Andrew Pike, MD and founder of Australian distributor Ronin Films, will sit on the judging panel of the inaugural MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, the new $100,000 script development fund.

The new fund was launched earlier this year as a partnership between the Motion Picture Association and Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The announcement was made by MPA president and MD Asia Pacific Mike Ellis, at the Australian International Movie Convention.

Ellis noted: “The submission period for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund commenced on July 30 and we have already received projects from renowned film practitioners in Iran, Japan, Russian Federation, China, Australia, Israel, New Zealand and India with more to come.”

He continued: “I am delighted that Andrew Pike has joined our inaugural assessment panel. His extensive experience as a distributor, exhibitor and a filmmaker in his own right along with his vast knowledge of Asian cinema will bring a wealth of experience to the task of assessing the projects submitted for the fund.”

“Our aim in establishing the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund with our friends at APSA is to contribute to the development of a vibrant creative community here in Asia Pacific. The strong response we have received this early in the submission process confirms that we have created something of value to the region.”

Four grants of $25,000 will be given at the fourth APSAs in Australia’s Gold Coast on Dec 2.