A Hong Kong crime caper about a pickpocket that was shot over three years is leading the field for the second annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards designed to promote films from the region internationally.
Cast members of "Sparrow," Miao Pu (L) and Simon Yam, pose before the awarding ceremony of the second annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia on November 11, 2008. [Australis]
"Men Jeuk," translated as Sparrow, produced by Johnnie To, has garnered four nominations -- best feature film, achievement in directing, achievement in cinematography and best performance by an actor for the lead role played by Simon Yam.
A Turkish film co-produced with France and Italy called "Uc maymun" (Three Monkeys), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, has received three nominations also including for best feature film.
The other films in the running for best feature film, with the awards to be announced on Tuesday, are "Om Shanti Om" from India, China's "The Red Awn" and "Tulpan" from Kazakhstan.
The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is an international cultural initiative by the state government of Queensland to acclaim films from the region that best reflect their cultural origins and demonstrate cinematic excellence.
"The nominees were determined from more than 180 films from 43 countries and areas entered in these, the second APSAs," said Des Power, chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, in a statement.
"We are greatly encouraged by the response from filmmakers from Asia-Pacific in our mission to acclaim their work and promote it to an international audience."
The jury is headed by Academy Award-nominated Australian director Bruce Bereford along with five other filmmakers from India, China and Korea.
The Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards was established earlier this year with Australian actor Jack Thompson as patron.
Thompson will be one of the presenters when the awards are announced at a ceremony on the Gold Coast in the state of Queensland later on Tuesday.
(CRI November 12, 2008)