The Indian actress and humanitarian Shabana Azmi has been named president of the international jury at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), to be held on Australia's Gold Coast on Nov 13.

'The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is strongly committed to cinematic excellence and the promotion of the regions' respective cultures through film,' said APSA chair Des Power. 'There is no better person to head up the jury than Ms Azmi. Her integrity and commitment to the APSA ideals is considerable.

Azmi has acted in more than 140 films, including Deepa Mehta's Fire, which earned her the Silver Hugo at Chicago. She has also won five best actress award at home in India and, in 2005, the International Indian Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her other films include Innocent (Masoom), The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari), Madame Sousatzka, Bengali Night, City of Joy and In Custody.

She is also a womens rights and social activist, UN Goodwill Ambassador and member of the upper house of Indian parliament.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards engages CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF, the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, in a unique partnership to acclaim films that best reflect their cultural origins and cinematic excellence.