United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation


“Film is vital to fostering cultural diversity, and promoting mutual understanding, dialogue and peage. It is for this reason that UNESCO forged its link with APSA, which is sees as a most important cultural initiative, not just in the Asia Pacific region, but globally.” – Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.

UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.



UNESCO is delighted to celebrate the inspirational films and talented artists featured in this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA). Drawn from 70 countries and areas in the Asia Pacific region, which encompasses around half of humanity, these films highlight the astounding cultural diversity of the region. Through the universal language of art, these filmmakers are forging connections between people, and promoting the values of intercultural dialogue, human dignity, liberty and peace for which UNESCO advocates.

Film entices us to experience life through someone else’s eyes, giving us a more complex, nuanced view of the human condition. At a time when many are choosing to focus on what makes us different, and exploiting and exacerbating divisions between peoples, films can provide a fresh counter-narrative. Each story, each film, is a glimpse at another facet of our shared humanity. UNESCO’s lasting partnership with APSA is grounded in our common commitment to promoting cultural diversity and creative industries as channels for freedom of artistic expression and sustainable development.

The APSA special “Cultural Diversity Award” reflects our belief in the power of cinema to spread tolerance and peace in audiences worldwide. I am especially proud that this year, for the first time, UNESCO joined the Jury in selecting the winner of the 2018 Cultural Diversity Award. UNESCO plans to screen the winning film in our Paris Headquarters in December, during the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

I would like to thank the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for honouring these artists, in all of their wonderful diversity, and promoting their work. Special gratitude also goes to the City of Brisbane, which has supported Asia Pacific creativity through this important event. I commend all of the accomplished artists from this year’s awards for enriching the world with their passion and their stories, and thank them for their dedication.

The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.

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