The 12th Asia Pacific Screen awards (APSA) were given out today at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in Brisbane, Australia. The awards ceremony was hosted by Australian actress Sofie Formica and New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis.
Five Indian films were nominated alongside films produced from the Asia-Pacific region. They included Nandita Das’s Manto (2018), Rima Das’s Village Rockstars (2018), Ivan Ayr’s Soni (2019), Ere Gowda’s Balekempa (2018) and the 2017 documentary Up Down & Sideways (Kho Ki Pa Lü).
Actress and filmmaker Nandita Das, too, was honoured with the FIAPF award by the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations for achievement in films in the Asia Pacific region. The awards committee made the announcement of Das’s honour earlier this month.
The Manto (2018) director was in Brisbane to accept the award. She told the audience, “Thank you for this beautiful piece of art, this beautiful honour. Sometimes you need encouragement. To me, this is like someone holding my hand and saying it’s okay what you are doing.”
At the Asia Pacific Screen Awards function- really grand! With Sneha Khanwalkar, who is on the music jury, with filmmakers, producers, actors. The man with the Madmax glasses is a director from Philippines and a group of Fiji Indians too! The event begins now
— Nandita Das (@nanditadas) November 29, 2018
She had company from music composer Sneha Khanwalkar, who was in Australia to give a masterclass on 26 November at the Queensland College of the Arts. It was a double delight for the filmmaker as actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui won Best Actor for Manto (2018).
Siddiqui, who could not attend the event, sent in a video message thanking the jury members for the honour. “This is priceless,” he stated in the brief video.
This is the third year in a row that an Indian actor has picked up the award. In 2016, Manoj Bajpayee won for Aligarh (2016) and last year Rajkummar Rao won for Newton (2017).
Das took the award on Siddiqui’s behalf and said, “This is more than a labour of love. It’s a labour of passion and commitment.”
Finally, filmmaker Ivan Ayr won a special mention by the APSA international jury for directing his first film, Soni (2019), starring Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra.
Ayr accepted his award and thanked the female policewomen of Delhi who spoke to him and opened up their lives to him for a short time.