Economic woes may sink Asia Pacific fest


The Asia Pacific Film Festival in Indonesia — scheduled to kick off Nov. 18 in Jakarta — has been postponed because of the global economic crisis, organizers said Wednesday.

Festival committee chairman Raam Punjabi said that the event will be postponed "as the global economic conditions have taken away some of the enthusiasm of the member countries."

The announcement comes as the Jakarta International Film Festival also appears to be struggling, with organizers saying that December's 10th edition might be scaled back from 10 days to five.

Hong Kong media mogul Run Run Shaw founded the Asia Pacific Film Festival in 1953. It is hosted by a different Asian city each year in one of the 21 member countries of the Federation of Motion Pictures Producers in Asia. The event might go ahead in Jakarta in six or nine months or be tabled until the 2009 edition, which is set to be held in Taipei, Punjabi said.

This year's fest, meant to build cultural bridges between member countries, has faced stiff competition from other Asian festivals.

Sponsors were concerned about a drop in the number of overseas visitors as the festival falls on the calendar just after the ongoing Tokyo International Film Festival and October's Pusan International Film Festival and competes for time almost directly with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia, the second edition of which is set for mid-November. (partialdiff)