APSA & MPA partner in film fund for Asia-Pacific filmmakers

MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) have joined hands to form a $100,000 film fund exclusive to filmmakers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will be granted to four members of the APSA Academy, a body of filmmakers comprising past APSA nominees, winners, Jury and Nominations Council members.

Four grants, each of $25,000, will be allocated to the script development of four new film projects.

The inaugural recipients will be selected by a panel of industry experts and announced at the fourth annual APSA Ceremony scheduled to take place in Australia on Queensland’s Gold Coast on 2 December, 2010.

The fund is intended to stimulate production in the region, particularly at the development phase, among the 70 countries embraced by APSA.

The announcement was made from the Shanghai International Film Festival by Queensland Treasurer, the Hon. Andrew Fraser MP at a special event hosted in partnership with the Queensland State Government, marking the beginning of the official Queensland Week activities for Shanghai World Expo 2010.

The reception was followed by the Asian Premiere of highly acclaimed Australian film, Last Ride, one of four Australian films screening in the Shanghai International Film Festival’s Panorama section.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said, "“The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will make a significant contribution to the burgeoning Asia-Pacific film industry, and translate into more vibrant opportunities for its practitioners. I thank the MPA for their meaningful contribution to APSA’s Academy members."

MPA Asia Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis said, "The APSAs have developed a strong reputation as the most coveted award in the region and the benefits of winning an award of this calibre are clear. This fund makes participation in the APSAs even more valuable for the professional opportunities it will open up to its Academy members. Our support of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is emblematic of the MPA’s commitment to promoting and protecting the wonderful work of the filmmakers in this region."

APSA Academy Patron, Australian screen legend, Jack Thompson added, "When we formed the APSA Academy in early 2008, the aim was to encourage dialogue and collaboration between the filmmakers of this vast and highly creative region. The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will provide a very tangible benefit to our Academy members and I look forward to seeing the fruit that will come from this great initiative.”

APSA chairman Des Power said, "Our Academy is made up of an extraordinary group of filmmakers who are extremely influential in the global marketplace. I was thrilled to see such a strong representation of Asia-Pacific films in Cannes this year where four APSA Academy members were honoured with major awards: two-time APSA Winner Lee Chang-dong for Poetry (Republic of Korea), Hong Sangsoo for HAHAHA (Republic of Korea), and the producers of Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand), Simon Field and Keith Griffiths. The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is designed specifically to benefit the valued members of our Academy and I very much look forward to seeing the projects that will be put forward in its inaugural year.”

Eligible for funding are synopses and treatments for feature length narrative films, children’s features, animated features and feature length documentaries, which must have a producer, director or screenwriter attached at the time of submission.

Projects will be judged on the same criterion which applies to films in the APSA competition – films that best reflect their cultural origins, demonstrate cinematic excellence and are deemed Asia-Pacific. The submission process for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will commence on 31 July.

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