$100,000 in development grants for Asia Pacific stories
The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) today announced that submissions are open for the 2013 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. Four USD$25,000 grants will be awarded to projects to further their stories from treatment stage to final script.

An initiative of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in collaboration with APSA, the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is available exclusively to APSA Academy members. The Asia Pacific Screen Academy was established in 2008 and brings together some 600 of the region’s most respected names in film. This influential alumnus of filmmakers is comprised of APSA nominees, winners, and members of both the International Juries and Nominations Councils to date.

Recipients of the 2013 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will be announced at the 7th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, to be held on 12 December at the recently renovated Brisbane City Hall in Brisbane, Australia.

Michael Hawkins, Chairman of APSA, said the fund aims to stimulate collaboration between filmmakers across Asia Pacific and provides financial support during the crucial development phase of production.

“The Fund was established to stimulate film production in the Asia Pacific region and to encourage dialogue, collaboration and business opportunities for the region’s filmmakers particularly at the developmental phase,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Among the 70 countries embraced by APSA, development grants have already been awarded to twelve Academy members to assist them in realising their stories for the screen.

“Now in its fourth year we are watching the progress of the twelve projects assisted through the Film Fund as they finalise scripts, go into production, and begin to charm audiences around the world.”

Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, MPA, said the Film Fund had surpassed all expectations since its inception.

“Film production flourishes and delivers great stories to audiences around the world when people with creative ideas are supported, nurtured and given a platform to realise their work,” Mr Ellis said.

“The intention behind the Film Fund was always to seek out the rough diamonds that show promise as exciting screen stories, give those chosen filmmakers the time and resources to focus on the development phase, and prepare the projects to a stage where shooting can begin.

“I applaud our past recipients for their talent and tenacity in finishing their films and wish all of those submitting for this year’s Film Fund the best of luck.”

The inaugural year of the fund, in 2010, saw a grant awarded to the celebrated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi for what would become his Oscar® winning film, A Separation. In the subsequent years, grants have gone to filmmakers from Australia, India, Iraq, Israel, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea and Turkey.

APSA and Academy-Award® winning producer Melanie Coombs was an MPA APSA Academy Film Fund selection panellist in 2012, and described the Film Fund as “one of the most successful script development funds in the world”.

The criteria, rules and regulations are located on the APSA website www.asiapacificscreenacademy.com or by clicking on the following link http://www.asiapacificscreenacademy.com/film-funds/.

Submissions close on November 15, 2013. Applications will be assessed by an international panel of film industry professionals.

APSA is an initiative of Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing in collaboration with international partners UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

APSA MPA Success Story:
Swedish-based Iranian documentary filmmaker Maryam Ebrahimi received a USD$25,000 grant for her documentary No Burqas Behind Bars (Kvinnofängelset, Sweden) in 2011. Filmed in an Afghani women’s prison, No Burqas Behind Bars premiered in November 2012 at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, the world’s leading documentary festival, and had its Swedish premiere at the Göteborg International Film Festival, the largest film event in Scandinavia, in January 2013. The film was nominated for the Best Nordic Documentary. Since then, No Burqas Behind Bars won Best Documentary at the Paris International Film Festival in February and the Special Jury Prize at Festival International du Film des Droits de l’Homme.

“It is very difficult for filmmakers to kick-start their film project, especially for documentaries, without financial support,” said Ms Abrahimi.

“The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund helped me and my partners by providing the development funds to be able to travel back to Afghanistan to start shooting No Burqas Behind Bars. Without it, this film would never have been made.”

2012 MPA Film Fund recipients:
Kath Shelper from Australia for her project The Guardians

Mohammad Rasoulof from the Islamic Republic of Iran for his project Amnesia

Suha Arraf from Israel for her project It All Started with a Poster

Zeynep Özbatur Atakan from Turkey for her project No Tears


Promoting and Protecting Screen Communities in Asia Pacific
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Motion Picture Association International (MPA-I) represent the interests of the six international producers and distributors of filmed entertainment. To do so, they promote and protect the intellectual property rights of these companies and conduct public awareness programs to highlight to movie fans around the world the importance of content protection. These activities have helped to transform entire markets benefiting film and television industries in each country including foreign and local filmmakers alike.

The organisations act on behalf of the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc (MPAA) which include; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The MPA and the MPA-I have worldwide operations which are directed from their head offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and overseen in the Asia Pacific by a team based in Singapore. For more information about the MPA and the MPA-I, please visit www.mpa-i.org.

APSA is an initiative of Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing in collaboration with international partners UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

The Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film, recognise and promote the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the Asia Pacific – 70 countries and areas – a region responsible for half the world’s film output and home to 4.5 billion people.

The Awards were established in 2007 and originally held at the Gold Coast, but were held in Brisbane for the first time last year.
Website: www.asiapacificscreenacademy.com

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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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