Docu-style Asia Pacific awards set


CANNES -- The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, a documentary-style program focusing on filmmakers from 70 nations from Turkey to Tokyo and launching on CNN International in October, has announced its nominations council.

Working with a budget in the millions of dollars from the state government of Awards home, Queensland, Australia, and organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, the awards' two hourlong programs will not have commercial sponsors.

"We want to provide a global platform for films from the Asia-Pacific region and are focused on the filmmaking process more than the glamour of giving awards," said Des Power, chairman of the awards. "The shows are not about 'and the winner is ...' but about how filmmakers attain excellence in the first place."

The inaugural awards ceremony will be held Nov. 13 on Australia's Gold Coast. There is no financial reward for winners, and the event will not be broadcast live, Power said. Footage from the awards will be edited into one of two programs about the process.

The first program, called "Scene by Scene -- Films of Asia Pacific," about the region's film industry, will air on CNN in mid-October, Power said. The second, called "Scene by Scene -- Best Films of Asia Pacific," will air a few days after Nov. 13 and feature highlights of the awards (given in 11 categories) and interviews with nominees, winners and the international jury.

CNN International is a co-producer of the two shows.

"We are particularly proud to join with UNESCO, whose tireless work in promoting and preserving cultural diversity is to be encouraged," CNN International senior vp Rena Golden said.

The confirmed members of the nominations council unveiled at Cannes are Mohammad Atebbai, managing director, Iranian Independents; Philip Cheah of the Singapore International Film Festival; Anne Demy-Geroe of the Brisbane International Film Festival, Russell Edwards, a member of the film Critics Circle of Australia; Kim Hong-Joon of the Korean National University of Arts; Jeanette Paulson-Hereniko of the Hawaii International Film Festival; Azize Tan of the International Istanbul Film Festival; Dr. Stephen Teo of the Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore; and Aruna Vasudev of Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.

To be eligible, films must be 40 minutes or longer and intended for theatrical release; completed after Aug. 31, 2006, and released theatrically, anywhere in the world, in a format generally acceptable for pubic exhibition or presented at a FIAPF accredited festival by Oct. 31.