“The Prisoner” wins The Jury Grand Prize at ASPA awards

November 12th, 2008 - 12:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 12 (IANS) “The Prisoner”, produced and directed by Pryas Gupta, has won the Jury Grand Prize at the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), which was held in Queensland’s popular tourist destination of Gold Coast.”The award has come as a pleasant surprise. It has been the most overwhelming experience,” Gupta told IANS on winning the first international award for his debut film, which is scheduled for release in India in February 2009.

Rajat Kapoor, who was nominated for Best Actor for “The Prisoner”, said: “It is fabulous for the film to have won this award. I am really thrilled to have been a part of this journey with Pryas.”

An international jury, which included renowned Indian director and actress Aparna Sen, determined the winners in each category. The awards were announced at a high profile function Tuesday, which was attended by film industry luminaries from the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the US.

“‘The Prisoner’ was made on a small budget of about Australian $100,000 ($66,200). It has been intelligently written and very well directed. The message about the futility of having this kind of money and the sense of renunciation at the end was wonderful,” said Sen, who presented the prize to Gupta.

APSA, the highest accolade for film in the region, also recognised Indian film industry legend Yash Chopra. The founder of Yash Raj Films was awarded the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Asia-Pacific region is the emerging giant of cinema. The quality and depth of story-telling amazed not only our jury this year but is certain to attract more audiences at the global level. There is a growing fascination and respect for films from this diverse region. It is a tribute to the filmmakers that they now have a globally recognised award,” said APSA chairman Des Power.

The awards have attracted more than 180 films from 43 countries, showcasing the talent and cinematic diversity of a region covering one-third of the earth’s surface and 60 percent of its population.

“APSA is a great initiative, which celebrates films from our region. There has been a great spirit of camaraderie and it has provided a wonderful opportunity to network with some great filmmakers from the Asia Pacific region,” Gupta said.

In its second year, the APSA is an initiative of the Queensland government in collaboration with CNN International, FIAPF and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to acclaim films that best reflect their cultural origins and cinematic excellence.

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