Spear nominated for APSA UNESCO award

05 October, 2015 by Don Groves

Stephen Page’s innovative debut Spear is one of five nominees for the UNESCO award in the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Adapted from Page’s original work, Spear tells a contemporary Aboriginal story through movement and dance as it follows young Aboriginal man Djali as he journeys through his community to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world.


The producer is John Harvey, co-produced with Page’s Bangarra Dance Theatre and supported by he Adelaide Film Festival’s HIVE Fund. The film had its world premiere in the discovery program at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Determined by the APSA international jury, the UNESCO award recognises outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of the cultural diversity through the medium of film.

In previous years the prize-winner was selected from all APSA-nominated films. For the first time this year, five films have been nominated:

Director Miaoyan Zhang for A Corner of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo, People’s Republic of China, France), produced by Miaoyan Zhang, Guillaume de Seille.

Director Ella Manzheeva for The Gulls (Chaiky, Russian Federation), produced by Elena Glikman, Yaroslav Zhivov.

Director Senem Tüzen for Motherland (Ana Yurdu, Turkey, Greece), produced by Olena Yershova, Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen, Nikos Moutselos.

Director Hany Abu-Assad for The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer, Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Netherlands), produced by Ali Jaafar, Amira Diab, Fadi Ismail, Baher Agbariya, Hanneke Niens, Hans de Wolf, Pim Hermeling, Maya Sanbar, Sawsan Asfari, Mohammed Hefzy.

Director Stephen Page for Spear (Australia), produced by John Harvey.

Last year’s recipient, Shawkat Amin Korki's Memories on Stone (Bîranînên Li Ser Kevirî) from Iraqi Kurdistan/Germany, was screened in the main auditorium at the world headquarters of UNESCO in Paris.

The previous winners were:

2013: Hoze Naghashi (The Painting Pool), Islamic Republic of Iran
2012: Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale, Taiwan
2011: Ivan Sen for Toomelah, Australia
2010: Bal (Honey), Turkey/Germany
2009: Uruphong Raksasad for Sawan Baan Na (Agrarian Utopia), Thailand
2008: Tinar Islamic, Republic of Iran
2007: Bikur Hatizmoret (The Band's Visit), Israel/Egypt

Kim Dong-Ho, who founded the Busan International Film Festival, is the president of the 2015 APSA international jury. The other members are Bangladeshi writer/director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Chinese director/writer/curator and Beijing Film Academy Professor Zhang Xianmin, Malaysian writer/director U-Wei Bin Hajisaari, Russian writer/director Alexei Popogrebsky and Iranian actress Negar Javaherian.

This marks the first representation of Bangladesh, Malaysia and Russia on the APSA international jury.

The 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony will be held at Brisbane City Hall on Thursday November 26.