Yeo’s prize is awarded in recognition of his film “A Land Imagined,” which won the Golden Leopard prize at Locarno earlier this year. The prize is open to directors making their first or second narrative feature films, and is awarded by APSA, Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) and the Griffith Film School.
APSA described the film as a “well-scripted, deftly directed and beautifully-lensed thriller (that) vividly captures the dangers for and the loneliness of illegal workers against the background of Singapore’s controversial land reclamation project.” The film’s Japanese director of photography Hideho Urata is also nominated for an APSA cinematography prize. The APSA Academy previously sponsored Yeo through a year-long mentorship program.
Previous Young Cinema award winners were director-producer Ilgar Najaf for his film “Pomegranate Orchard” (Azerbaijan) in 2017, and director Mustafa Kara for “Cold of Kalandar” (Turkey, Hungary). Both Yeo and Das’s prizes will be awarded on Nov. 29 in Brisbane, Australia at the red carpet ceremony for the 12th edition of the APSAs.
Das will receive the FIAPF award for achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region. She is known for her acting roles in controversial “Fire” (1996) and “Earth” (1998) and later in “Between the Lines,” about gender inequality in middle class India. Her first film as director “Firaaq” appeared in 2008. Her second feature, “Manto” premiered in UnCertain Regard in Cannes this year and has been picked up by festivals including Sydney, Toronto and Busan. Its leading actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqi is also nominated for a performance prize at the APSAs.
“Nandita Das has made an extraordinary contribution to the cinema of Asia Pacific, both on-screen and off,” said President of FIAPF, Luis Alberto Scalella. “Her works as a director and as an actress met international recognition and her personal commitments in the public debate are reflected in the stories she chooses to bring to the screen.”