Former APSA Film Director Maxine Williamson takes on new challenge with Brisbane International Film Festival reboot

After a decade at the helm of the APSA Competition, former Artistic Director and Film Director Maxine Williamson departs the Awards and takes up Directorship of the newly rebooted Brisbane International Film Festival.

The APSA is considered the most prestigious film award in Asia Pacific, and was the creation of founding Chairman Des Power AM. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards were conceived with the key objectives to honour films that demonstrate cinematic excellence and reflect their cultural origins, and to promote the outstanding cinematic works of this vast region to a global community.

As a founding APSA team member in 2007, Maxine Williamson was charged by Power with the challenge of establishing the film competition for the 70 countries and areas of APSA’s remit and developing and maintaining the integrity, governance and excellence of the APSA Competition.

In its second year, APSA launched the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, a first for the region’s filmmakers. The Academy is comprised of those honoured by the APSAs as nominees, winners, selectors and members of the eminent APSA International Juries and APSA International Nominations Council, of which Williamson is a member. Presided over by Australian acting legend Jack Thompson AM PhD, the APSA Academy boasts just over 1000 of the region’s most elite film practitioners.

Throughout the first decade of the Awards, working closely with founding Chairman Des Power AM, and now Chairman Michael Hawkins, Maxine Williamson was instrumental in the development of the APSA’s internationally recognised and respected brand.

Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy Michael Hawkins said “Maxine Williamson has long been a powerful champion of the filmmakers of Asia Pacific and beyond. I wish to thank her for her passion and commitment in establishing this internationally renowned Awards event, and look forward to her continued engagement with the event through her role as an APSA Academy member. I wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

Throughout her ten years with the Awards, and throughout the changes in APSA’s managing organisations, Williamson sat on the APSA International Nominations Council, held the roles of Artistic Director and most recently Film Director, APSA and Film Director, BAPFF (Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival) in the Awards’ current home of City of Brisbane’s economic development board Brisbane Marketing.

Williamson maintains her current international consulting roles including Asia Pacific Consultant for Turkey’s Antalya Film Forum. Williamson is a member of the leading regional industry organizations, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and the APN (Asia-Pacific Producers’ network).

For APSA, Williamson will continue in her position on the APSA Documentary Nominee Selection Panel, and will consult to the APSA Academy.

Williamson said “The Asia Pacific region is creatively and culturally unique and rich; regularly producing ground-breaking cinema both in story and form. It has been my incredible privilege to witness these works and to unite and share with so many the common mission of supporting the moving image art form.  I am proud of the 10-year APSA legacy and the singular part I have played in its formative years. I look forward to working with this region’s Academy to further represent and support its members’ needs and unique perspectives. Given the complexities of poverty, strife and calamity emanating from this region; its experiences, stories and authentic voices need to be heard now more than ever, in what is an ever increasingly noisy post-colonial world. It pleases me that I will be able to continue to bring cinema from our region to Brisbane audiences through the 23rd Brisbane International Film Festival.”

The 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be presented in Brisbane on Thursday 23 November 2017 and Competition is now open.

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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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