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Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Manoj Bajpayee wins big

Eight-year-old Sunny Pawar from India got a special mention for his portrayal of young Saroo Brierley in Garth Davis’ ‘Lion’

  • "Aligarh" actor Manoj Bajpayee poses on the red carpet at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards at the Brisbane EnterImage Credit: AFP
  • Chinese director Feng Xiaogang holds his award for Best Director at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, TaImage Credit: AP

Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee has won the best performance award by an actor at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), beating Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was awarded a special mention in the same category.

The award ceremony was held in Brisbane on Saturday, and hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao.

The APSA recognises and promotes cinematic excellence and cultural diversity in regional film.

In addition to the main awards, a jury grand prize special mention was given to eight-year-old Sunny Pawar from India for his portrayal of young Saroo Brierley in Garth Davis’ Lion.

Bajpayee won the award for his performance as Professor Siras in Aligarh, directed by Hansal Mehta. This was his second APSA nomination, following a nomination for Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012.

APSA International Jury member Jan Chapman said: “It was superb, such a moving performance, I was really affected by the humanity and the depth.”

Shyam Benegal, who was also part of the jury, said: “He gave such an extraordinarily fine performance, extremely well delineated with lots of little detail that he put into the performance, an extremely well crafted role.”

Siddiqui won the award for his role in Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0.

President of the APSA International Jury David Puttnam said: “Over the last two weeks the APSA International Jury has viewed 24 films that between them have lasted almost 50 hours and it’s been a remarkable privilege to find yourself looking into customs, societies, attitudes and practices that you are not necessarily familiar with, and all of us on the jury found that incredibly rewarding.”

The 2016 APSA International Jury comprised five former APSA Jury Presidents hailing from three continents, headed by acclaimed Academy Award-winner Puttnam, joined by APSA co-founder and current Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival Kim Dong-Ho, multi-award winning producer from Hong Kong Nansun Shi, Academy Award-winning Australian producer Jan Chapman, and Indian filmmaker Benegal.