APSA 2023: Indian film Against The Tide wins Best Documentary

Director Sarvnik Kaur's Against The Tide, a film on fishermen in Mumbai's Koli community, has taken out Best Documentary at the APSAs this year

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Two Indian films have taken out honours at the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) held at the Gold Coast on Friday 3 Nov.

These include Best Documentary for Sarvnik Kaur’s Against the Tide, and the APSA Cultural Diversity Award for Rapture (Rimdogittanga), directed by Dominic Megam Sangma.

Against the Tide is based around two fishermen from different classes in Mumbai’s Koli community, one affluent and the other struggling, who both face the same challenges at sea as their environment changes. Filmed over six years, Sarvnik Kaur’s intimate documentary celebrates the durability of their relationship, despite their differences, through weddings, births and financial crises.

Besides the Special Jury Award of the Sundance Film Festival 2023, Against The Tide has a rich haul of awards, including the Sustainable Future Award at this year’s Sydney Film Festival

Kaur and co-producer Koval Bhatia accepted the award via video link.

This is the second year in a row an Indian film has bagged the Best Documentary award. Last year All That Breathes, directed by Shaunak Sen, won this honour. It tells the story of two Delhi brothers dedicated to caring for wounded Black Kite birds amidst mounting air pollution and violence in the city.

APSA 2023 Best Documentary
Acceptance speech via video link

Rapture (Rimdogittanga), winner of this year’s APSA Cultural Diversity Award is a rare co-production between India and China, and set in the hills of Meghalaya. This Garo-language story explores the politics of fear in a north-east Indian village, where the community fears kidnapping and the church prophesises a period of apocalyptic darkness.

The award was accepted by four of the multi-country producers Xu Jianshang, Sun Li, Harsh Agarwal and Stephen Zacharias.

Rapture APSA 2023
The Rapture team claiming the Cultural Diversity Award

Well-known Indian film personality Rima Das, nominated in the best Director category for her film Tora’s Husband, as well as a jury member at this year’s awards, took home a grant valued at US$25,000, picked from over 120 submissions. It was one of four film grants offered by the APSA in connection with the Motion Picture Association.

Another nominee from India was To kill a Tiger, directed by Indian-Canadian film maker Nisha Pahuja.

Indian filmmaker Rima Das, Jury Member, with Anna Katchko, winner of Best Youth Film

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards are presented by Asia Pacific Screen Academy. Established in 2007, APSA honours the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 78 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world’s film output. For this year, guests and representatives from more than 20 countries attended this year’s Red Carpet and Ceremony at Home of the Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Films from 8 countries took home prizes at the annual event.

A gentle comedy about a toilet cleaner in Tokyo finding happiness in the everyday, Perfect Days won the Best Film Award. Evil Does Not Exist (Aku Wa Sonzai Shinai), also from Japan, won the prestigious Jury Grand Prize.

There have been remarkable Indian links at the APSAs over the years. Besides All That Breathes, Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013) both received the Jury Grand Prize in their respective years.

India has also won the award for Best Performance by an Actor multiple times: Manoj Bajpayee for Aligarh in 2016, Rajkumar Rao for Newton in 2017, Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Manto in 2018, and Manoj Bajpayee for Bhonsle in 2019.


READ ALSO: All That Breathes win Best Documentary at APSAs 2022

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