Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s “Drive My Car” and Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero,” two films that debuted in Cannes, emerge as the strong favorites for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards after nominations were announced on Wednesday, Variety reported.
Both films are nominated for best film, best directing, best screenplay and best performance by an actor.
The best film category is rounded out by nominations for India-France co-production “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” directed by India’s Payal Kapadia; “The Pencil” from Russia’s Natalya Nazarova; and “There is No Evil,” an Iran-Czech-Germany co-production directed by Mohammad Rasoulof that won the Golden Bear in Berlin.
Organizers said that nominations had gone to 38 films from 25 Asia Pacific countries and regions. Films from Japan and Iran each collected seven nominations.
Given the impact of COVID-19 on the region, the eligibility of films in competition this year was extended back to the end of 2019.
The APSA winners will be decided by a yet-to-be-announced jury. The prizes will be presented on Nov. 11 at a ceremony at Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
The prize ceremony will also see APSA prizes in three special categories: the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO; the Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC and GFS; and the FIAPF Award for Contribution to Asia Pacific Cinema. The recipients of the four MPA APSA Academy Film Fund grants will also be named.
Directed by Asghar Farhadi, ‘A Hero’ tells the story of Rahim, imprisoned because unable to repay a debt. Amazon Studios has acquired US rights to the Iranian film.
Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Raana Azadivar, Fereshteh Sadr Orafai and Sarina Farhadi are among the cast members of the flick.
In its first international presence, ‘A Hero’ went on the screen at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in France.
Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ and Juho Kuosmanen’s ‘Compartment n°6’ received jointly the Grand Prix of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
The film has also been screened at the 69th edition of the BFI London Film Festival in the UK, the 39th edition of the Miami International Film Festival in the US, and the Film Festival Cologne in Germany.
‘A Hero’ is also selected to be screened at the 45th edition of the São Paulo International Film Festival which is slated to be held on 21 October – 3 November 2021 in Brazil.