Art and Experience: Winners in the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, were announced on Friday at a glittering ceremony in Brisbane.

Hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao, the 2016 Awards marked the 10th year of APSA recognizing and promoting cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, one third of the earth and responsible for half of the world’s film output.

Best Documentary Feature Film was awarded to ‘Starless Dreams’ produced and directed by Mehrdad Oskouei, who accepted the award on the night.

“Starless Dreams is an absolutely devastating film emotionally and an extraordinary piece of work by the director who was able to win the trust of these girls. It is an affirmation of the power of cinema in the sense that it is cinema that allows these girls to achieve some kind of transcendence of their situation, to achieve some kind of honest expression of who they are and their worth as human beings. A very, very moving film,” said Chair of the Youth, Animation and Documentary Jury, Chris Fujiwara.

The APSA Youth, Animation & Documentary International Jury was chaired by film critic, author and expert festival programmer Chris Fujiwara (USA) together children’s arts and education advocate Nira Benegal (India) and former APSA International Jury member, writer, and feature and documentary filmmaker Christoph Shaub(Switzerland) whose appointment highlights the ten-year relationship between the European Film Academy (EFA) and APSA.

The 10th APSA FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region was presented to esteemed Iranian producer Manoochehr Mohammadi during the Ceremony. This marks the 10th FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations Award to be presented from the founding partnership between the two organisations. Mohammadi was awarded the 2013 UNESCO Award for his film Hoze Naghashi.

APSA Best Feature Film was awarded to Turkish film ‘Cold of Kalandar’ produced by Nermin Aytekin and co-produced by Ivan Angelusz and János Rózsa. The film also won Achievement in Cinematography for Cevahir Şahin and Kürşat Üresin and director Mustafa Kara, for his second feature film was awarded the Inaugural APSA Young Cinema Award, presented by NETPAC and Griffith Film School. This new and important Award launched in recognition of the APSA 10thanniversary to honour emerging talent from the region, eligible to directors of debut or sophomore feature narrative films in feature competition. Nermin Aytekin, Mustafa Kara and Cevahir Şahin were all in attendance to accept the awards.

The 2016 APSA International Jury comprised five eminent former APSA Jury Presidents hailing from three continents, headed by acclaimed Academy-Award® winner Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE (United Kingdom, APSA 2010 Jury President), joined by APSA Patron and co-founder and current Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival Kim Dong-Ho , prolific and multi-award winning producer from Hong Kong (PRC) Nansun Shi (APSA 2011), Palme d’Or and Academy Award®-winning Australian producer Jan Chapman (APSA 2012 ), and celebrated Indian master filmmaker Shyam Benegal (APSA 2013).

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, based in Brisbane, are presented by Treasury Casino & Hotel, supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by economic development board Brisbane Marketing. APSA has the privilege of a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

APSA and its Academy is committed to its ongoing collaborations with UNESCO, FIAPF, the European Film Academy (EFA), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), NETPAC (the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), the Asia Pacific Screen Lab (APSL) and Griffith Film School.