APSA to create awards academy

Australia's Thompson to serve as patron

SYDNEY -- Organizers of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards will create an Awards Academy, with the aim of establishing a world-class body of Asia-Pacific filmmakers who will ultimately have a voting influence on the awards.

All 65 nominees of the inaugural 2007 APSAs will be inducted into the academy, with a similar number from 2008 to be inducted later this year.

The creation of the Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards is "the next step in encouraging dialogue, collaboration and business opportunities for the region's filmmakers," APSA chairman Des Power said in announcing the initiative Thursday.

Australian actor Jack Thompson has been named the academy's patron.