$100K Fund Supporting New Asia Pacific Film Treatments, Scripts to Continue

The judges for this year’s submissions includes Chinese writer-director Xue Xiaolu, Australian writer-director Tony Ayres and panel chairman Andrew Pike, MD.

BEIJING – A year-old $100,000 fund to support new Asia Pacific film treatments and scripts will carry on another year, organizers the Motion Picture Association and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards said at the 1st Beijing International Film Festival on Monday night.

Judging this year’s submissions to the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund contest will be Chinese writer-director Xue Xiaolu, Australian writer-director Tony Ayres and panel chairman Andrew Pike, MD of Australia’s Ronin Films and an APSA 2009 international jurist.

Project submissions from the 70 countries covered by the APSA will be processed from June 1-Oct. 28 to qualify for the prize to be announced at the fifth edition of the awards to be held on Australia’s Gold Coast this Nov. 24.

The fund’s prize money will be divided evenly between four winners, each taking home a $25,000 film development grant.

“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,” Mike Ellis, MPA Asia-Pacific President and managing director, said.

Several past APSA winners and nominees had films screening at the first installment of the Beijing festival, ongoing through April 28.

Panelist Xue’s critically acclaimed directorial debut Ocean Heaven starring Jet Li opened the Shanghai International Film Festival and she was honored in December with the Emerging Talent of the Year award at CineAsia in Hong Kong, an event owned by Prometheus Global Media, owner of The Hollywood Reporter.

Ayres is one of Australia’s leading writer-directors, best known for his multi award-winning 2007 feature film The Home Song Stories starring Joan Chen. Panelist Pike is a respected film historian, documentary filmmaker, producer, film distributor and exhibitor. Pike also chaired the panel for the inaugural MPA APSA Academy Film Fund last year.

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 then sold to multiple territories and Farhadi currently is on tour for the upcoming release of the film in France.