MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) Academy annually awards four script development grants of USD 25,000 each to four APSA Academy members, at the grand APSA ceremony held in Brisbane, Australia every year. APSA is regarded as the highest accolade in film in the region, and these grants provide significant support to enable stories from the region reach the global stage. Winners in the past have included Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi (for A Separation, which went on to win an Academy Award) and Australian writer-director Rolf de Heer (for Mr. Ward’s Incredible Journey).

This year they have collaborated with the Screenwriters Association, India (SWA, formerly FWA), in a bid to encourage the inclusion of more Indian writers in this program. To be eligible for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, entries must be submitted by an APSA Academy member.

Additionally, two award trips were offered exclusively for SWA members. Anusha Rizvi (with her story: The Great Shamsuddin Family) has won the opportunity to attend the 5-day Film Immersion Course, LATC Global Film and Television Program in Los Angeles, including an introduction to the American Film Market. And, Suman Mukhopadhyay (story: Paradise in Flames) has won an invitation to the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in November this year.

Speaking about the collaboration, Anjum Rajabali, veteran screenwriter and Executive Committee Member, SWA said, “This initiative is an important step that MPA and SWA have taken, which should give a tremendous boost to Indian screenwriting! It offers the many talented, intelligent and focused Indian writers an opportunity to compete with the best of international screenwriters from the region. SWA is delighted with MPA’s invitation for this collaboration.”

APSA Chairman Michael Hawkins said the Asia Pacific Screen Awards enjoyed a close relationship with the MPA and he was thrilled to see APSA Academy members involved in the Launch Your Script initiative. “The Asia Pacific Screen Awards have a rich history of celebrating Indian cinema and our APSA Academy has a large number of both up-and-coming and veteran filmmakers who call India home. The initiative is a great opportunity for filmmakers and industry to collaborate and share knowledge. I encourage APSA Academy members to continue to tell powerful stories and to submit their projects to the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund to be considered for our script development grants.”

Stephen Jenner, Vice President Communications, Asia Pacific, MPA, said, “There is a wealth of emerging filmmaking talent in India that would benefit from the support offered by this exciting initiative. The Indian screen community enjoys a close relationship with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards that I hope will continue to flourish and stimulate many successful collaborations.”

Siddharth Roy Kapur, leading producer and President of the Film and TV Producers Guild, India said, “Indian films have the potential to reach out to audiences across the globe, wider than just the South Asian diaspora. Their acceptance will only grow if we continue to enhance our quality of work through strategic collaborations and a continuous exchange of creative ideas. I hope many great Indian screenplays find their way to the big screen through this unique initiative by SWA and the Motion Picture Association.”

Leena Yadav, Indian Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter & Editor, said, “The time has come when there is worldwide interest in Indian films. MPA- APSA tying up with SWA is a step in the right direction that will lead to many interesting collaborations and generate some path breaking content. We have started expanding our vision in our narratives and there is a welcome fearlessness in story-telling.”

Vishal Bharadwaj, well-known Indian writer-director, said, “The best way to bring depth to a film is through great writing and this is definitely an excellent endeavor by MPA and SWA to excite and inspire new writers to brush up their craft. As I often say, is it almost impossible to make a bad film out of a good script.”

For more information about the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, please visit: http://www.asiapacificscreenacademy.com/the-academy/mpa-apsa-academy-film-fund/

For media enquiries, please contact:
Lohita Sujith
Director, Corporate Communications
Motion Picture Dist. Association (India)
Email: [email protected]

Hema Upadhyay
1H Media
Email: [email protected]

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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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