November 27, 2013
Popular Australian actor David Wenham will be one of the celebrity guests at the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane next month.
Wenham shot to fame as Diver Dan on the TV show SeaChange in the late 1990s before turning to the big screen with roles in Moulin Rouge!, The Lord of the Rings, Australia and 300.
He will attend as one of the directors of The Turning, a collection of vignettes based on Tim Winton stories which is nominated for Best Feature Film.
Wenham’s contribution, a chapter called Commission starring Hugo Weaving, was his first outing as a director.
Other guests confirmed to walk the red carpet for the APSA Awards at Brisbane City Hall include Aaron Pedersen, who is nominated for the Best Actor gong for his role in Mystery Road, a psychological drama shot in Queensland.
Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (Omar), cinematographer Mandy Walker (Tracks), and actresses Ayça Damgaci (Yozgat Blues) from Turkey and New Zealand’s Whirimako Black (White Lies) will also attend.
The Asia-Pacific Screen Awards will be broadcast live into Asian and Middle Eastern countries, exposing Brisbane to a potential audience of four billion people.
The ceremony will be hosted by Channel Seven presenter Sofie Formica, along with Chinese media personality Chen Lei.
Ms Chen is described as the Oprah Winfrey of China.
“She previously hosted the awards in 2010 and 2011 so clearly has a commitment to promoting their importance to the region. Ms Chen is also one of our most passionate advocates for the city through our Choose Brisbane campaign,” Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said.
“She and her crew will also spend time shooting footage around Brisbane and highlight the city’s attractions and its choice as host of the G20 World Leaders Summit in 2014.”
Film buffs can watch many of the APSA-nominated films at the Gallery of Modern Art in the lead up to the ceremony.
Screenings begin on Sunday December 1 with Pedersen introducing Mystery Road.
Other highlights include the powerful Omar which is nominated for the 2013 APSA Best Feature Film category and Palestine’s official submission to the Academy Awards 2014 Best Foreign Language Film category.
Four films from the Best Feature Film category are on the GOMA schedule: Omar from Palestine, With You, Without You from Sri Lanka, Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son) from Japan and Le Passè (The Past) from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
QAGOMA director Chris Saines said it was a perfect fit for the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque.
“Partnering with the Screen Awards reflects our focus on the visual culture of Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and gives Brisbane audiences a chance to see some of the best films emerging from the region,” he said.