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Iranian nominees and winners of APSA in Brisbane, Australia, from left to right: actor Farhad Aslani (‘Daughter’), screenwriter Mehran Kashani (‘Daughter’), director Mehrdad Oskouei (‘Starless Dreams’), producer Manoochehr Mohammadi (winner  of FIAPF award), producer Mohammad Hossein Qasemi (‘Breath’) and distributor Mohammadreza Saberi (‘Muhammad’)
Iranian nominees and winners of APSA in Brisbane, Australia, from left to right: actor Farhad Aslani (‘Daughter’), screenwriter Mehran Kashani (‘Daughter’), director Mehrdad Oskouei (‘Starless Dreams’), producer Manoochehr Mohammadi (winner  of FIAPF award), producer Mohammad Hossein Qasemi (‘Breath’) and distributor Mohammadreza Saberi (‘Muhammad’)

Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ Wins APSA 2016 Documentary Award

Chris Fujiwara: It is an absolutely devastating film emotionally and an extraordinary piece of work. A very, very moving film

Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ Wins APSA 2016 Documentary Award

Iran cinema won the best documentary feature film award at the 10th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Brisbane, Australia. The awards ceremony was held November 24.
Iran which had seven nominations for four films in different categories, however, won the award for Mehrdad Oskouei’s acclaimed movie ‘Starless Dreams’, ISNA reported.
The story of the documentary deals with a group of young under 18 girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center who reflect on the crimes they have committed and the harsh circumstances that shaped them.
“It is an absolutely devastating film emotionally and an extraordinary piece of work by the director who was able to win the trust of these girls. It is an affirmation of the power of cinema in the sense that it is cinema that allows these girls to achieve some kind of transcendence of their situation, to achieve some kind of honest expression of who they are and their worth as human beings. A very, very moving film,” said the film critic and festival programmer Chris Fujiwara from the US who chaired the APSA youth, animation & documentary international jury.
‘Starless Dreams’ has won several awards locally and internationally including best director award at Iran’s Cinema Verite and Fajr Film Festival, the best documentary award at the 60th BFI London Film Festival and 25th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Arkansas, the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 66th Berlinale and the True Vision Award at the 13th True/False Film Festival in Missouri among others.
Also at the ceremony, the Iranian film producer Manoochehr Mohammadi received the 10th FIAPF award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region. He was announced the recipient of the award during Cannes Film festival earlier in May by APSA and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).
Iran’s other nominations included Reza Mirkarimi’s ‘Daughter’ which was nominated in three categories of best feature film, best screenplay for Mehran Kashani and the best performance by an actor for Farhad Aslani.
Majid Majidi’s ‘Muhammad: the Messenger of God’ had two nominations for the best feature film in addition to achievement in cinematography for three-time Oscar winning Italian director of photography Vittorio Storaro.
‘Breath’ directed by Narges Abyar was also nominated for the best youth feature film award.
Established in 2008, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards recognizes and promotes the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the vast Asia Pacific region.
The 70 countries of the Asia Pacific region comprise one-third of the global nations stretching from Egypt in the west to the Cook Islands in the east and from Russia in the north to New Zealand in the south. They are home to 4.5 billion people and produce half the world’s films.
During the past nine editions of the APSA, Iran cinema had a strong presence among the nominations and was always among the winners of the award. Globally renowned filmmakers Asghar Farhadi and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya are among the Iranian winners in the previous rounds.

 

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