Asia Pacific Screen Awards Academy Members Receive Voting Rights for Fifth Edition

The regional film awards will grant voting rights to past nominees, jury and council members.

SYDNEY -- The Asia Pacific Screen Awards will give its Academy members voting rights for the first time in the best animated feature film and best documentary feature film categories for its fifth edition this year, organizers said Monday.

Announcing changes to voting in those categories at the Cannes Film Festival, APSA organizers said past jury members, nominations council,  and documentary and animation academy members will decide on the nominees and winners in those two categories.

At the same time children's feature academy members will, along with past jury and council, decide on the nominees for best children's feature film, with the winner in that category to be determined by the awards’ international jury ahead of the fifth annual APSA ceremony on November 24.

Nominations in other categories will continue to be overseen by the nominations council with the international jury to decide on the winners.

APSA Chairman Des Power said that since forming the Academy in 2008 it was always the goal to give its members voting rights.

“This is a key milestone that reflects the growing stature of our Academy and I am delighted to see Academy voting rights become a reality in the fifth year of our competition, " he said.

The APSA Academy is made up of past nominees and winners, jury and nominations council members and is adding 100 new members each year.

“Animation, documentary and children’s feature films are highly specialized fields and it is appropriate that Academy members from these fields, along with outstanding practitioners in the region, participate in assessing the work of their peers in these genres," APSA artistic director Maxine Williamson said.

The new judging and voting processes will be overseen by Cisco and The Media Architects.

The 389 Academy members will view and vote on eligible films using e.v.e – enhanced video encryption – an online screening platform developed by Brisbane-based digital media development firm The Media Architects. The e.v.e application will allow members to securely watch eligible films wherever they are in the world. Nominations Council members across five countries will also video conference their deliberations.

The 2011 Nominations Council will be chaired again by filmmaker and academic professor Hong-Joon Kim (Republic of Korea) and the council members will include Russell Edwards (Australia), Yuka Sakano (Japan), Jeannette Paulson Hereniko (USA), Peggy Chiao (Taiwan) and Philip Cheah (Singapore). APSA chairman Des Power and artistic director Maxine Williamson will also participate in the process.

Also announced at Cannes was the new APSA Children’s Film Fund, which will provide two script development grants of up to $20,000 specifically for children’s features that carry “positive, life affirming messages specifically for and about children in Asia-Pacific."

The fund, mirroring the Awards feature film fund,  is a partnership between APSA and Manila-based 4 Boys Films, established by APSA Academy member Butch Jimenez.

The fifth annual APSA ceremony will take place on Australia’s Gold Coast on Nov. 24. The nominees will be announced Oct. 12.