Two Iranian actors are competing for best actor. Navid Mohammadzadeh, who plays a task force officer beginning to question the violent tactics of the war on drugs in ‘6.5 Per Meter’ (Metri Shisho Nim), is up against Mohsen Tanabandeh, who stars as an Afghan refugee in Israel who is trying to bring his family to join him in Jamshid Mahmoudi’s ‘Rona, Azim’s Mother’ (Rona, Madar-e Azim). ‘Rona’ is also nominated for UNESCO’s Cultural Diversity Award.
The film had previously grabbed the Kim Jiseok Award at the 23rd Busan International Film Festival, and won the best film award at the 2019 Sama Film Festival in Sweden.
At the 11th APSA, Mohammadzadeh was honored with a special mention for his performance in ‘No Date, No Signature’.
Also nominated from Iran is the documentary ‘Narrow Red Line’ (Khat-e Barik-e Qermez) by Farzad Khoshdast, which follows a group of young men in an Iranian juvenile rehabilitation and correction center.
Mohsen Qaraei and Mohammad Davoodi received their first APSA nod for their screenplay for ‘Castle of Dreams’ (Qasr-e Shirin).
Both New Zealand and Iran have been nominated for best animated feature for the first time; the films are Kirby Atkins’ fantastical creature adventure ‘Mosley’, a New Zealand-China co-production, and the cardboard-animated documentary ‘The Unseen’ (Kaghaz-Pareh ha), Behzad Nalbandi’s story of Tehran’s homeless women swept aside by Iran’s urban beautification policies.
Chinese movies led the way with a total of 13 nominations for seven films, with Wang Xiaoshuai‘s ‘So Long, My Son’ (Di Jiu Tian Chang) leading the tally with a record number of mentions across six feature categories, including best actor (Wang Jingchun), best actress (Yong Mei), best screenplay (A Mei, Wang Xiaoshuai), best cinematography (Kim Hyunseok), best directing (Wang Xiaoshuai) and best feature film (producer Liu Xuan). The drama explores two families linked through tragedy as their lives unfold against 30 years of Chinese upheaval.
The 13th Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be held on November 21 in Brisbane, Australia.
IRNA, ISNA and The Hollywood Reporter contributed to this story.