Brisbane: The Asia Pacific Screen Academy and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) today announced the panel of eminent film professionals who will determine the recipients in the sixth round of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, bringing the total number of projects funded over six years to 24.

Returning Chair Andrew Pike (Australia) is joined in 2015 by New Zealand independent filmmaker Costa Botes and Korean film critic and author Youn Sung-Eun. The Fund, created to support, at script stage, new feature film projects originated by APSA Academy members and their colleagues across Asia Pacific, awards development grants of UD$25,000 annually, supported wholly by the MPA. The successful projects will be announced during the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony on Thursday 26 November in Brisbane.

In 2015, a total of 86 projects were submitted from 28 countries and areas across Asia Pacific and beyond, representing the truly global reach of APSA Academy members. The highest number of submissions were received from India (16), followed by Australia (9), Islamic Republic of Iran (7) and submissions were received from countries as diverse as Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Palestine, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Republic of Turkey.

More than half the submissions were for the development of feature film projects (58), while submissions were also received for 16 documentary projects, eight children’s feature films and four animated feature films.

Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director Asia Pacific MPA, said, “We are delighted that the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is developing a reputation for supporting some of the best quality and diverse films across the Asia Pacific. We thank our Fund selection panel for the demanding and important work they do identifying some of the new gems from the wide range of quality projects submitted, and wish all of the filmmakers well in the development of their projects.”

Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy, Michael Hawkins said “As the APSA Academy grows in numbers and strength it is wonderful to see such a breadth of projects from a diverse range of countries being put for this important fund. The APSA Academy’s partnership with the MPA has been an enormously successful one, and we thank them for their ongoing support.”

The success stories of projects funded by the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund are many and varied:

  • The first completed film, from the inaugural round of the Fund in 2010 was Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation which went on to win almost 50 awards internationally including an Oscar®, Golden Globe®, Golden Bear and APSA for Best Film.
  • 2011 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund recipient Maryam Ebrahimi’s No Burqas Behind Bars was recognised worldwide, winning awards at the major festivals around the globe, including the biggest TV award in Europe – the Prix Europa Award for the Best TV Documentary and an International Emmy Award.
  • Shawkat Amin Korki’s Memories on Stone began its development as a 2011 Fund recipient and since completion, has garnered more than a dozen international awards including the 2014 APSA UNESCO Award. The film had an official screening at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, at the MPAA headquarters in Washington and is Iraq’s official submission for the 88th Academy Awards® for the Best Foreign-Language Film.

2015 MPA APSA Academy Panelists are:

Andrew Pike:  film distributor, film historian and documentary filmmaker.  With Ross Cooper, he co-authored Australian Film 1900-1977. His company, Ronin Films, distributed many Chinese Fifth Generation films in the 1980s, and many Japanese classics.  The company’s Australian releases have included Strictly Ballroom and Shine.  In 2007, he received an Order of Australia Medal and an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra. For ten years until 2012, he served on various iterations of the Board of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.  In 2007 he produced the documentary Across the Plateau for Chinese director Zhang Zeming.  As a documentary director, his films include Angels Of WarThe Chifleys Of Busby StreetEmily In Japan, and Message From Mungo (co-directed with Ann McGrath and winner of a United Nations Association Media Award in November 2014).  In 2015 he was General Manager of the Canberra International Film Festival.

Youn Sung-Eun: One of Korea’s most important film ctitics, Youn Sung-Eun has a PhD in film studies from the prestigious Han-Yang University. A respected university lecturer in film theory and history, she has also published two books. Her film reviews are published weekly in newspapers such as Busan Daily and Seoul Newspaper and she features as a regular reviewer on both TV and radio, including the long-running EBS TV program Cinema Paradise. This year she established new film commentary programs on both KT olleh TV and CBS radio. Youn Sung-Eun is member of the executive committee of the Korean Association of Film Critics and a member of FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique). Youn Sung-Eun has acted as moderator over 5 years for the renowned Busan International Film Festival and is an experienced festival programmer with 6 years programming the Seoul Christianity Film Festival (Seoul International Agape Film Festival).

Costa Botes: Costa is an award winning independent New Zealand filmmaker who writes, directs, produces, and edits across short, feature and documentary formats, and mentors young talent. Costa’s international acclaim includes the Jury Prize at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Forgotten Silver, a mockumentary co-written & co-directed with Peter Jackson in 1995 won a special critics prize at the Venice Film Festival and has become a cult favourite worldwide. Costa established his own production company, Lone Pine Film & TV Productions in 2005 to make independent documentaries and his films have garnered selection at Slamdance, Hot Docs, IDFA, and Toronto International Film Festival. His most recent documentary is Act of Kindness, the story of a young New Zealander’s experiences in post-Genocide Rwanda.


The Asia Pacific Screen Awards are the region’s highest accolade in film, and now in its 9th edition, the nominees represent 39 films from 22 countries and areas of Asia Pacific.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, now with a permanent home in Brisbane; Australia’s New World City, are presented by Treasury Casino & Hotel, supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by economic development board Brisbane Marketing. APSA has the privilege of a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations, and recognises and promotes cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and is responsible for half of the world’s film output.

All nominees, International Nominations Council and APSA International Jury members are inducted into the APSA Academy presided over by President, Australian screen legend Jack Thompson. The Academy boasts over 870 of the region’s leading filmmakers and provides exclusive networking, development and funding opportunities available to Academy members through the APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize, the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, the APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund and Academy mentoring opportunities for the next generation of Asia Pacific filmmakers through the Asia Pacific Screen Lab. The APSA’s Academy partner, the European Film Academy shares the common interest of presenting pan-International Awards that promote and award excellence in cinema.


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 www.mpa-i.org.

WATCH THE CEREMONY WEBCAST LIVE on Thursday, 26 November 2015 from 19.00 (AEST) at:www.asiapacificscreenacademy.com


APSA welcomes applications for accreditation from national and international media for BAPFF, APSA Red Carpet arrivals, APSA Awards Ceremony and for the week of activities.

To apply for media accreditation CLICK HERE  

CLICK HERE to view the full list of 2015 APSA nominations

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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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