The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has announced the four successful projects to be awarded development grants of US$25,000 in the 2013 MPA (Motion Picture Association) APSA Academy Film Fund.

Two projects from the Pacific region are among the recipients. For three of the four projects awarded, the MPA APSA Academy grant represents the first development funding to be received, while the fourth had received only private donations. The funding is for script development of the projects.


The US$25,000 development grants go to:


AINSLEY GARDINER, Executive Producer for Canoe (Vaka) – New Zealand

Screenwriters: Bradford Haami (New Zealand); Maile Daugherty (New Zealand)

From New Zealand, an evocation of a Maori legend blended with a personal story of survival, offering great potential for a visually rich and emotionally powerful drama.


2010: Nominated for Best Children’s Feature Film for BOY


JEANNETTE PAULSON HERENIKO, Producer for Fall Out – Pacific Islands

Screenwriter: Vilsoni Hereniko (Fiji)

A strong multi-layered story laced with unexpected humour, about the effect, past and present, of American nuclear tests on a small dislocated community in the Marshall Islands.  Written by Hawaii-based Fijian director, Vilsoni Hereniko, and produced by Jeannette Paulson Hereniko.


Founding member 2007, and 2013 member of the APSA International Nominations Council


REIS ÇELIK, Director, Screenwriter for Karbala Orchestra (Kerbala Orkestrası) – Turkey

From Turkish filmmaker, Reis Çelik, a lively and irreverent encounter between East and West through music, set in Iraq during the Gulf War:  a symphony orchestra, sent from Germany to the war zone to cultivate economic interests, unwittingly becomes an agent of peace and goodwill.

REIS ÇELIK, APSA Academy Member:

2012: Nominated for Achievement in Directing and Best Screenplay for NIGHT OF SILENCE (LAL GECE)


GARIN NUGROHO, Director, Screenwriter for The Monkey Mask (Topeng Monyet) – Indonesia

From Indonesian master filmmaker, Garin Nugroho, The Monkey Mask is a fantasy story about spiritual and mythical domains emerging from the harsh realities of life in the city streets.


2007: Nominated for Best Feature Film for OPERA JAWA


The 2013 grants bring the total investment by the MPA to US$400,000 since 2010, when the fund was established with aim to stimulate film production in Asia Pacific.  Grants are exclusive to APSA Academy members.


Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association (MPA) said, “The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund attracted a large number of high calibre feature film projects from around the Asia Pacific this year, and I understand that our widely respected selection panel found it challenging indeed to deliberate on the eventual final four winners. However, a decision was made and the recipients are highly deserving of their success. I hope that the Film Fund contribution allows them the valuable time and resources to develop their screenplays to a point where they can attract further investment and move into the production phase – and achieve the kind of success enjoyed by previous recipients. It’s an incredibly exciting time for filmmaking in the Asia Pacific, and we are so pleased to partner with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the growing Academy of filmmakers in helping to introduce exhilarating new screen stories for audiences around the world.”


APSA Executive Chair Michael Hawkins said “On behalf of the filmmakers of Asia Pacific, we are enormously grateful for the MPA’s continued support in developing their stories through this Film Fund available exclusively to APSA Academy Members. It is notable that three of the four projects have received no funding to date, and confirms once again how important the APSA Academy is in establishing a network and providing opportunities for the filmmakers of this region.”


The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund received 67 project submissions in 2013. While the majority were feature films; animated, documentary and children’s feature film projects were also entered. Submitted projects were from a diverse range of genres from comedy to thriller, from adventure to musical, from art and family to psychological drama.


Submissions were received from 18 Asia Pacific countries and areas including Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Palestine, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Turkey.


Determining the grant recipients was an esteemed panel of film industry practitioners lead by returning Chairman Andrew Pike (Australia), a film historian, documentary filmmaker, producer, distributor and exhibitor, acknowledged as a leading figure in bringing Asian cinema to Australian screens.


Joining him on the panel was:


Latika Padgaonkar (India) – Columnist, editor of several books, translator, former Joint Director of Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival and former Executive Editor of Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly. As a Trustee of India’s Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and a member of FIPRESCI she has been on the jury of several national and international festivals. For many years she was National Information Officer at UNESCO’s Regional Office in New Delhi. Currently she publishes extensively on films and books and in her capacity as a member of the Programme Committee of the Pune International Centre he has organized small festivals in Pune in collaboration with the National Film Archive in India.


Sherwood Hu (People’s Republic of China) – Born and raised in Shanghai surrounded by a creative and artistic family, Sherwood relocated to the US to receive his Masters of Arts degree from New York State University and earned a Ph.D. in directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He created the stage production The Legend of Prince Lanling, receiving an Honorable Mention from the Kennedy Arts Center, which he later adapted into his first feature film. WARRIOR LANLING. His second feature, LANI LOA, THE PASSAGE was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola. He returned to China where he produced and directed a 40-episode television series PURPLE JADE for CCTV. His epic feature film PRINCE OF THE HIMALAYAS received Best Film Award from Calabria International Film Festival along with awards from the Monaco Film Festival, American-China Film Festival, American Shakespeare Association and Beijing International Film Festival. His subsequent stage, film and television works were similarly critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Honored with the titles of ”Eastern Scholar“ and ”Distinguished Expert of Shanghai“, Sherwood is a professor at the Shanghai Theater Academy and this year founded ”Film and Television Academy“ and serves as its president under Shanghai Theatre Academy. He was the artistic director of 2010 World Expo Shanghai Pavilion, which was praised as ”one of the most creative pavilions in the Expo 2010.“ As the founder of Shanghai Media Image Art Centre he contributes a lot of his time to study a new entertainment genre which comes out of Shanghai Pavilion, a new art form mixed with film, theater, computer arts, digital science and high tech engineering in a dome environment.


About the MPA:

Promoting & 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 organizations 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



The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by economic development board Brisbane Marketing in a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations, recognise and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world’s film output. In 2013, 39 films from 23 countries and areas received award nominations.


The APSA ceremony is broadcast to 46 countries across Asia, the Pacific and Indian subcontinent via the ABC’s Australia Network and will air across Australia on SBS One on December 22.

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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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