Firstly, let me thank APSA for inviting me to chair the International Jury this year. It’s certainly been an enriching experience. I thank APSA for their consideration to us all as host, and in particular Artistic Director, Maxine Williamson.

APSA’s shared UNESCO goal to foster cultural diversity and promote mutual understanding dialogue and peace is something that connects with me personally and I’m sure with us all.

On behalf of my Jury colleagues, I’d like to thank the work of the APSA International Nominations Council and its selection of the outstanding nominated films which we viewed this week. Unique on the world stage, the APSA Winners and Nominees represent the best filmmaking talent of the largest and the fastest growing filmmaking community in the world. A third of the earth, half the world’s films, combine distinct vision and culture diversity.

For many of us in this region, even if we come from vast lands, our film communities are small and APSA provides an opportunity to share a wider world perspective with our closest neighbours. Our works expands as a result. It has enabled countries which may not have felt part of the unified group to find a connection.

APSA is not just a film academy and awards. It’s become a community of filmmakers, diplomats, business people, all from vastly diverse backgrounds. Our lives, customs, politics, religions and traditions may differ widely, but we all love film. It is the world’s most popular art form.

APSA is not just about rewarding outstanding films. APSA is an important initiative that lets us celebrate our common heritage of humanity. APSA is building the foundation for better understanding between future generations.

In this, the Asian Century, the APSAs enhance Queensland’s and indeed Australia’s reputation internationally, as a vital initiative strengthening cross culture relationships and providing unique public diplomacy opportunities.  May it continue to be nurtured and flourish even more.

I thank the APSA Nominees for their creative and courageous films, which contribute to greater understanding and connection between the 70 countries in the Asia Pacific region and also across the globe.

The APSA Nominated films are extraordinary stories of ordinary people, exploring vastly different subjects and range of imaginative styles that connect our hearts and minds.

I felt honoured to have been a part of APSA this year and look forward to continuing my involvement for many years to come.

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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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