• Year-long development program for emerging filmmakers
  • An initiative of Griffith Film School, the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and NETPAC

Submissions are now open for the second intake of the Asia Pacific Screen Lab (APSL), an intensive development lab aimed at screenwriters, directors and producers from the Asia Pacific region. The APSL focuses on stories exploring an Asia Pacific identity to be developed into feature length films of fiction, documentary or animation. The submission deadline is 15 September with the selected projects to be announced during the Beijing Film Academy 65th Anniversary celebration in October 2015.

The immersive year-long development incubator program for emerging filmmakers is an initiative of Griffith Film School (GFS), the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema), in collaboration with ASEF’s Cultural Networks, the SUN FOUNDATION and TEMENGGONG Artists in Residence. The call for submissions was announced by Herman Van Eyken, Chair of the CILECT Asia Pacific Association, Philip Cheah, Vice President of NETPAC and Ki Yong Park (Founder Asian Film Academy) at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Saturday.

At its core the APSL is a vehicle for enabling film co-productions by early career feature filmmakers from across the Asia Pacific, typically those who have made at least one feature film within the frame of their particular national cinema and are now ready for a larger framework. Bringing together the industry expertise and experience of Griffith Film School, NETPAC and the members of the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Academy.

A key strategy in this development is to take advantage of the Asia Pacific screen professionals that gather each year in Brisbane for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

The first intake of the APSL is currently underway with the selected projects from Indian filmmaker Balaka Ghosh and Fijian filmmaker Vilsoni Hereniko being guided by mentors, writer/director U-Wei Haji Saari (Malaysia) and producer Josabeth Alonso (Philippines).

In addition to the individual mentoring, the selected filmmakers will participate in intensive development workshops with acclaimed and prestigious practitioners including:

  • Script Development Workshop with Jan Fleischer (Mediterranean Film Institute, Czech Republic)
  • Directing Workshop with Mark Travis (United States)
  • Directing Workshop with Gil Bettman (Chapman University, United States)
  • Masterclass with Bruce Block (University of Southern California, United States)
  • Producing Workshop with Lord David Puttnam (Atticus Education, United Kingdom)
  • Co-Producing Masterclass with Shôzô Ichiyama (Japan)

The APSL culminates with a pitch in front of a high profile industry jury of sales agents, producers and festival programmers to be held in Brisbane at the occasion of the 9th edition of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (26 November 2015).

The submission deadline for the 2015/16 APSL is 15 September 2015, 6pm (GMT+10). The selected projects will be announced during the Beijing Film Academy 65th Anniversary celebration in October 2015. Project mentors will be announced in November 2015 at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, as the permanent home of the APSAs. Representatives of the selected projects will be invited to attend the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Award Ceremony, and meet with their mentors, drawn from the Asia Pacific Screen Academy.

Submission requirements and regulations can be found at www.griffith.edu.au/filmschool.


Media Contact

Griffith Film School
Herman Van Eyken
0403 623 529
[email protected]

Notes to Editors



Vilsoni Hereniko’s narrative feature film: FALL OUT

Log-line: Forced to relocate and work at a missile base, the only breadwinner of a large Marshallese family represses his anger until an humiliating incident transform him into a cultural hero.

Selection panel citation: “This is a very mature project from a filmmaker making only his second feature film following a forty year successful career in the performing arts. The Lab will assist in developing the cinematic language to tell his story with more visual textures.”

Balaka Ghosh from India (Kolkatta) Fiction Feature Film

Synopsis: Three old women, attired in black clothes, belonging to a nomadic desert tribe of snake charmers find shelter in the golden stony barren ruins, after a long difficult walk in the desert with their two camels. Here once lived Draupadi who had five husbands, all brothers. The area was going through a severe drought back then. So Draupadi was the main bread earner performing in the folk theatre of the epic Mahabharata. But Draupadi has a shocking past. Our story begins as when the three old women recognised the ruins as the thriving village where Draupadi once lived with her five husbands. The story of lust, camouflaged jealousy and cruel intentions. A unique and extraordinary story in very ordinary surroundings.

Selection panel citation: “Gosh demonstrates sound expertise as a director with good research skills. The selection panel are all intrigued by the story and we think we can help her to tease out the nuances to the fullest.”


U-Wei Haji Saari (Malaysia)

A native of Pahang, Malaysia, he studied filmmaking at the New York School for Social Research in New York City. He is an active member of the Malaysian Film Director’s Organization. He is the first Malaysian director to be invited to show at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes (‘95). Nominated for the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards Bes Screenplay Award for Hanyut.

Josabeth Alonso (Philippines)

Josabeth “Joji” Alonso studied at the State University of the Philippines. While she hails from a family of doctors, a nuclear engineer, a virologist and a molecular biologist, she insisted on being different. Despite being awarded one of the Ten Outstanding Young Scientists of the Philippines and grabbing a scholarship in science and mathematics, she opted to pursue degrees in political science and law and eventually excelled at the bar examinations.

In 1992, she began hosting the television shows, Legal Forum and The Police Hour. After six years of law practice, she ventured into movie production having both written and directed stage plays in high school. Ten years later, she has since produced 22 feature films including The Bet Collector (Kubrador, 2006) – which won her two FIPRESCI awards, and other prize-winning films such as the Philippines entry to the Oscars and recipient of the APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize, The Woman in the Septic Tank (2011), and Trespassers (Bisperas, 2011), Shackled (Posas, 2012) and The Bit Player(Ekstra, 2013). She has also successfully crossed over to mainstream production with films which grossed over 100 million (Philippine peso) each —the box office hits, Here Comes the Bride (2010) and English Only, Please (2014).

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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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