MPA APSA Film Fund attracts strong line-up of Asia-Pacific projects

MUMBAI: Ronin Films managing director Andrew Pike will sit on the judging panel for the inaugural MPA APSA Academy Film Fund.

The announcement was made by Motion Picture Association (MPA) president and managing director Asia Pacific Mike Ellis from the Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC) on Australia’s Gold Coast. Ellis said that in just two weeks a strong calibre up of submissions had already been received for consideration in the $100,000 script development fund, which was formed earlier this year in partnership with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

Ellis said, “The submission period for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund commenced on 30 July and we have already received projects from renowned film practitioners in Iran, Japan, Russian Federation, China, Australia, Israel, New Zealand and India with more to come. I am delighted that Andrew Pike has joined our inaugural assessment panel. His extensive experience as a distributor, exhibitor and a filmmaker in his own right along with his vast knowledge of Asian cinema will bring a wealth of experience to the task of assessing the projects submitted for the fund."

“Our aim in establishing the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund with our friends at APSA is to contribute to the development of a vibrant creative community here in Asia Pacific. The strong response we have received this early in the submission process confirms that we have created something of value to the region," he added.

Four grants, each of $25,000, will be allocated to the script and project development of four new projects. Applicants must be members of the APSA Academy, a body of filmmakers comprised of past APSA nominees, winners, Jury and Nominations Council members – many of the region’s most respected names in film.

The inaugural recipients will be announced at the fourth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony which will take place in Australia on Queensland’s Gold Coast on 2 December, 2010.

APSA chairman Des Power said, "I am thrilled to see the extremely positive response to the film fund from our Academy members. I commend the MPA on their contribution to the region’s filmmakers. Their commitment will go a long way to support current and previous APSA nominees in the development of first class screenplays, and in doing so we will see the production of exciting new films destined for our cinema screens. I thank Andrew Pike for joining our inaugural panel and look forward to welcoming him back to the Gold Coast for the APSA Ceremony week later in the year.”

APSA Academy member Warwick Thornton, the writer, director and cinematographer of 2009 APSA Best Feature Film winner added, “It was a real honour to be recognised alongside filmmakers from Asia-Pacific when Samson & Delilah won the Award for Best Feature Film at last year’s APSA’s. The new script development fund created by the MPA and APSA will provide a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers to develop a really great script, which is so important of course to making a really great film.”

Nominees in the fourth annual APSA’s will be announced early October with the film fund submission period closing on 30 October so newly inducted Academy members will have one month to submit for the fund.