Actor Rajkummar Rao, Sexy Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and Manipuri movie Lady of the Lake are representing India in the nomination list for the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).
Rajkummar’s name features in the Best Performance by an Actor category for his performance in Newton, which has also been nominated for Best Screenplay Award for Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari.
“Happy to share that I’ve been nominated for the best performance by an actor in the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Newton, also Best Screenplay,” Rajkummar tweeted.
Newton is India’s official entry for the Oscars’ Foreign Film Language segment.
As for Sasidharan, he is excited about getting an Achievement in Directing nomination for his movie Sexy Durga. The film has been in the news in India as it was refused censor exemption to be screened at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, but the censor board gave it a U/A certificate after 21 audio mutes and a title change to “S Durga” for theatrical release.
For the director, the APSA nomination is a reason to cheer.
“This is something special! A great news for Sexy Durga‘. A great news for the humble indie film movement in Malayalam,” Sasidharan wrote on Facebook.
Regional Indian cinema too has a reason to celebrate.
Shehnad Jalal has been nominated in the Achievement in Cinematography category for Lady of the Lake.
The movie, directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, is also part of the prestigious APSA Cultural Diversity Award, which is under the patronage of Unesco. The award represents the shared common goals of APSA and Unesco, to promote diversity of cultural expression and raise awareness of the value of culture at local, national and international levels.
All the nominations were drawn from 298 films that were in competition for APSA. The nominees were decided by the International Nominations Council from 47 Asia Pacific countries and areas — the largest country spread to date, which for the first time featured a film from Oman.
In 2017, 26 percent of the films in competition were directed by women and 51 percent were directed by first or second-time filmmakers, read a statement on the official APSA website.