"Dangal", "Pink" and "Kasav: Turtle" are among the nine films nominated for the inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts' (AACTA) best Asian film award. The award, which was announced earlier this year alongside AACTA's Asia International Engagement Program, acknowledges the finest Asian films of the last 12 months, reflecting the popularity and importance of Asian films in Australia. The winner of the award, determined by the Best Asian Film Grand Jury led by Oscar and multiple AFI and AACTA Award- winning actor Russell Crowe, will be announced in Sydney at the Seventh AACTA Awards Ceremony in December this year. The other nominees include Chinese films "Our Time Will Come", "I Am Not Madame Bovary", Philippines' foreign-language Oscar contender "Birdshot", South Korea's "Train to Busan" and Japanese film "Your Name". The line-up of nominees, representing films from India, China, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines, includes record-breaking box office hits, Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries, arthouse masterpieces and critically acclaimed social commentaries that have triggered worldwide debate. The AACTA noted that "Dangal" not only received critical acclaim but also broke box office records, becoming the first Indian film to gross USD 300 million worldwide and the highest-grossing Indian film worldwide. Recently, the Aamir Khan-starrer also became the highest grossing foreign film in Australia and had won this year's Telstra People's Choice Award at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IIFM). Announcing "Kaasav: Turtle" and "Pink" as other nominees for the Asian Film award, the AACTA noted the Marathi film had been lauded for addressing the subject of mental health while the Amitabh Bachchan-Taapsee Pannu film received universal acclaim for its candid focus on the treatment of women in Indian culture. Veteran actors Anupam Kher and Shabana Azmi will also serve as jury members on Australian Academy's inaugural Best Asian Film Award. "We are proud to honour the work of our Asian neighbours, whose films are more popular in Australia than ever before, and to recognise the rich storytelling from this region through the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Asian Film. "The nine nominees form a unique snapshot of the finest Asian films released in Australia in the last year and are all must see films," AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said. The AACTA said the competition for the nomination from the list of eligible Asian films released in Australia was fierce.
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