Japan’s chart-topping R&B star AI has been selected as the headline performer for the third annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) ceremony, to be held on Australia’s Gold Coast on Nov 26. The prestigious ceremony will host more than 500 film industry luminaries from around the globe as awards are presented across nine categories to leading film practitioners from the Asia-Pacific region.
After more than 4 million downloads of her hit song “Story,” AI recently completed a 40-venue tour of Japan, performing sellout shows to 100,000 people. With many top selling albums, and her new No. 1, “BEST A.I.”, she is one of the most dynamic artists in Asia. APSA is a unique collaboration between CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producer’s Associations. The Ceremony will feature in The Screening Room Xtra, to be broadcast globally across CNN’s global network from Dec 3.
AI will perform the breathtaking feature track from the score of multi-award winning Japanese film, “Okuribito” (Departures) during the APSA ceremony. Japan is represented strongly in the 2009 APSAs with seven nominations – more than any other country competing in the Awards. “Okuribito” (Departures) has received two nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Performance by an actor (Masahiro Motoki).
In addition to “Okuribito,” AI will open the show with a performance of one of her own songs from her new album which debuted at No. 1 on the Japanese charts earlier this month. AI is the first major Japanese star ever to perform at an international awards ceremony outside of Asia.
Speaking from her home in Tokyo, AI said, “It is a tremendous honor to be invited to perform at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. I think film, like music, has the power to tell wonderful stories and transform our lives. And I am extremely glad and proud to perform at the ceremony in Asia-Pacific.”
APSA Chairman Des Power said, “The films and filmmakers of Japan are held in the highest regard. We have had many Japanese nominees in the APSAs since our inception and this year has seen an unprecedented number of nominees from Japan. AI’s performance will further strengthen our relationship with the creative community of Japan and we look forward to welcoming her to the Gold Coast in November.”