Lord David Puttnam, producer of Chariots of Fire, The Mission and The Killing Fields was announced last night as the International Jury president for the 4th Annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards at our international launch.

Some 120 guests from the Asia-Pacific film community gathered on the picturesque balcony of the Residence des Festivals overlooking la Croisette and the glorious harbour and marinas. The unseasonably cold weather stayed away and guests mingled comfortably in the afternoon sunshine enjoying refreshments and Lebanese delicacies. Our Chairman Des Power formally opened proceedings announcing Lord Puttnam’s Jury appointment, followed by our international partner representative, FIAPF President Luis Alberto Scalella, and Screen International’s editor Mike Goodrige who discussed the new alliance between Screen International and APSA which we are all excited about. The partnership will involve developing content for our respective online platforms and working together on the common goal of creating opportunities and developing audience for Asia-Pacific films. The Australian Ambassador to France, His Excellency David Ritchie finalised the proceedings by complimenting APSA on what we have achieved in a diplomatic sense by providing a platform for dialogue between AP countries, through the medium of film.

In addition to his film career Lord Puttnam is very much involved in the business of politics and is a working peer in the House of Lords. Des Power met with him in London last week, in the heart of Westminster amidst the media circus surrounding the recent British election and appointment of their new PM. As a former journalist who has covered two UK elections, it was a thrill for Des to be in the thick of the action on such a historic day. Lord Puttnam was very keen to come to Cannes but his commitments in the UK meant he was unable to join us. In lieu of being at the launch, he recorded a special message about his appointment which you can view here.

High profile guests at our launch included Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, Iranian actress Fatameh Motamedrya, Pusan Film Festival Director Kim Dong-ho, Tokyo International Film Festival chairman Tom Yoda and key representatives from Unijapan, China Film Producers Association, KOFIC, Film Federation of India, Indonesian Producers Association, Documentary and Experimental Film Centre (Iran), CJ Entertainment, Iranian Independents, Schherezad Media, Fortissimo Films, Filmbiz Asia, Screen International, The Hollywood Reporter. APSA Nominations Council members Azize Tan (Turkey), Philip Cheah (Singapore), Yuka Sakano (Japan), Mohammad Atebbai (Iran), and Peggy Chiao (Taiwan) were in the room.

A strong contingent of Australian producers, Screen Queensland and distributors Madman Entertainment and Potential Films along with ACMI’s Richard Sowada completed the lineup. The APSA Chairman and I then attended the Taiwanese cinema party on the beach where I met Munich Film Festival director Andreas Strohl. I continued on to the Korean party hosted by KOFIC and the Pusan International Film Festival. A long and fruitful evening.

Today I attended the Egyptian lunch function with Philip Cheah and saw the beautiful Soheir Abdel Kader (APSA Nominations Council member and Vice-President of the Cairo International Film Festival). Met Indonesian producer Shanty C. Harmayn who is affiliated with the Jakarta International Film Festival and has produced Nan Achnas films (2009 APSA Nominee for Pesantren and 2010 Nominations Council member). Caught up with APSA Winner Mai Masri who was looking as beautiful as ever and has projects to discuss which I look forward to. Was wonderful to see her again. Met Lebanese Director Jocelyne Saab who has the film What’s Going On? in market. A must see along with Egyptian Maidens by Mohamed Amin from Al Arabia Cinema.

APSA Chairman Des Power with Pusan International Film Festival Director and APSA 2007 Jury member Mr Kim Dong-ho;
Iranian actress, Fatemeh Motamed Arya Mohammad Attebai, APSA Nominations Council Member

FIAPF Director General Benoît Ginisty and Supran Sen (Film Federation of India and FIAPF member);
SPAA Executive Director, Geoff Brown and APSA Associate Producer Maxine Williamson

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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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