The formation of a US $100,000 film fund exclusive to filmmakers in the Asia Pacific region was announced this evening in Shanghai by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will be granted to four members of the APSA Academy, an influential body of filmmakers comprised of past APSA nominees, winners, Jury and Nominations Council members – many of the region’s most respected names in film.

Four grants, each of US $25,000, will be allocated to the script development of four new film projects.

The inaugural recipients will be selected by a panel of industry experts and announced at the fourth annual APSA Ceremony scheduled to take place in Australia on Queensland’s Gold Coast on December 2, 2010.

The fund is intended to stimulate production in the region, particularly at the development phase, among the 70 countries embraced by APSA.

The announcement was made this evening from the Shanghai International Film Festival by Queensland Treasurer, the Hon. Andrew Fraser MP at a special event hosted in partnership with the Queensland State Government, marking the beginning of the official Queensland Week activities for Shanghai World Expo 2010.

The reception was followed by the Asian Premiere of highly acclaimed Australian film, Last Ride, one of four Australian films screening in the Shanghai International Film Festival’s Panorama section.

In welcoming the announcement, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said: “The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will make a significant contribution to the burgeoning Asia Pacific film industry, and translate into more vibrant opportunities for its practitioners. I thank the MPA for their meaningful contribution to APSA’s Academy members.”

President and Managing Director MPA Asia Pacific, Mike Ellis said: “The APSAs have developed a strong reputation as the most coveted award in the region and the benefits of winning an award of this calibre are clear. This fund makes participation in the APSAs even more valuable for the professional opportunities it will open up to its Academy members. Our support of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is emblematic of the MPA’s commitment to promoting and protecting the wonderful work of the filmmakers in this region.”

APSA Academy Patron, Australian screen legend, Jack Thompson welcomed the formation of the fund saying:

“When we formed the APSA Academy in early 2008, the aim was to encourage dialogue and collaboration between the filmmakers of this vast and highly creative region. The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will provide a very tangible  benefit to our Academy members and I look forward to seeing the fruit that will come from this great initiative.”

APSA Chairman Des Power said: “Our Academy is made up of an extraordinary group of filmmakers who are extremely influential in the global marketplace. I was thrilled to see such a strong representation of Asia-Pacific films in Cannes this year where four APSA Academy members were honoured with major awards: two-time APSA Winner Lee Chang-dong for Poetry (Republic of Korea), Hong Sangsoo for HAHAHA (Republic of Korea), and the producers of Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand), Simon Field and Keith Griffiths. The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is designed specifically to benefit the valued members of our Academy and I very much look forward to seeing the projects that will be put forward in its inaugural year.”

Eligible for funding are synopses and treatments for feature length narrative films, children’s features, animated features and feature length documentaries which must have a Producer, Director or Screenwriter attached at the time of submission. While collaboration between Academy members is encouraged, only one Academy member attached to each submission is required provided they hold a role as one or more of the following: Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Actress or Cinematographer.

Projects will be judged on the same criterion which applies to films in the APSA competition – films that best reflect their cultural origins, demonstrate cinematic excellence and are deemed Asia Pacific. The submission process for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund will commence on July 30.

An international cultural initiative of the Queensland Government, Australia, APSA honours the works of filmmakers across a region covering 70 countries, one third of the earth and half the world’s film output.


KEY DATES 2010*:

July 30 – October 29 – MPA APSA Academy Film Fund Submission Period
August 23 – APSA Entries Close
September 21 – October 2 – Nominations Council Deliberations
Early October – Nominees Announcement
November 22 – International Jury arrive on Australia’s Gold Coast to commence screenings & deliberations
December 2 – Fourth Annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony

*Dates subject to change without notice

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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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