Story of love and loyalty takes top prize at Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
SBS Film (via APSA

13 Dec 2013 - 12:42 PM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2013 - 12:42 PM

Palestinian film Omar has won the Best Feature Film Award at the seventh annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region's highest accolade in film.

Produced, written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, and produced by Waleed F. Zuaiter, David Gerson and Hany Abu-Assad, Omar is the first film to be fully funded by the Palestinian film industry.

Films from, India, People's Republic of China and Republic of Korea took home two awards each, films from Bangladesh, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and Singapore also collected awards, with a further two special mentions going to films from Kazakhstan and Iraqi Kurdistan.

India's The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, took out two major awards at the ceremony. First time feature filmmaker Ritesh Batra won the Best Screenplay award and a Jury Grand Prize, one of two awarded.

Television (Bangladesh) produced by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, was also awarded a Jury Grand Prize, the first time an Asia Pacific Screen Award has gone to a film from Bangladesh.

Zhang Ziyi was awarded Best Performance by an Actress for her role in martial arts drama Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster, Hong Kong (PRC), People's Republic of China). Directed by Wong Kar Wai, it chronicles the life of Chinese Grandmaster Ip Man, whose students included Bruce Lee. Accepting the award from Los Angeles Zhang Ziyi said, 'I wish I could fly to you like all my characters in all of my movies... I wish to thank the jury for this prize, it's an honour to be in the company of these wonderful actresses from many different countries, representing different cultures, I share this award with all of you.'

Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun won Best Performance by An Actor for Masquerade (Republic of Korea), the fourth-highest grossing Korean film, in which he plays two roles.

Anthony Chen won Achievement in Directing for his touching debut feature film Ilo, Ilo (Singapore), the story of a young Singaporean boy and his live-in Filipino maid from the Ilo, Ilo province in the Philippines.

The International Jury awarded two additional special mentions for Achievement in Directing to Emir Baigazin for Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Kazakhstan, Germany, France) and to Hiner Saleem for My Sweet Pepper Land (Iraqi Kurdistan, France, Germany).

Lu Yue won the Achievement in Cinematography award for Yi Jiu Si Er (Back to 1942, People's Republic of China). Lu Yue is already an APSA Academy member, having received a nomination in the same category in 2010 for Tangshan Dadizheng (Aftershock).

The UNESCO award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film was awarded to The Painting Pool from Islamic Republic of Iran. Produced by Manoochehr Mohammadi, the award was accepted by lead actress and nominee Negar Javaherian.

Winners in three categories were determined by APSA Academy members through Academy voting: Best Children's Feature Film, Best Animated Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature Film.

Beom-joe So-nyeon (Juvenile Offender) from Republic of Korea, produced by Park Joo-young, collected the Best Children's Feature Film award. The story of a young juvenile offender who is reunited with a mother he never knew he had, the film stars award-winning newcomer Seo Young-joo and K-pop star Lee Jung-hyun.

Winner of the Best Animated Feature Film was Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza, from the Russian Federation, produced by Sergey Selyanov, Leonid Yarmolnik, Yuri Kushnerev, Oleg Urushev, Konstantin Ernst.

Winner of the Best Documentary Feature Film was The Act of Killing (Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom). Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Joshua Oppenheimer, Michael Uwemedimo and anonymous Indonesian producers, and co-produced by Torstein Grude, Bjarte Mørner Tveit, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Christine Cynn, the award was accepted on the night by Norwegian producer Anne Köhncke.

Korean film producer Lee Choon-yun was the recipient of the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region.

Six of the award-winning films also represented their country as the official submission to the 2014 Academy Awards® for the Best Foreign Language Film category:
Television (Bangladesh)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
Omar (Palestine)
Back to 1942 (People's Republic of China)
Juvenile Offender (Republic of Korea)
Ilo, Ilo (Singapore)

The Act of Killing has been shortlisted for an Academy Award® nomination in the documentary category.

SBS ONE will screen the broadcast of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards on December 22.