Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Motion Picture Association renew Beijing fund for new Asia Pacific films

Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) have announced the continuation of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund and the panelists who will assess the entries for 2011.

Chinese filmmaker Xue Xiaolu (Ocean Heaven) and Tony Ayres (The Home Song Stories) will join the assessment panel for 2011, which will be chaired by Andrew Pike, Managing Director of Ronin Films, who served as a member of APSA’s 2009 international jury.

MPA Asia-Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis made the announcement at a reception on the third day of the inaugural Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF): “I am delighted to continue our fruitful partnership with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in providing support to filmmakers during the vital development stage of their projects.”

The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund was established in 2010, with a goal to stimulate production in the region particularly at the development phase, among the 70 countries embraced by APSA. The four $25,000 development grants are exclusive to members of the APSA Academy - comprised of past APSA nominees, winners, and jury and nominations council members.

The first completed project supported by the fund, Nader and Simin: A Separation by acclaimed Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi, recently premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. It won the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actor and Best Actress, awarded to the ensemble cast. The film, a hot ticket item amongst buyers at Berlin, was sold to multiple territories. Farhadi is currently on tour for the upcoming release of the film in France.

Meanwhile, at its Beijing reception, the MPA also announced a two-day MPA film workshop in Beijing, in collaboration with the organizer of Chinese International Copyrights Expo (CICE), to be held 1-2 December.  The program will focus on 3D production, co-productions and film financing and packaging. Presenters will include Pauline Chan (33 Envelopes, The Dragon Pearl), Alister Grierson - director of 3D feature Sanctum and Kokoda, and John Polson, filmmaker and Tropfest founder.