Press release from TM Publicity

One of the first projects supported by the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, Nader and Simin: A Separation by acclaimed Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi, has won the Golden Bear Award for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival.

Nader and Simin: A Separation also won the Silver Bear Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress, awarded to the actress ensemble and the actor ensemble in the film.

Farhadi received a US $25,000 grant through the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, a total of US $100,000 in development grants supported wholly by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and available exclusively to the members of the
Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

Asghar Farhadi is a member of the APSA Academy, a growing body of Asia-Pacific’s most influential names in film, made up of past APSA Nominees, International Jury and Nominations Council members.

Nader and Simin: A Separation charts the unravelling of a marriage, examines the conflict between strict religious observance and the shifting values of the educated urban elite in Iranian society. It is Farhadi’s fifth feature film.

Farhadi’s previous film Darbareye Elly (About Elly), won the Silver Bear in 2009 and won the APSA Grand Jury Prize and Best Screenplay Award in 2009. It was the Republic of Iran’s official submission in last year’s Academy Awards.

Four projects received funding through the inaugural MPA APSA Academy Film Fund and Nader and Simin: A Separation is the first of these to be completed. The other recipients were Sergey Dvortsevoy (Kazakhstan),
Peng Tao (People’s Republic of China) and three-time APSA Winner, Lee Chang-dong (Republic of Korea).

APSA Chairman Des Power said: “This is tremendously exciting news for Asghar Farhadi, who is undoubtedly one of Iran’s finest filmmakers, and I am particularly pleased that APSA, through the MPA ASPA Academy Film Fund, contributed
to the development of the this wonderful film.

“ The development of the film fund was an important step for APSA. Not only are we acclaiming and promoting the outstanding work of the Asia-Pacific region through our Awards Ceremony and documentary programs,
we are now making a tangible contribution to the region’s production slate at a crucial stage of development.”

In solidarity with jailed Iranian director Jafar Panahi, the Berlin Film Festival presented a special tribute with his films showing in four different sections of the program. Jafar Panahi is also a member of the APSA Academy and
sat on the inaugural Jury of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2007. The Berlin Film Festival had invited Panahi to participate on its 2011 jury shortly before his sentencing in December 2010 when he and fellow filmmaker
Mohammad Rasoulof (Director/Producer of 2010 APSA official entry The White Meadows) were sentenced to six years in jail for a charge of making films against the Iranian regime.

Asghar Farhadi also paid tribute to Jafar Panhi in his acceptance speech.
"I would like to take this opportunity to think of the people in my country, the country where I grew up, where I learned history," he said.
"This is a great people, a patient people, a good people. I want to think of Jafar Panahi. I really think his problems will soon be solved and I hope he will be standing here next year."
Click here for information about the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund

Click here to read the announcement of the 2010 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund Recipients

APSA is an international cultural initiative of the Queensland Government, Australia and a unique collaboration with UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations. APSA acclaims films from more than 70 countries and areas; one third of the earth; and half the world’s film output.

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