The Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia Pacific have announced the launch of the third consecutive MPA APSA Academy Film Fund in support of the region’s filmmakers.

Established in 2010, the fund aims to stimulate film production in the Asia Pacific region by providing support, especially during the crucial development stages. Previous recipients include Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning A Separation.

As in previous years, four development grants of $25,000 will be awarded to members of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, which comprises more than 500 of the region’s filmmakers.

The year, Andrew Pike, founder of Australia’s Ronin Films, will return as chairman of the selection panel, which will also include Hong Kong filmmaker Alex Law (Echoes Of The Rainbow) and Australian producer Melanie Coombs (Mary And Max). 

At an MPA reception held at the Beijing International Film Festival on Wednesday, APSA also announced that Hou Keming, professor of directing at the Beijing Film Academy, has been appointed as a jury member for the sixth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards, to be held Nov 23 in Brisbane, Australia.

Hou, whose alumni includes most of China’s leading film directors, also chairs the China Children’s Film Association and is president of the China International Children’s Film Festival. His credits as director and producer include films such as Running on Karma, Manhole, Spring Subway and When Ruoma Was Seventeen.