The Asia Pacific Screen Academy announced the winners at the 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) at a Gala Ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast on Friday evening, with nominees able to attend for the first time since 2019.

APSA celebrates cinematic storytelling that best reflects its cultural origins, from a diverse region encompassing half the world’s film, 78 countries and areas. In 2022, films from 17 Asia Pacific countries and areas have celebrated APSA wins, with historic first-ever APSA wins for filmmakers from Jordan, Armenia, Cambodia and Pakistan.

Kamila Andini’s Before, Now and Then (Nana), produced by Ifa Isfansyah and Gita Fara, took out the 15th APSA Award for Best Film and both the first Indonesian film and the first film directed by a woman to win the coveted award.

The award was accepted by Indonesian star Happy Salma, who plays the lead role of Nana in a mesmerizing and intimate portrait of her life set against the unrest of 1960s Indonesia.

In being awarded the top prize, director Kamila Andini also becomes the first person to have directed three APSA award winners in feature film categories, with The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala, 2017) and The Mirror Never Lies (Laut Bercermin, 2012) winning the then-called Best Youth Feature Film and Best Children’s Feature Film respectively.

The APSA for Best Youth Film has gone to Farha (Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sweden), the story of a young Palestinian girl set against the backdrop of looming violence in 1948 Palestine. Farha is directed by Darin J Sallam and in winning, she has become the first Jordanian filmmaker to awarded an APSA.

Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania), the story of a forgotten genocide survivor turned silent Hollywood film star and philanthropist, has won the 15th APSA for Best Animated Film and marks the first APSA win for an Armenian film.

Winner of the APSA Best Documentary Film in 2022 is All that Breathes (India, United Kingdom, United States of America), a touching tale of two brothers caring for Delhi’s wounded iconic Black Kite birds, through which we get a definitive snapshot of contemporary India, and its surreal environmental and political absurdities. All that Breathes is directed by Shaunak Sen produced by Aman Mann, Shaunak Sen, Teddy Leifer.

The APSA Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury also gave a Special Mention in this category to fellow environmental tale Delikado (Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, United States of America, United Kingdom), directed by Karl Malakunas and produced by Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Karl Malakunas.

The inaugural winner of the new ungendered APSA for Best Performance is Lee Jeong-eun for Hommage (Omaju, Republic of Korea). She is best known internationally as the housekeeper in Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, her third film with the director after Mother (2009) and Okja (2017). Lee Jeong-eun becomes the 7th Korean performer to win an APSA for Performance. She joins previous Korean APSA winning performers Lee Byung-hun (Masquerade, 2013), Choi Min-sik (Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time 2012), Jung Jae-young (Right Now, Wrong Then 2015), Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine, 2007), Yun Jung-he (Poetry, 2010) and Kim Hye-ja who she starred alongside in Mother (2009).

In the second new performance category, the inaugural APSA for Best New Performer for a first or second time lead performance in a feature length role, the award has gone to French/Korean newcomer Park Ji-min for her debut role in Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul, France, Belgium, Germany).

A first APSA win for a Cambodian filmmaker, Cambodian/French filmmaker Davy Chou has won the APSA for Best Director for Return to Seoul, the only film to take home two awards at this year’s event.

Indonesian film critic-turned-filmmaker Makbul Mubarak has won the APSA for Best Screenplay for Autobiography (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, France, Poland, Germany).

Niklas Lindschau won the APSA for Best Cinematography for The Stranger (Al Garib, Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar, Germany).

The APSA Jury Grand Prize was given to This is What I Remember (Esimde, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Netherlands, France), directed by Aktan Arym Kubat and produced by Altynai Koichumanova, Denis Vaslin, Yuji Sadai, Carine Chichkowsky, Fleur Knopperts. 

The APSA International Jury was presided over by eminent Egyptian screenwriter and producer, Mohamed Hefzy and comprised of Indian producer Guneet Monga, actor, director and producer Numan Acar (Turkey/Germany), Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde and Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara.

APSA International Jury President Mohamed Hefzy said: “Serving as jury president has allowed me a closer window onto the rich cinema of the Asia Pacific region, with its diversity of themes, cultures, and filmmakers. It has been a truly memorable experience.”

The four-person Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury was chaired by Shin Su-Won (Republic of Korea), joined by documentarian Zhao Qi (People’s Republic of China), documentarian and writer Baby Ruth Villarama (Philippines) and New Zealand filmmaker Tearepa Kahi (Muru).

Chair of the Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury Shin Su-Won said: “Our jury members watched 15 nominated films from the Asia Pacific region. Most of films dealt with the war, political violence, and focused on global environmental issues and women’s lives. While watching films, I’ve been thinking that I’m sailing the Asian Pacific Ocean. Every time I reached the port, I always felt excited because of the different themes and style. Also I met a new vision through the window of amazing 15 nominated films.  It was a preciously special journey for me. Congratulations to the winners and all the nominated filmmakers.”

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Tracey Vieira said: “The 15th APSA Ceremony and 4th Asia Pacific Screen Forum have made 2022 a memorable year for the APSA Academy. Multiple countries have won APSAs for the first time, female filmmakers are represented in the winner tally like never before, and emerging filmmakers have won major awards. All of these points speak to the increasing diversity of both the stories being told from across our vast region and the growing strength of many of its film industries to be able to bring them to the screen.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said: “What a great moment it has been to see APSA nominees return to the Gold Coast for the 15th APSA Ceremony. It’s only fitting for such a group of acclaimed filmmakers from the region’s vibrant and diverse cultures to gather at the iconic and colourful HOTA for a truly special event.”

Major Partner Screen Queensland Chief Executive Officer Courtney Gibson said: “There has been a dynamic energy at HOTA this week with the Asia Pacific Screen Forum in full swing and filmmakers from all over the region coming together to share ideas. I congratulate all of the winners awarded at tonight’s APSA Ceremony and I look forward to the exclusive screening programme over the weekend, filled with Q&As and Queensland Premieres.”

The following APSA awards were presented on the night, having been previously announced:


Muru (New Zealand)Directed by Tearepa Kahi, Produced by Reikura Kahi, Selina Joe, Tame Iti


Saim Sadiq for Joyland (Pakistan) *Note this is the first APSA win for a film from Pakistan.

The Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) recognises the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific.

FIAPF AWARD – Determined by FIAPF–International Federation of Film Producers Associations for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia Pacific region

Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)

Also announced during the APSA Ceremony were the four recipients of the 2022 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund grants of USD$25,000. They are:

  • Khadija Al Salami (Yemen/France) for I Wish I Were a Girl
  • Kirby Atkins (New Zealand) for Levity Jones
  • Anne Köhncke (Norway) for A Disturbed Earth
  • Weijie Lai (Singapore) for The Sea Is Calm Tonight

The Asia Pacific Screen Forum, November 9-13, continues with a Gold Coast exclusive screening programme at HOTA, featuring Best Director & Best New Performer winner Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul) and filmmaker Q&A screenings of Best Performance winner Hommage (Omaju), Best Documentary nominee Children of the Mist, Best Youth Film nominee Sweet As.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Forum are presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy with the support of major partners the City of Gold Coast, Screen Queensland, the Motion Picture Association and Griffith Film School, Griffith University.

The Asia Pacific Screen Forum is also supported by Major Government Partner Screen Australia, ATOM QLD, Screenrights, Essential Screen Skills and QT Gold Coast.

APSA acknowledges and celebrates its founding partnerships with UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

Winner clips & interviews 

Photo by Jacqueline Bawtree