Jury named for Academy Film Fund to support script development in Asia Pacific

Four grants of US$25,000 are up for grabs as the Motion Picture Association and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards come together to support the development of new feature film projects in the region.

Jury members on the annual Academy Film Fund include Hong Kong International Film Festival programmer Kiki Fung, Korean producer Kim Young and jury chair Andrew Pike.

The announcement:

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) Academy today announced the members of 2018 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund jury who will determine the four recipients of the highly successful annual US$100,000 grant that supports script development in the region.

The dedicated Jury members in 2018 will be Kiki Fung, Programmer at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Korean Producer Kim Young and returning Jury Chair Andrew Pike OAM.

The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund was created to support the development of new feature film projects by APSA Academy members and their colleagues from the culturally diverse Asia Pacific region. The fund awards four development grants of US$25,000 annually, and is wholly supported by the MPA.

Symbolic of a long partnership between the two organisations, the fund supports screen stories from the region, which spans 70 countries and areas and is the fastest growing region in the world in terms of cinema production. Projects are assessed by the same criteria that apply to films in the APSA competition – films that best reflect their cultural origins, demonstrate cinematic excellence and are deemed Asia Pacific in origin.

The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund has enjoyed phenomenal success in 2018, with a staggering six funded projects reaching completion and receiving prestigious World Premieres at Cannes, Venice and Fajr International Film Festivals. Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Ayka and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree produced by Zeynep Atakan all debuted in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, with the Best Actress award going to Samal Yeslyamova (Akya).

All three films are their country’s official submission for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Emir Baigazin’s The River and Garin Nugroho’s Memories of My Body premiered in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section of the Venice Film Festival, where Emir Baigazin was awarded Best Director. Payman Maadi’s Bomb, A Love Story premiered at the Fajr Film Festival earlier in the year where it won the Special Jury Prize. It was announced earlier this month as one of the five nominees for APSA’s inaugural Best Original Score award.

The fund is open to all APSA Academy Members, including the soon to be announced 2018 nominees. To date, 32 projects from 20 different countries and areas of Asia Pacific have been supported through the initiative. The four recipients of the 2018 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, the ninth edition of the highly successful international funding initiative, will be announced at the 12th Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony in Brisbane on November 29.

The announcement was made by MPA President and Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region, Mike Ellis, from the 23rd Busan International Film Festival where the MPA is currently partnering with BIFF in a number of events including with Platform Busan on a Masterclass with director Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Expendables 3, Red Hill), and the Asian Film Academy in the AFA-MPA Film Workshop “Bridge to Hollywood”.

He said, “Working together with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards through the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, the MPA places great importance on the continuing investment in cinematic excellence and the cultural diversity of the Asia Pacific. To see six Fund feature films reach completion this year alone, and premiere at leading festivals to global acclaim, reinforces the value of this unique funding initiative. The MPA looks forward to announcing the new recipients at the APSA ceremony in November.”

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and its Academy, Michael Hawkins said “APSA is proud to partner with the MPA in offering the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund as an extraordinary opportunity for Academy members. As we enter the ninth year of this unique collaboration, we congratulate our partners at the MPA for the ongoing success of the initiative and the filmmakers who are realising these incredible Asia Pacific stories to the screen. It is additionally rewarding to see these films receive accolades around the world, including a nomination for the funded project Bomb, A Love Story in APSA’s new Best Original Score category.”

Source: Brisbane Marketing press release


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