oscar hopefuls won prizes: International Feature contenders Joyland, Return to Seoul, Aurora’s Sunrise, and Muru, and the documentary All That Breathes…



★ “Before, Now & Then” (aka “Nana”) (Indonesia) dir. Kamila Andini
“Poet” (aka “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan) dir. Darezhan Omirbayev
“Return to Seoul” (aka “Retour a Seoul”) (Cambodia, Qatar, France, Belgium, Germany) dir. Davy Chou
“This Is What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France) dir. Aktan Arym Kubat
“When The Waves Are Gone” (aka “Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon”) (Philippines, France, Denmark, Portugal) dir. Lav Diaz.
Before Now and Then, from the far too little known Kamila Andini (Seen and Unseen, Yuni) won an acting prize at Berlinale and now it’s had a historic victory at the APSAs. It’s the first female-helmed film to win and also the first Indonesian film to win!


“Alam” (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Tunisia) dir. Firas Khoury
★ “Farha” (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden) dir. Darin J Sallam
“Hanging Gardens” (aka “Janain mualaqa”) (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, U.K.) dir. Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji
“Jaggi” (India) dir. Anmol Sidhu
“Sweet As” (Australia) dir. Jub Clerc
Farha is about a teenage girl in Palestine who witnesses a catastrophe in her home while locked in the pantry. It’s the feature directorial debut from female Jordandian director Darin J Sallam.


★ “Aurora’s Sunrise” (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania)
“Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo” (aka “Dounia et la princesse d’Alep”) (Canada)
Goodbye, Don Glees!” (aka “Gubbai, Don Gurîzu!”) Japan
“Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish” (“U.S., Netherlands”)
“To The Bright Side” (aka “Xiang zhe ming liang na fang”) China
Aurora’s Sunrise, a documentary about a silent film actress who survived genocide is also Armenia’s submission to the Oscars this season.



★ “All That Breathes” (India, U.S., U.K.)
“Blue Island” (Hong Kong, Japan)
“Children of the Mist” (Vietnam)
“Delikado” (Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, U.S. U.K.)
“Woodgirls – A Duet for a Dream” (Iran, Czech Republic)
All That Breathes, a documentary about Indian siblings who rescue wounded birds, is getting a lot of attention. After debuting with a jury prize at Cannes, it was named an IDA finalist and made the DOC NYC Shortlist too which often results in Oscar buzz. Sadly HBO isn’t showing it until 2023. They haven’t announced a date yet so we assume they’ll wait and see on their Oscar prospects (sigh).


Kamila Andini for “Before, Now & Then” (“Nana”)
Shin Su-won for “Hommage” (aka “Omaju”) (Korea)
★ Davy Chou for “Return to Seoul”
Ameer Fakher Eldin for “The Stranger” (aka “Al Garib”) (Palestine, Syria, Qatar, Germany)
Lav Diaz for “When The Waves Are Gone” (Philippines)
Return to Seoul, which is about an adopted French woman travelling to Korea to seek out her birth parents, is Cambodia’s Oscar entry this year. Davy Chou, the director, is Cambodian-French. This is his second feature after Diamond Island (2016). He also produced Cambodia’s excellent Oscar submission last year, White Building (2021).




★ Makbul Mubarak for “Autobiography” (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, France, Poland, Germany)
Vahid Jalilvand for “Beyond the Wall” (aka “Shab, Dkheli, Divar”) (Iran)
Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyeong for “Decision to Leave” (aka “Heojil kyolshim”) (Korea)
Darezhan Omirbayev for “Poet” (aka “Akyn”) (Kazakhstan)
Aktan Arym Kubat, Dalmira Tilepbergenova for “This Is What I Remember” (aka “Esimde”) (Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France).
A strong year for Indonesia at the APSAs. Autobiography is a thriller about a male housekeeper for a politician. It premiered at Venice this year.


Batara Goempar for “Before, Now & Then” (Indonesia)
Lv Songye for “One and Four” (aka “Yige he Sige”) (China)
Boris Troshev for “Poet” (Kazakhstan)
Florent Herry for “Snow and the Bear” (aka “Kar ve Ay?”) (Turkey, Germany, Serbia)
★ Niklas Lindschau for “The Stranger” (Syria, Germany, Palestinian Territories, Qatar)
The Stranger was Palestine’s Oscar submission last year. It’s a drama about an unlicensed doctor in Golan Heights and a wounded soldier he encounters. It’s a debut film for Ameer Fakher Eldin who is based in Germany but was born in the Ukraine to Syrian parents.


Lee Jeong-eun stars in “OMAJU”

Happy Salma for “Before, Now & Then”
Navid Mohammadzadeh for “Beyond the Wall”
★ Lee Jeong-eun for “Hommage” (also known as Omaju)
Aktan Arym Kubat for “This Is What I Remember”
John Lloyd Cruz for “When The Waves Are Gone”
Yes that’s the same Lee Jeong-eun who was so excellent in Parasite (2019) as the maid/cook who the protagonists conspire to remove from the wealthy couple’s employ. In this film she plays a filmmaker who decides to restore an old film when she doesn’t have work of her own.




★ Park Ji-Min for “Return to Seoul”


★ Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)


★ Muru (New Zealand) dir. Tearepa Kahi.
Muru is New Zealand’s Oscar submission. Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead, Whale Rider) stars in this true story about a police chief torn between his people and his job when the government orders a raid on his community.

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