APSA & MPA renew film fund in support of Asia Pacific filmmakers

MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) have announced the continuation of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund to support new films from Asia-Pacific and the panellists who will assess the entries for 2011.

Xue Xiaolu and Tony Ayres will join the assessment panel for 2011, which will once again be Chaired by Ronin Films’ Managing Director and member of APSA’s 2009 International Jury, Andrew Pike.

MPA Asia-Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis said, "I am delighted to continue our fruitful partnership with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in providing support to filmmakers during the vital development stage of their projects. We were overwhelmed by the success of the inaugural Film Fund and anticipate that the standard of submissions for this year will be very high indeed."”

The reception was attended by many of APSA’s Academy members and a number of the festival’s special guests including Academy Award nominee Darren Aronofsky, the director of Black Swan. Several past APSA Winners and Nominees are screening at the first instalment of the Beijing festival.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said, "“When I announced the formation of APSA’s Academy in 2008 with Patron Jack Thompson, our goal was to encourage dialogue, collaboration and business opportunities for the region’s filmmakers. I thank the MPA for their ongoing commitment in helping us to achieve this goal. In just one year the film fund has made a tremendous impact and it is with great anticipation that I look forward to seeing more new projects nurtured under this initiative.”"

In making the announcement about the film fund panel, APSA’s artistic director Maxine Williamson said, "“This year’s panellists each bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task of determining our film fund recipients. I welcome them all and sincerely thank them for being part of this initiative.”"

Attending the reception, Xue Xiaolu said, "“It is a great honour to join the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund selection panel this year. As a filmmaker, I am delighted to see initiatives like this contribute so successfully to the growth of filmmaking in our region. There are exciting new voices emerging from Asia-Pacific, along with new works from highly recognised filmmakers. I’m looking forward to seeing the projects that will come before us for submission in 2011.”"

The fund is intended to stimulate production in the region, particularly at the development phase, among the 70 countries embraced by APSA. It was established in 2010 and the first recipients were announced at the fourth annual APSA’s in December.

The four $25,000 development grants are exclusive to members of the APSA Academy – comprised of past APSA nominees, winners, Jury and Nominations Council members – many of the region’s most respected names in film.

The 2011 application period is June 1 to October 28. Projects will be assessed ahead of the fifth annual APSA Ceremony and successful applicants will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast on November 24.

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