Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
The Screening Room

Aborigine drama wins top prize at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Director Warwick Thornton's debut "Samson & Delilah" has won awards across the globe.
Director Warwick Thornton's debut "Samson & Delilah" has won awards across the globe.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australian "Samson & Delilah" scoops the top prize at Asia-Pacific's film awards
  • Warwick Thornton's debut was awarded the Camera d'Or for best first feature at Cannes
  • Israeli Elia Suleiman and Iran's Asghar Farhadi shared Grand Jury prize

(CNN) -- An Australian drama featuring two indigenous kids living in the middle of the vast continent has taken the top prize at Asia-Pacific's film awards.

"Samson & Delilah" scooped the Best Feature Film award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards held each year in Queensland, Australia.

Director Warwick Thornton's debut screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and was awarded the Camera d'Or for best first feature.

The film's two stars, Rowan McNamara (Samson) and Marissa Gibson (Delilah) are first time actors.

A love story, it traces the lives of two 14-year-old Aborigines living in the desert, giving a glimpse of a world rarely depicted on screen.

"Samson & Delilah" has also been feted in Australia's film awards: Six major awards at the recent Inside Film Awards in Australia and it has been nominated for 13 Australian Film Institute Awards.

Other winners included Israeli director Elia Suleiman for his film out of the Palestinian Territories, "The Time That Remains," which examines the creation of the state of Israel. It was the first time a Palestinian film was nominated at the APSAs.

Suleiman shared the Jury Grand prize with Iran's Asghar Farhadi for "About Elly," about a girl who disappears on a family trip. Farhadi also won the Best Screenplay award for penning the film.

Acting plaudits went to Japan's Masahiro Motoki for his role as a newly unemployed cellist who takes a job preparing the dead for funerals in Yojiro Takita's "Okuribito" ("Departures").

Thirty-seven films representing 16 countries and territories, from Korea to Iran, were finalists at this year's awards.

The APSA awards were established in 2007 by Queensland State Government along with UNESCO, CNN International and International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

The winners in the third annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards are:

BEST FEATURE FILM
"Samson & Delilah," Australia
Produced by Kath Shelper

JURY GRAND PRIZE
Director of "The Time That Remains," Elia Suleiman, Palestinian Territories/France/Italy/Belgium/UK Director of "Darbareye Elly" ("About Elly"), Asghar Farhadi, Islamic Republic of Iran

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Masahiro Motoki for "Okuribito" ("Departures"), Japan

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Kim Hye-ja for "Madeo" ("Mother") Republic of Korea

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Lu Chuan for "Nanjing! Nanjing!" ("City of Life and Death"), People's Republic of China

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cao Yu for "Nanjing! Nanjing!" ("City of Life and Death"), People's Republic of China

BEST SCREENPLAY
Asghar Farhadi for "Darbareye Elly" ("About Elly"), Islamic Republic of Iran

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
"Hashmatsa" ("Defamation"), Israel/Austria/Denmark/U.S.
Produced by Knut Ogris, Karoline Leth, Sandra Itkoff and Philippa Kowarsky

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
"Mary and Max," Australia
Produced by Melanie Coombs

UNESCO AWARD
"Sawan Baan Na" ("Agrarian Utopia"), Thailand
Written, directed and produced by Uruphong Raksasad

 
Quick Job Search