Securing the future of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards

04 December, 2012 by Melanie Coombs

The future of the Queensland-based Asia Pacific Screen Awards remains in doubt as the government considers future funding. Oscar-winning producer Melanie Coombs argues that APSA make a significant contribution to the industry which should be protected. 

The annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards event is so much more than an awards night. As we enter the 'Asian Century', the APSAs connect Australian filmmakers with our peers in our region. The insights and cultural understandings that come from this bringing together of internationally awarded and celebrated filmmakers are invaluable to me as an Australia filmmaker and to my peers.

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The MPA APSA Academy Film Fund is the most obvious example of this: it has awarded eight development grants in two years and seven of those projects have been made – one of which is the Oscar-winning A Separation. This makes it the most successful film development fund probably in the world, but certainly in Australia.

Having just awarded four more grants we can expect four more amazing projects – one of which is from the extraordinary Australian creative team of producer Kath Shelper, director Warwick Thornton and writer Beck Cole, who created the amazing internationally celebrated Sampson and Delilah and Here I Am.

And the MPA APSA development fund is just one example of the incredible success, value, cultural enrichment and understanding that is fostered by APSA. Its value to Australian filmmakers and the wider community will become more obvious as the years go by, as it enables creative partnerships, co-productions, and cultural exchange – but now it's the time for visionary supporters to back this event where translators and international flights are essential.

Turn the lip service of the 'Asian Century', connecting Australia with the Asia Pacific, into action for the arts, for business and for cultural and political understanding and unity in diversity.

Melanie Coombs is a producer and participated on the Selection Panel of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund in 2012 along with Ronin Films’ Andrew Pike (chair) and Hong Kong filmmaker Alex Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Cynthia Webb

    Ms Coombs is right with her comments on the value to the industry, and the relevance of APSA to “the Asian Century”. On this basis alone, surely the Federal Government should take an interest.

    There is nothing that reaches out to other cultures, the way cinema does. It’s the most powerful tool for creating understanding, relationships.

    After six years APSA is now well known and respected in the Asia-Pacific region. It takes time to build an Academy and an Awards Event such as this. It would be a tragic and short-sighted thing not to continue with it when APSA has come so far and built such interest and respect.The Queensland Government(Mr Des Power at QLD Events Corporation) had the foresight to create APSA, before anyone else thought of it, and APSA locates us in our region and demonstrates our cultural respect to our neighbors. It also has huge value for tourism, publicising Australia, through the international coverage.

  • Caroline Russo

    I have been attending the event from the start and i admire the work that has been done, and have enormous respect for Mr Des Power. It would be a sad affair for sure to see this not move on and grow and get the support it needs from Federal government, and Ms Coombs comments are spot on as to what this does to tourism, and to the exchange of cultural films and the makers of them to have them present in our state..

  • Adam C.

    I wholeheartedly agree that is would be very sad for the film & cultural industries and the Asia Pacific region at large to lose such an important event. The APSAs represent something very unique, uniting some of the world’s top filmmakers and bringing attention to their outstanding films which all highlight cultural diversity. You’d think with the Australian government’s increasing focus on diplomatic relations with Asia, that the APSAs will be retained and nurtured.

  • Peter Moyes, Griffith Film School

    It would be a significant blow to the Australian film industry and culture, to the APSA’s potential in initiating, sustaining and developing relationships, trade and diplomacy across the Asia Pacific, should this initiative be stalled as it begins to realise the fullness of its aims and objectives.

  • Leena Yadav

    I totally agree with what Ms Coombs is saying, having just been part of the international jury for 2012 APSA. I think this is one of the most important movments that connects this region creatively, progressively and constructively. APSA could soon become one of the most important festivals across the globe for what it is managing to achieve and do. It has been one of the most enriching experience’s for me as a film maker and person who has been part of the Indian industry for over 15 years. APSA deserves all the support it can garner. And I am sure that every film maker who has been associated with APSA in any capacity will share Ms. Coomb’s sentiments and be in agreement with what she is putting across. APSA MUST and HAS TO to go on!

  • Dave Letch

    How we judge our mentally ill. How we judge our marginal communities hinges on our understanding to tell our own stories and give those stories breath. How we give the world a wider sense of “what is Australia” is incumbent upon our generation and future generations, to not leave importance easily.

    APSA is the very fabric of the glue that gives our nation its voice.

    I support APSA and intend to do so well into the future.

    Dave Letch

  • Graeme Isaac

    I could not agree more with the sentiments that Melanie Coombes expresses in her article. For all the current hooha about Australian participation in ‘The Asian Century’ we miss the boat time and time again when it comes to appreciating the importance and value of cultural and person to person exchange in our region.

    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is a great initiative only just beginning to bear fruit, an opportunity to increase our exposure to the cultures of our neighbors and to build active personal contacts between Australian and regional film makers.

    It is particularly ironic that APSA should be facing this uncertainty precisely at the time when the federal government is trying to capitalise on the strategic value of a film and television industry, actively pursuing co-production arrangements with a range of regional neighbors including China, India, Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia, and with an agreement now being contemplated with Indonesia. Film and television projects don’t develop in a vacuum but out of people to people contact which APSA is perfectly positioned to deliver. It needs to be supported more than ever, and indeed for its activities to be expanded.

    Graeme Isaac
    Film Producer

  • Casey Marshall Siemer

    North America has a film academy. Europe has a film academy. It is appropriate that the Asia Pacific Region also has a film academy to celebrate screen culture and recognize outstanding achievement in film. I encourage the Australian federal Government to support this great event which brings film professionals together and promotes a greater understanding of cultures through cinema.

  • Alexis Dennehy

    As a guest of the 2012 APS Awards, I have to say that it was one of the most culturally awakening experiences of my life.

    The live performances of Maroochy Barambah and Ryuichi Sakamoto were an education that cannot possibly be gained through any other means.

    To hear their stories through their voices was a deep and unspoken reminder that peace is a result of understanding.

    What better way to grow global understanding than the most popular medium of all; film.

    What better way to encourage the production of these films than recognition of their creators.

    In advocating for those whose circumstances limit them from having a voice, and on behalf of all diversity-thirsty people in the world, please, please, please keep the Asia Pacific Screen Awards alive!

  • jocelyne saab

    I am director producer from Lebanon .I think it is very important to keep it alive , it is an extrordinary exchange between culture and identity of asian country and a meeting pointing of big value . It is a way of keeping cinema alive in asia

  • Jeannette Hereniko

    Last week during the Second Annual Hanoi International Film Festival there was a buzz about the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) among the attending filmmakers, programmers and critics. Films that won awards there were the ones people were keen to see. A month earlier I was attending the Hawaii International Film Festival where international guests were wondering what films were going to win the APSA. esteemed awards.
    Yes – it’s happened: in six short years, APSA has established itself as an important gatekeeper for deciding what cinematic presentations should be deemed treasures of the Asia Pacific region. Queensland and Australia have never been more strongly associated with the motion picture culture of Asia and the Pacific then they are now because of APSA. What a loss it would be for the entire Asia Pacific region if this carefully planted and nurtured tree was cut down before it reached maturity.

  • Ludmila Cvikova

    We are very saddened to hear of this challenge for the APSAs. Although this event takes place on the other side of the world, we feel its resonance here and applaud its creators in Australia for creating something special that brings filmmakers together in a very unique and meaningful way. Filmmaking in many of these countries is filled with challenges – cultural, political and economic. It is important to honor the voices and stories from this region. At a time when understanding between cultures is more important than ever, I hope that the APSAs find a way to survive this hurdle.
    – Ludmila Cvikova, Head of International Programming & Chadi Zeneddine, Resident Filmmaker and Programmer, Doha Film Institute

  • Philip Cheah

    In a world where many competitions and awards have forgotten about culture, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards shines as that rare example where strangers truly meet.

    For six years now, APSA has championed a pan-regional Asia in a way that many Asian competitions are unable to do so. It has not only bridged South and East Asia but also West Asia and the Arab world. It is indeed saddening to know that this initiative will lapse when state funding runs out. In particular, work that had already begun with the recruitment of members into the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, the funding of films through the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, the APSA Children’s Film Fund and the APSA Netpac Development Fund prize.

    So much work is left to be done in terms of embracing the cinemas of Central Asia and discovering the cinematic pearls of the Pacific Islands. But in those brief six years, miracles had already been achieved.

    – Philip Cheah, Vice-President, Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC)

  • Maryam

    As documentary filmmaker who has participated in academy,
    I believe that Asian pacific screen award is a very important event to provoke asian filmmaker.
    Many of award winner documentaries comes from Asia. many of european documentary filmmaker do make film about this region. By supporting Asian filmmaker, we develope film industry in much professional level and we also present asian film globaly.

  • Trish FitzSImons

    Who is that I’ve recently read say that with big goals, when just on the verge of success as originally envisaged can be the most dangerous time? This therefore is the time when it is most important to ‘stand and be counted’? The APSAs have grown in reach and stature across the last six years, and seem to me to have just really started to put down strong roots, locally as well as globally. This is the time for careful tending, surely for critical analysis and refinement, as with any cultural entity, but NOT the time to lose faith in this grand idea, consistent with ‘Australia in the Asian Century’.

  • Fara

    If the Asia Pacific Screen Awards were to vanish it will be a giant loss to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and indeed to the whole of the Asia Pacific region. APSA creates a vital connection to 1/3 of the world countries and 1/2 of the worlds films. With having Brisbane as the leaders of this initiative this significant event has promoted Queensland and Australia to all of the Asia Pacific countries and has subsequently placed Australia on the map as not just a festival or awards night but as a vital event. Within their first few years they APSA has become renowned for their encouragement and promotion of the development of cultural relations and understanding as well as being a filmmakers pathway to the Academy Awards. Their development fund have helped such films as A Separation (winner of the 2012 best foreign film oscar) and Australia’s own Sampson and Delilah, and much much more. Along with these accomplishments, APSA has also gained the everlasting support of world leading and oscar nominated/winning filmmakers and actors such as Jan Chapman, Asghar Farhadi, Jafar Panahi, Melanie Coombs, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bruce Beresford, Jack Thompson and the list goes on. So to say again – if the Asia Pacific Screen Awards were to vanish the connection to the Asia Pacific region and the journey to the oscars will hinder Australia’s placement in the worlds film industry and subsequently hinder many industries.

    Faramarz K-Rahber

  • YvonneW

    I agree with the sentiments in Melanie Coombs’ article about APSA. I have attended and supported this great initiative from the State Government since its inception and know how tirelessly everyone, at all levels, has worked to make APSA this amazing international event that provides a platform for many talented people in the film industry. It’s a hub for creativity providing jobs, opportunities and strengthening international relations. The question isn’t whether we can afford to continue doing it, the question is can we afford not to continue this global initiative and all the value and goodwill it has already created. Surely the Feds can see this event ticks all the boxes outlined in “Australia in the Asian Century’and we need to secure its future now.

  • Kristy Matheson

    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards provide an excellent opportunity for filmic discovery and celebration. The quality of works is second to none and the opportunities for film professionals to connect with colleagues from across the region are unique. I can only hope that we will continue to have such an event. To forgo the APSA’s would be a huge loss to Australian and international film professionals working across the production, distribution and exhibition sectors. Kristy Matheson Film Programmer

  • Jessica

    As president of the APSA jury this year I had the enriching experience of viewing the distinct and enlightening visions expressed in the films from this vast region. It was a chance to meet and share ideas with filmmakers one may have been unlikely to make contact with otherwise. The opportunity for the Australian film industry to acknowledge itself as part of this alliance expands our creative and business opportunities and provides all of the filmmaking communities of the Asia Pacific with greater recognition on the world stage. This is essential.
    It is a vital and timely initiative which has created an internationally recognised presence and shown Australia and Queensland as cultural champions. Surely we should consolidate and develop the work which has been done already rather than squander it.
    Jan Chapman

  • Reis Çelik

    First of all I’d like to point out that we were really honoured to be nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2012 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. And to be awarded with the Best Screenplay made us more than happy.

    We want to express our gratitudes to all of the APSA staff that made us feel exremely comfortable during our stay in Brisbane. Each of them received us distinctively warm and with extraordinary hospitality. In this utmost professional teamwork all of our wishes and requirements were filled instantly and with great commitment. The high and positive synergie you established reflected on us and we came back with great contentment.

    We want to thank you and your professional team for everything. To meet you and that magic atmosphere you created is undoubtedly our greatest desire. I want to thank you on behalf of myself, my team and my country.

    I wish you all the best for the future.

    Reis Celik

  • julie marlow

    I have been involved with APSA since its inception, and I can only concur with the supportive comments expressed above. The reach of this event is immense, and gives a voice to the incredible talent of our region, as witness the tremendous calibre of the films that are received, chosen and awarded each year. These awards are more than the sum of their parts; it’s not ‘just’ an awards ceremony, it’s a celebration of Asian achievement in a key industry that nor only contributes cultural riches, but economic benefits too. It’s also recognised overseas as something of rare value that celebrates under-represented areas of filmmaking cultures. It’s grimly ironic that at a time when (finally!) our Federal Government chooses to recognise the importance of Asia in its recent White Paper, the one event in this country that demonstrates the value of collaboration with our near neighbours in such a dignified, stylish and meaningful way is under such threat. What Des Power and Maxine Williamson have done over the last six years is nothing short of a miracle and I for one will be doing anything I can to ensure the survival of one of the best events on the film calendar anywhere in the world.

  • Defrim Isai

    With world’s focus on the Asia Century it seems a pity that an opportunity for Australia to lead in business of industrial and cultural connection with China and the rest of Asia has taken a step backwards. The Chinese understand the importance of soft propaganda; Australia seems to have forgotten the power behind Asia speaking English with an Australian accent, with an Australian ethos, hopes and dreams. The ability for Australia to share its dreaming with the people of our region may have created benefits well beyond dollars including mutual understanding, security and peace….Yes all from the beginnings afforded by the celebration of each other’s stories.

  • Gil Scrine

    While I also support all of the above reasons by the many (mainly filmmakers) who have contributed to the general idea that the APSA Awards ought to continue, the elephant in this room has not been mentioned. The fact is that the case for government support for the APSA Awards would be far more persuasive if they were popularly supported in Australia. But they are not. The filmmakers, the event makers, the sponsors and other sundry attendees, do not make it a popular event. The opportunity for Australian tax-payers, who are being asked via their government to pay for the APSA Awards, to actually see the films is the key to making it so. BIFF tried to make a small dent in the problem this year by running their event at the same time and including some APSA nominated films. Given that Brisbane has few venues open to BIFF, this was a real achievement. But the real problem can’t be addressed via some BIFF screenings. The Academy Awards are all about films we’ve (mostly) had a chance to see. For not much extra the APSA Award nominees could be streamed nationally as well as having a dedicated travelling film festival so the feds can see their dollars at work and the APSAs will get traction at a popular level and the Asian Century will get rolling.

  • Zandro Gacos Rapadas, M.D.C.

    Let me get our voices from the Philippines heard. Yes, I would like to speak, not only on behalf of the Nora Aunor for National Artist Movement and the millions of Fillipinos who love her and support her craft and advocacy to promote quality cinema – WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE APSAs! And I wish to put it simply – it’s because the APSAs promote dialogue and understanding between cultures through the language of film. That, to me and to many of us, is a universal aspiration! Communication and understanding. Before, we in the Philippines would just be content to see movies by local commercial film producers with our favorite local celebrities – indeed very parochial. But the emergence of Philippine independent cinema in the past decade has brought us to a new light, a new appreciation of cinema as a medium not only for entertainment but also for enlightenment and inspiration. And soon, our local films have found appreciation from the international community, thus enabling us to appreciate that we belong to a bigger community, where there is both diversity and common ground. From one international film festival or award institution to another, Filipino films have earned honor and respect from our neighbors in the region and in other parts of the world. And we place the Asia Pacific Screen Awards among those that are highly esteemed, and serves as a venue for us to showcase our world-class artistry in filmmaking. With the APSAs through the years, Filipino auteurs find inspiration to create films that celebrate our indigenous stories to be seen by our neighbours in the international community we call the Asia Pacific. If Europe has the BAFTAs and the U.S. has the Oscars, we are, by all means, standing up to keep our very own Academy Awards, the APSAs!

  • Aruna Vasudev

    In just a few years, APSA has made a major contribution to Asian cinema,
    while simultaneously creating an awareness of the different cinemas of
    Asia across the world. Its awards are now known among filmmakers throughout Asia and are highly coveted – including the Netpac Development Fund prize.

    And it is not only the awards for feature films but also for documentaries and childrens films which are making these films known worldwide . The APSA film fund has proved it has vision and foresight by funding a film like A Separation which has gone on to win a large number of awards everywhere it has been shown, including the Oscar.

    Given the vision with which it was created and how far it has gone in seven
    short years, it would be a tragedy if it were to close down for lack of funds.
    May it prosper and long may it continue.
    Aruna Vasudev, President, Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC)

  • Marion Döring and Jürgen Biesinger – Europe

    We are very much concerned about your news that your funding is under serious threat. We ourselves have gone through this in 1993 – our sixth year! – when the Senate of Berlin suddenly put an end to our funding. Luckily the German National Lottery, the German State Minister of Culture and the regional film fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg became our new public supporters, a partnership which after all these years is still valid and alive. Their funding enables us keeping the European Film Academy running and gives us the security to plan the European Film Awards with a several year perspective, which is necessary when you have to finance such a big event independently. Without this German support we wouldn’t have been able to execute our European mission and to get as far as to the 25th European Film Awards Ceremony, which we just celebrated.

    Film Awards ceremonies are often underestimated – they are not only a gala and glamour event, their mission goes far beyond, and this is even more the case with your and our ceremonies! As a platform for the promotion of films outside their national borders our ceremonies have an important cultural role – and a social task, because film is the ideal medium to help understand other cultures and mentalities. Films can serve artistic ambassadors in our multi-cultural societies.

    We do very much hope that you will receive the financial support to continue your important task!

    Your colleagues and friends from Europe,

    Marion Döring and Jürgen Biesinger
    European Film Academy

  • Pete Rive, Chairman of Film Auckland

    Film Auckland strongly supports APSA and the great work of the organisation. The growing importance of Asian cinema and our realisation that we are part of the Asia Pacific region and not simply a remote satellite of European and US cinema culture has encouraged us to make more effort with our neighbours. Auckland city is the sister city of Brisbane and we have been looking for ways to strengthen our ties with our friends at APSA. The support of the State government for APSA has sent a strong message to the world that it values Asian Pacific culture. This is cultural diplomacy at its best and withdrawing support will send the counter message. The region needs APSA and Brisbane and the State have shown great leadership by backing this important event. It would be a great loss to our industry and the region to lose it.
    Pete Rive, Chairman of Film Auckland

  • Reis Çelik

    First of all the idea is excellent to hold the Asia Pacific Screen Awards! I am congratulating all wonderful peoples who are the creators of this idea. There are important festivals in Europe and America, of course Asian and Pacific films are able to participate these festivals. But APSA is creating a big possibility in the district for improving film culture. The Academy is working continuously and it is starting to become a big opportunity for Asian cinema, not only to show how big and serious the industry is, but also how creative ideas are improving with new understandings. This is also good chance for world cinema culture! I am also very hapy to get chance, to see and live personally, what APSA team wants to do in this biggest part of the world!

    I am also leading some projects for international culture through theatre festivals and drama encounters with our wonderful team. We have Turkish State Theatres Opera and Ballet members foundation (TOBAV). And we all work with the same emotion for improving new realisations of drama and acting culture. This is another reason I admire APSA.

  • Nan Achnas

    APSA is extremely important to the region’s intersecting discourses of historical backgrounds, constructions of meaning in terms of geopolitics and the concept of nationhood. It is about opening and expanding the national borders of respective countries in a wide-reaching scale. The exposure of the films nominated have been tremendous and invaluable for the cyclic nature of film production especially films from countries of the developing world. It would a great shame to stop the creation of “unity and diversity” and formation of stronger cultural ties in the Asia-Pacific region. Nan Achnas, Triximages.

  • Tannishtha Chatterjee

    I have been a part of the APSA jury in 2010 and I think it is the best initiative in this region to promote cinema and culture. The organisation is full of dedicated people and i fully support APSA for all its endeavors. It gives cultural diplomacy a platform that very few give in this region. Withdrawing support will surely be a huge setback to the immense hard work put in by all its members to bring APSA to a point of relevence that it is today.

  • Umit Oraloglu

    Asia Pacific Screen Awards has undoubtedly enriched and enhanced Australia’s relationship with Asia.

    The diversity, bond and mateship of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards reaffirms the need for such a project within Australia and it would be a shame if the Australian government didn’t do everything in its power to support this annual event.

  • Nina Riddel, Brisbane Underground Film Festiv

    The opportunity to host an event of this scale and contribute to the acclaim and exposure of some of the world’s greatest contemporary films is a hugely significant honor for Australia. APSA has established itself very successfully over the past six years, and helps put this country in a unique position in a very creative region. To lose this initiative now would be a huge mistake.

  • george ovashvili

    I was the part of the international jury at APSA this year. I totally agree to Mrs. Melanie. APSA is one of the most important event in the world in film industry. Any country would be honor to host it. I think we, all filmmakers have to support APSA and stand for it.

  • Peng Tao

    The MPA APSA Film Fund is no doubt one of the most important funds around the world, which provides film funding to these indie and young directors like me, and accelerates us to finish our project and filming. Without APSA’s support, it may be impossible for me to finish my first feature-length film LITTLE MOTH. Whenever I recalled this, I am still very excited and touched.

    I sincerely hope the Australian Government may continue supporting the policy of ASPA. Not only can the film fund bring money to these young directors, but a future, a hope and dream.

    Peng Tao (Filmmaker and APSA Academy member)

  • BALINALE International Film Festival

    APSA plays an essential role in building on the existing relationships between Australia and Indonesia using film as the medium for effective and far-reaching bi-cultural dialogue. The academy serves as a platform for exposing Indonesian filmmakers on a global level, as well as, an important creative nurturer of the regional film community. It would be a great loss to both established and aspiring filmmakers if they no longer have APSA’s vital support and recognition. Deborah Gabinetti, BALINALE International Film Festival

  • Kathryn Weir

    APSA is the only international screen award to focus uniquely on the region stretching from the Pacific and Australia across Asia to the Middle East. When it was established six years ago it was recognised in Australia as an initiave that was timely and extremely significant in terms of Australia’s potential to play a key role in cultural production and exchange in the region. Since then APSA and also the MPA APSA film fund have developed a high profile internationally and a very strong network of partnerships and support. It would be a tragedy if APSA did not receive the funding necessary to enable it to continue.

  • Madeline Bates

    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards are a unique and pioneering organisation, which the Queensland government should be proud to present to the rest of the world. APSA celebrate and support some of the most exciting and adventurous filmmaking in the international industry and, as an organisation, surely epitomise the very intent of the recent white paper, to engage meaningfully with the diverse Asian region as well as recognise Australia’s place within that region.
    I would not only be personally saddened by the loss of this event on the global film calendar but also shocked by any reasoning that APSA is not an essential iniative to fund. It goes without saying that cinema is one of the most direct and powerful ways in which we can reach across cultures and come towards a greater understanding of our differences and our similarities. APSA do not just support and champion talented filmmakers and a very vibrant industry, with contemporary classics such as the brilliant ‘A Separation’ (to name just one) receiving essential funding from the organisation. Through doing this, and through celebrating films, APSA gives us a greater capacity to comprehend the diversity of the world we live in.

  • Panpan He

    I’m the vice-president in China_mainland for Asia-Pacific Producers Network.I think APSA is one of the important event for this region’s film industry. Really wish Australian Federal Government could support APSA as usual.

  • Nansun Shi

    I was shocked to hear that the funding for APSA may not continue and thus there may be no further APSA events. I was President of the Jury at the Film Awards last year and witnessed how the event brought people in the Asian region together, through the language of film. It is recognized by most people that this century is the “Asian Century”. APSA, in its short history, has already fostered so many relationships and considered such a success in the Asian region that it seems very puzzling as to why the relevant authorities are considering not to further support APSA.

    Nansun Shi
    Producer

  • Geoff Gardner

    There is much unco-ordinated and somewhat spotty activity in Australia’s engagement with the many and varied cinemas of Asia and the Pacific. Amidst all this randomness one venture has attempted to go about engaging with Asia in an effective and hopefully lasting way. Established more than half a decade ago as an initiative driven by Des Power, and supported by the Queensland Government, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards have now got to the stage of being probably the biggest and most prestigious film event in Australia. They have cost the state Government a bucket full of money but they have hit the button right across the very broadly defined Asia-Pacific region.

    This was especially reinforced last year when, one masterpiece, Ashgar Fahradi’s A Separation won the top prize beating another masterpiece Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. It was the closing of a circle. A Separation only got finished after APSA itself awarded Fahradi the funds to get the film completed in time for the Berlin Film Festival where it took out the Golden Bear and started it on a stellar path that also lead ultimately to the Foreign Language Oscar.
    Those production investment funds are now able to be accessed by several hundred film-makers from the region who form APSA’s Academy. Script assessment and production potential are as rigorously assessed as possible and the names of people, beyond Fahradi, who have been awarded funds include such highly regarded names as Peng Tao and Sergei Dvortzevoy.
    APSA and its awards and other activity have proved themselves and APSA’s virtues now warrant support from the national citizenry. An event which attracted 34 finalists from 18 Asia Pacific countries and areas were nominated for the various sections from an unprecedented total of 264 feature films entered in this year’s competition should not be allowed to wither.

  • Shalahuddin Siregar

    There’s so much to say about APSA. From how important the initiative for the film industry in the Asia Pacific region, to how professional the teamwork who run APSA.

    Being nominated as Best Documentary Feature has create big impact to my career as filmmaker in Indonesia and how people keen to watch my film in the festival. Organizations who funded my film is extremely happy with the achievement that they can’t wait to funded my next film. APSA become a label for high quality film produce in the region and Australia have never been more strongly associated with it as the leader.

    I would like to tell another story while attending Luang Prabang Film festival few weeks ago. I meet an old couple who attend the panel discussion about ‘documenting South East Asia’. I’m in the panel and this old couple, according to festival director is one of the festival supporter. They’re Australian who keen to watch film from South East Asian country and encourage us to distribute our film in Australia. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t see APSA just an initiative that aim to have economic benefit but the most important value is the relevance of APSA to create and reach understanding and relationship in the Asia Pacific country.

    And after attending 2012 APSA ceremony I never see Australia in the same way again.

  • Michael Brook

    As manager of Film Auckland I have worked very closely with APSA over the last few years. They make a fantastic contribution to the region developing filmmakers, capability and the screen industry as a whole. As the screen industry in the Asia Pacific continues to grow APSA is a key part of this process.

  • Kath Shelper

    I write on behalf of Warwick Thornton and myself as a filmmaking team. We have benefited enormously from the APSAs in both the Awards and more recently the MPA APSA Film Fund. But our concern and support is much more wide ranging than just our own personal enjoyment.

    Our only conclusion is that perhaps the QLD government does not quite understand the reputation and relevance of the APSAs internationally? They involve one third of the world’s countries and invite us Australians to participate in the Asia Pacific region like no other event. It is the foundation for us to build sustained relationships with our neighbours in a very real way – this is not a token gesture.

    The APSAs are conducted with integrity and sophistication and are something of which we can be very proud. The ripple effect is enormous across the world. Last November I was on the jury at the Listapad Film Festival in Minsk, Belarus. I met a documentary filmmaker from Georgia who was nominated, and a Dutch producer talking of a Russian actress she was working with who was nominated and excited about travelling to Australia. And everyone else was asking, “What are these awards?” And I was very proud to be able to talk about them with the respect that they deserve.

    The APSAs are not just a one-night Awards ceremony – they are much bigger than their parts and facilitate us moving outside of a parochial cultural and economic view of our region and to truly participate in an engaged and civilised manner.

    Kath Shelper & Warwick Thornton

  • Ami Drozd

    APSA has already demonstrated achievements on the international level, a clear indication that they are moving in the right direction. In time, APSA may well become one of the most important organizations in the world cinema industry. As with any new initiative, there will always be skeptics who question the organization’s ability to fulfill its goals and realize its vision. I support the ideas and aims of APSA and am proud to be part of an organization which I believe, in time, will hold a significant place in the history of world cinema.

  • sasson gabay

    Asia-Pacific region blessed with abundance of cinematic creativity derived from diversity of peoples, nations, cultures, languages, ideologies, and ways of life. These currents of life which find their ways and canalized into artistic cinematic forms needs a PLATFORM, a center, a leadership, a stage-APSA served as such a platform during the six years of its existence. It assembled, made aware of, promote and put a spotlight for so many breathtaking films that has been done in this region. It serves as a venue, event, promoter, initiator and supporter of film co-productions and as an artistic link between filmmakers in the region. It combined and gave distinction for Asia-Pacific films and strengthened the awareness of the film industry worldwide to it, as EFA does for Europe and the Academy for North America. I am from Israel, and have been a member of this year’s APSA international jury. I had the honor to present this year’s UNESCO APSA award to the film” Warriors of the rainbow” from Taiwan-an untold story of an almost unknown culture. There are many cultures to be promoted, countless stories to be told and countless images to be seen. Australia and APSA should be the focus point for this and it should receive the means and the support to continue, expand and flourish with this blessed activity it has been doing so far. Let this creature swim, don’t drown it. Sasson Gabay

  • maxine williamson

    It would certainly be a great shame if APSA were to collapse through lack of support. I’m surprised that the Queensland government is so short –sighted as APSA does a magnificent job for Australia in bringing to the notice of the world the very fine films made in the Asian region. Why should the world be deluged with films from America and Europe when so many of the best are made in our part of the world? Not only does APSA promote these fine films but establishes contacts between Australian film makers and those of so many Asian countries. I know from personal experience that this has resulted in the employment of Australians in Asian movies and has also resulted in Asian movies being either filmed or completed in Australia. If APSA continues both of these trends will increase over time.

    BruceBeresford
    Jury President APSA 2008

  • maxine williamson

    According to my personal opinion, APSA has a great importance to show of cultural richness of its geography to the other places of the world.
    I also would like to mention that, Australian Government has a very important pioneer role to be able to make this organisation and bring this great richness of culture in to the world cultural history.
    So i sincerely wish and demand that APSA would carry on to spread this thousand ways of different cinematic richness to the whole around the world.

    SERDAR AKAR
    APSA International Jury member 2010
    ACADEMY MEMBER OF APSA
    DIRECTOR-PRODUCER
    TURKEY

  • maxine williamson

    APSA is one of the most important meeting place for the talents of this region. I saw Iranian films , Russian films, Turkish films here and had the privilege to meet some of the filmmakers to exchange idea. I understand the Arab-Israeli conflicts and other complex issues more through the documentaries which I normally have no access to. We helped some of the cutting edge films to be recognized through the event and the awards where as they normally would be ignored by the public and the press. Through APSA I was able to relay the things I learned from the screenings and the discussions to my fellow people in China and Taiwan.

    Peggy Chiao

  • maxine williamson

    I have just heard the sad news that the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its wonderful Academy is under threat. This is very distressing. I think we all agree that not only is it a fantastic event, linking Australia and the Asian World but also that the Academy has given grants to many films that would not been completed without their help. One of these films, the Separation, is one of my all-time favourite films. I do hope that the Academy and the Awards will continue to thrive and flourish. Bravo to them for everything they have achieved so far.
    Kim Longinotto
    APSA Academy Member

  • maxine williamson

    As a writer/director who works both in the US and Asia, I understand the importance of award for filmmakers. I was fortunate enough to participate in this beautiful event as one of the jury members in 2009, and was immdeiately blown away by the sincerity and passion of the staff of APSA as well as the potential of the award itself. Asian Pacific Screen Award has been one and only award of this scale that exclusively showcases films from Asian Pacific region, where all the filmmakers can celebrate their eclectic voices as well as their singular vision. I can honestly say it was one of the most inspiring and encouraging events that I’ve ever been to from all the film festivals and venus in the world. It would be a great shame to lose such nourishing enviroment for artists and I urge Australian Federal Government to financially support APSA with utmost sincerity.
    Gina Kim
    Writer/Director
    APSA Academy Member
    APSA International Jury Member 2009

  • maxine williamson

    For my part, last year was the first year that I participated as a Member of APSA and as a Nominee and was extremely proud to be there.
    I was so impressed with the concept behind promoting the Asia Pacific industry and especially the exceptional organisation that the APSA Committees put behind the event.

    With todays worldwide push for media, in various forms, I feel it is essential to show the world that the Asia Pacific region has extremely valuable input and what better place to hold an annual event is Australia. The Oscars are held in LA, nowhere else … They have a home.

    It would be a great shame if the Federal Government wouldn’t back the annual APSA as surely this promotes the country and brings in, albeit fairly small at the moment, but brings in travellers who may or may not have ever been to the fair lands.

    I do hope that the Federal Government can pass a budget for APSA for the sake of the arts and culture.

    Sincerely

    Charles Rapaport
    APSA Academy Member

  • maxine williamson

    I am writing in support of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy.
    It pains me to think of such a wonderful, inspiring organization closing its doors.
    I was lucky to be part of the jury on the APSA Children’s film fund in 2011. Maxine and her team do a brilliant job of creating an atmosphere and event where people from different cultures unite empowering one another through sharing their experiences and forming new collaborations. APSA celebrates and funds powerful film making, stories of depth and humanity that make a difference to our world.

    Armagan Ballantyne
    Director
    APSA Academy Member

  • Lauren Horner

    I am writing in support of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy. This was my first year attending this wonderful event. I found ASPA to be a lot of things: it was celebration of the diversity of our different cultures; a method of recgonising the many wonderful films made in the region; and an important meeting place for both emerging and established talent.
    All these are wonderful in their own right yet I felt the real value of ASPA lied in providing a forum for nations – some who are engaged in political or ideological conflict – to come together at an event that facilitates the creation and strengthening of relationships. The impact of these relationship and this opportunity can not be easily measured on a budget spreadsheet – there are so few events worldwide that can make this claim that it would be a great shame to see this opportunity lost.

  • Tui Ruwhiu

    The APSAs have an extremely vital role to play in celebrating the diversity and success of filmmakers in the Asia Pacific region, and providing networks for future collaboration. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) recognises this with the incredible support it gives through the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. As the focus this century shifts more and more to the Asia Pacific evidenced most recently by the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, it’s encumbent on the Australian Federal Government to continue to invest in the APSAs. The returns that come from supporting the filmmaking community in the Asia Pacific through the APSAs are significant, both culturally and economically.

  • Lynne WANG

    For the past six years,Asia Pacific Screen Academy has done a great job to make it a signifigant event. People, especially film makers, benefited a lot from this event.We are all grateful! APSA is just like a six-year-old child,we all know why we brought this child into this world,and we all understand how important this child’s existence for this world.I believe all the difficulties are not the reason to close it, but the reason to make it even better. People should sit together, talk about the problem, fix it. This obstacle would then be a good chance to help make APSA a greater event in this world. Lynne Wang,APSA Academy member,winner of best animated film 2010

  • Maria Barbieri

    It is thanks to events such as the Asia Pacific Screen Awards that Australian cultural enrichment can take place. Cinema, just like all other art forms, relies on the willingness to broaden ones horizons and understanding of the world around us. Putting an end to the APSA would mean cutting off one of the avenues through which Australia is able to flourish in the international film context. Besides the benefits that come from cultural exchange and collaborations, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards also help Australia connect with its neighbouring countries while promoting its own cultural assets abroad. In essence, through the APSA Australian filmmakers have a chance to engage with the cultural diversity that has, until now, been a crucial element in the production of Australian film.

  • Hussain Currimbhoy

    For a country so wealthy, and a state so diverse, its galling that they would attack cultural events that enrich people’s lives and give them a badly needed insight into the world around them. god knows the regular media simply can’t fulfil this appetite of curiosity that (most) Australians have. But what’s worse is that the Awards are often the only opportunity for profile and exposure many brilliant Asia-Pacific films that would otherwise never get mentioned in Australia’s cinema culture. the awards offer a chance to visit other worlds with their films and give another point of view to life outside our shores. the government could fund these awards three times over if it knew what it was doing. it would be misstep for the government to dimish these awards as it would display gross misunderstanding of its own people’s tastes and interests and would demonstrate a mismanagement of funds.
    Hussain Currimbhoy, Sheffield Doc/Fest

  • maxine williamson

    I am Serge Lalou, film and television producer (Waltz with Bashir, To be and to have and more than 350 films for tv and cinema) and I would like to underline the essential mission of tha Asia Pacific Screen Awards in the awareness, exchange and also film business in the region. They have my full support.
    Best,
    Serge Lalou

  • Maithili Rao

    I am disturbed by the news that APSA cannot continue because of financial constraints.

    APSA has done pioneering work, in highlighting the rich cinematic traditions of Asia and putting the diverse cinemas, its practitioners, critics in touch with each other. It has been a truly educative and enriching endeavour.

    I value my association with APSA and have spoken about the wonderful work done by this organization with my peers and other film people in India. They, in turn, were keen to send their films to compete in what has come to be known as the Asian Oscars. The funding of innovative scripts by APSA has shown concrete results. Films that won nominations from India gained greater visibility and many young filmmakers are eager to submit their work. They call and email me, to get information about how to go about it.

    I hope that the Federal Government and the Queensland government continue to support APSA.

    All the best for the future,

    Maithili Rao

  • otto alder

    aspa developed very fast to a great event which get attention from million of people all over the world. its unique. having a strong academy in the pasific asian region seems to me crucial for the media industries. for networking, for exchance of ideas, for meeting and of course for cooperation and celebration of outstanding quality. it would be a great loss for brisbane, australia, asian pasific region and the worlds creative film scene if aspa would disappear.
    otto alder

  • Latika Padgaonkar

    It takes hard and detailed work, much of it unseen, to build an academy and institute awards that become significant in a short spen of seven years. But that is exactly what APSA has been able to achieve. Its funding and awards ceremony are today among the most coveted for filmmakers of the Asia-Pacific region, a region that matters. It would be a great shame if state investment were to dry up and APSA’s work to wither away. Cinema is one art form that transcends boundaries quickly and with ease. We hope that a project launched with so much expectation and fairness lives and grows healthily. Filmmakers and cinema lovers have placed their faith in APSA. We don’t want to be let down.

  • tahmineh milani

    I am an Iranian director . I maid 12 feature movies .
    I think it is very important to keep it alive , it is an extraordinary exchange between culture and identity of Asian country and a meeting pointing of big value . It is a way of keeping cinema alive in Asia

  • Vimukthi Jayasundara

    When world about to end this 21st.. still people in this planet not wanted to understand, how we have to care of this world.. filmmakers in Asia Pacific need Mother earth, the world to go around and to wake for sunrise daily even after 2012.. that is why we need The Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Academy. Let’s show to world we have free will to love this planet so that will never end, La via La Cinema – long life for The Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

  • Konrad Ng

    The Asian Pacific Screen Awards is a terrific advocate for Australia in the Asia Pacific region. In a century that is being defined by Asia and its cultural flows in film and media, APSA is instrumental to realizing Australia’s natural leadership in these areas.

    – Konrad Ng, APSA member

  • Vahid Mousaian

    I am one of the participants of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. I have enjoyed all the hard working of the different movie directors,producers and other artists Australian government has supported the Multicultural film industry for last few years. It will be very sad, huge loss and heart braking if this fantastic work will be stopped. During these recent years APSA is very well known and recognized among Iranian artists.
    It was honor for me as film director and one of the nominees for my documentary “The Lost Land”, year 2007, seeing not to have such a life experience any more.

  • Yuka Sakano, Head Intl Relations, Kawakita Me

    It was a sheer surprise to know the critical crisis of The Asia Pacific Screen Awards. APSA has been playing the unique and valuable role as a bridge in pan-asian region,miraculously successfully fostering the professional network, fund system, not to mention the fratanity among the film industry.
    Being an ex-nomination council member,I had wonderful opportunities to watch a great deal of films,which were often pleasant discoveries and broaden my horizon; I believe the same applies to all the people involved. There will be no argument that all the APSA staff’s highly motivated effort and dedication for their task will certainly make the further contribution to the world film scene.
    It would be an immense loss if APSA disappears at this stage, on the way to pursuing its mission.

  • Cameron Bailey, Toronto Intl Film Festival

    I was very concerned to hear the news that the future of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards is in jeopardy. I hope your financial supporters appreciate just how unique and significant this initiative is. Each year I travel to Asia several times for my work and I know that nowhere else can be found a celebration of Asian cinema that is so selective yet so comprehensive. Your Academy is the one organization that truly brings the entire region’s film industries together. Having served as a juror in 2011, I can also say that this was the best organized, most efficient and friendly jury process in which I’ve ever had the pleasure to take part. As Asia continues to be the world’s fastest growing, most vital territory for film, I should think Australia would want to maintain or even increase its role within the hemisphere. APSA is your country’s best chance to remain relevant within this rapidly expanding industry. I’ve been impressed with what you’ve accomplished so far and hope there’s much more to come.

  • Prof. Hou Keming

    This year as the international jury member to participate in the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, is the second time I take part in the great cultural events. In 2010, as a member of the Chinese filmmaker delegation, I attended the APSA Awards Ceremony hold in Gold Coast. The Chinese film AFTER SHOCK directed by the one of most famous director Mr. Feng Xiaogang, won the best film award. Through Feng Xiaogang’s award-winning news, Chinese film industry and their audience began to realize the importance of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

    In the 6th Annual APSA, I saw so many excellent films from our region the Asia-Pacific countries, not only China, Japan, India, South Korea and other film industry developed countries, also from Philippines, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Malaysia and other countries. So many films from difference countries get awards. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards to support these filmmakers, each country’s unique development of film culture plays an irreplaceable role. We need a better world with cultural diversity and relatively independent. The regional filmmakers need to support their productions to develop the locale film culture. Asian Pacific Screen Awards has played an irreplaceable role in the development of regional culture.

    As the APSA member, I am looking forward to see the development of APSA in the future.

  • Steblyanko Ludmila & Roman Smorodin, APSA Aca

    Participation of our film in this event was a wonderful experience for us. In our opinion APSA is a great opportunity for cultural exchange, creative
    partnership and development of film production. It will be bad for the region to lose this event. So we hope APSA won’t be left without support.

  • Catherine Fitzgerald, Producer, Blue Skin Fil

    I have the great honour of being a member of this Academy. The Academy draws together films and filmmakers from a region which is delivering some of the most exciting films of the 21st century. They reflect, challenge, and provide insight, into cultures which have a long, rich and deep heritage, are politically crucial in this century and yet are little understood across the region let alone in the wider “Western” world. Australia is perfectly positioned politically to host the APSA awards and development programmes. It has the authority and respect within the region to bring filmmakers together without fear, and to promote mutual respect and understanding. I have personally been particularly impressed at the high regard in which the awards are held when I was an invited guest at each of the Beijing International Film Festival and the Indian International Film Festival. Most recently when I was at the latter Festival in Goa , I was most proud to hear the film THY WOMB Dir. Brillante Mendoza introduced to the packed audience as having just been acknowledged with Best Director and Best Actress at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. These accolades were greatly applauded. At Beijing, the support of the MPA with increased funding demonstrated how the APSA Film Funds are such an appropriate means by which the US majors support the national cinema in our region.
    The most significant testament to the importance of APSA is the case study of Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s film, A Separation, having won The Golden Bear at Berlin took out the Best Foreign Language Film prize at this year’s Oscars. We met at the 2011 APSA awards in the many events that bring the participating finalist filmmakers together. Their APSA grant, crucial to the film being finished, demonstrates how an Australian initiative is perfectly positioned to support a film which crosses boundaries to tell a culturally specific but universal story which reaches all over the globe receiving a major accolade in Europe and in the heart of the US film business, Hollywood. It is more than cultural diplomacy, it fosters a personal connection to the universal nature of humanity while fostering story telling which in its form, as much as its content, honours cultural specificity.
    The recognition that APSA have awarded two films I have produced, Rain of the Children and The Orator bears testament to how important for filmmakers it is for distinctive cultural specific stories from small relatively unknown cultures to be acknowledged in a region that it perhaps more likely to find resonances and connections than the USA. More than anything though, these awards open up new markets and a chance to reach a much wider audience with our stories.
    The awards event itself embodies the values of cultural diplomacy, all nominees are celebrated by seating them all on the stage, and the spirit of community among diverse cultures is immediately apparent. They benefit even more from spending a few days together sharing their experience of Australia. A first time actor from Samoa is rubbing shoulders with directors actors and producers form some of the largest filmmaking nations of the world. It is perhaps the best awards ceremony I have attended which includes the Academy Awards in Hollywood, the Golden Rooster Awards in Taiwan as well as many such ceremonies in Australia and New Zealand.
    I encourage the government of Australia to recognise that support at this point will allow a valuable cultural and diplomatic initiative to build on all that it has achieved in a such a short time to date.

  • Sonya Kim

    Hollywood says Asian Cinema is expanding and the world is watching us. Yet, being in one of far east countries, I easily forget how big and different we are in this region. In order to build this culturally fractured industry of Asian Cinema more region-wide productive and promising, the Asian Pacific Screen Awards provides a firm platform and channel to bridge the film industries as well as to discover hidden talents over the region. APSA certainly differentiates itself from other awards in this region by giving wider band covering South and Arabic world. It’s certainly a gift and history contributed by Australia and we all appreciate it. Needless to say, we need to keep on supporting this brand.

  • Nurman Hakim

    APSA is unique in a sense that it an event that culminates filmmaking of the Asia-Pacific region to one forum that showcases film as a cultural entity – as Melanie Combs put it “unity and diversity” (which incidentally it echoes Indonesia’s state ideology “unity in diversity”). It is also an important event in order to market and distribute films that don’t normally get exposure. When my film Pesantren: 3 Wishes 3 Loves, was nominated in the children’s section, it received great responses in terms of the central theme of the film which is pluralism. It would be a great loss indeed if this wonderful initiative is not continued. Nurman Hakim, director/producer.

  • Mohammad Ali Talebi

    As a director/writer who works in Iran, I believe that APSA is a very important event to support Asian filmmakers.Please keep it alive.

  • Justin C

    APSA helps to further connect Australia to our region and assists to further develop cultural excange and understanding .This reflects the direction outlined in the federal government’s recent Asian Century white paper.

    In addition the event helps to build Brisbane and Queenslands’ reputation as a culturally diverse location which can only assist Queensland tourism marketing in the longer term .
    I well remember the enormous boost to South Australia’s(international reputation) in the 1970s as a result of the then Dunstan Governemt generously funding the arts and the establisment of the S.A Film Corporation.

  • Gemma Mumford

    I can’t believe the QLD government are even considering cutting funding of such a fantastic cultural initiative.
    Asia Pacific Screen Awards is more than just an event. It is a cultural enterprise which not only celebrates films and filmmakers from all over the world but it increases cultural understanding and diversity amongst audiences as well. It is something that should be encouraged and supported and I really hope that it can continue with or without the government’s assistance.

  • Sergey Dvortsevoy

    I think it is very important to keep APSA alive. Thanks to APSA we – Russian film makers – feel connection with Asian and Pasific countries, with Australia and Australian audience. I feel this particularly acute, because thanks to APSA’s support my film “TULPAN” got great success in Australian cinemas. And APSA helps me to start a new international film project. The team of APSA is doing a very good job, don’t stop them, please. Sergey Dvortsevoy

  • Hansen Liang

    Since the year of 2007, I participated in the first session of APSA and received the Animated Feature Film Award nomination. As a member of APSA Institute, for six years, I have been concerned about the APSA, and I feel so proud for this. In the Asia-Pacific region, APSA is the most important and significant. The Asia-Pacific region has a multi-cultural, complex population, APSA is a bridge between people and cultures, the Society Fund established by APSA Film Institute and it gives its member filmmakers the confidence and the opportunity to make good films, this is cannot be compared to other film awards around the world, APSA’s annual high quality assessment of cinematographic works, let people have the opportunity to enjoy high-quality products to understand the true meaning of cinema. Asia Pacific region needs APSA, my company which is dedicated to animation, feel deeply grateful to APSA, it gives us the confidence and support, as academy member, I hope Australian Federal Government to financially support the Asia Pacific Screen Awards so, the culture of Asia-Pacific region can continuous prosperity. APSA is the useful bridge, in this way, the people around the world can get together in a peaceful environment, chasing the dream, to create brilliant civilization of the world. – Hansen Liang (Producer, Director, APSA Academy Member)

  • Anupam Sharma

    It is unfortunate that we are even thinking about the future of APSA. It is not an awards ceremony , it is a movement which places Australia in the REAL WORLD. The world of cinema which is multicultural, multilingual, multiracial through one language of Cinema. As a member of APSA advisory board I am biased not just in favour of APSA but also in favour of the facts that support and scream for the existence and further globalisation of APSA.
    Existence of APSA is non negotiable .
    Anupam Sharma
    Member Advisory Panel APSA
    Producer Director
    Australia Day Ambassador NSW
    Director An Australian Film Initiative.

  • David Jowsey

    I add my name to support the APSA Awards. Our film Toomelah won the 2011 UNESCO Prize and we are really grateful for the acknowledgement in front of some of the world’s best filmmakers. What a terrific event. How cool that we join with our region with our best films and share our stories. What an inspiring world we live in and what a visionary Des Power is. Thank you to APSA, let it live and grow into our future and for the generations to come.

  • Jessica

    I first heard about APSA in the international Press several years ago. I was then glad that Asia Pacific was starting an event to celebrate it’s own cinema and film-makers. I was even more impressed when I heard that APSA was also creating financial support to projects in the making. One of the most difficult moment for producers and directors, and for which it is difficult to find support in the region. I’ve since then hoped that one of my film or project will find it’s way to Australia! Last year I was honoured to see that my film, WANG Xiaoshuai’s 11 FLOWERS, was nominated and that all of us (6 producers from China and France) had become member of APSA. I also had the chance to be invited as a member of the Children Fund jury. It was an amazing experience to read and discover the projects from all over the Asia-Pacific region. Each of those film on the making needed a place to be supported, discovered, promoted, introduced… And they all turned to APSA, to Australia. Therefore, it is very important that APSA keep being a platform for films from the region, a place were we celebrate an amazing region, it’s creative energy and the talents of tomorrow.

  • Feroz Abbas Khan

    I am very distressed to know that APSA faces a threat to its very existence.
    In just 5 years it has gained respect,credibility and huge support,which other such efforts have taken years to establish.
    More importantly it has given voice to films of the region that refuses be defined by the existing status quo and well entrenched.
    APSA’s achievements with its film fund is spectacular.
    As a recipient of the screenplay award in its inaugural edition,in 2007,I extend my support to APSA and I am willing to be a part of any positive effort to keep this alive.

  • Huang Jianxn

    我是中国的电影导演黄建新,曾担任“The Asia Pacific Screen Awards”的评委会主席。我认为“The Asia Pacific Screen Awards”是亚太地区非常重要的电影节,也是国际电影节里很有特点的一个。它不但能将世界重要的电影制作人和明星吸引到澳大利亚,同时也通过这些优秀影片的传播和互动,让世界上更多的人了解澳大利亚和澳大利亚的电影与文化。
    “The Asia Pacific Screen Awards”的停办不仅是澳大利亚电影和文化的损失,也是亚太地区电影界的损失。在此,我呼吁政府继续给予电影节支持帮助,使电影节发展壮大,对亚太地区以及世界的电影文化发展做出贡献。

  • Tony Barry

    If culture is the measure of a society, then film is the twenty-first century yardstick. The future of our planet and its inhabitants depends on our awareness and understanding of one another. Recent corrupt economic practices have shown that these practices cannot and will not create this necessary understanding. Only a passionate and creative outpouring of heartfelt insights can offer the direction and inspire the courage to change, to embrace a paradigm shift in consciousness towards a more nourishing and sustaining model for our collective future. The Asia Pacific Awards, under the humane and visionary guidance of Des Power, not only offers the cultural respect required to support vibrant economic interaction, but focuses our collective moral compass towards a more compassionate and accepting world citizenry. A world view not distracted by dominance, greed or stupidity, but seen through the eyes of the others in our region as we develop and mature into citizens who will think, feel and act in the best interests of the picture we hold in our hearts for those who will follow. Not to support APSA and the bridges it has already built across Asia, would be an wanton act of political and economic vandalism and an act of extreme disrespect to our asian neighbours.

  • Mai Masri

    I am writing to express my appreciation and support for the wonderful work of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. As a member of the academy and a proud recipient of the APSA Best Documentary Award, I would like to urge the Australian Federal Government to continue supporting the remarkable efforts of APSA in nurturing the cinema of the Asia Pacific region, bridging cultures, and providing financial support for talented filmmakers from across the region.

    I feel honored and privileged to be a member of APSA. The award I received from APSA has made a huge difference for me and opened new doors in my career. I sincerely hope that the Australian Federal Government will continue providing the financial support so necessary for the survival of this valuable and important initiative.

    Mai Masri
    Palestinian filmmaker based in Beirut, Lebanon

  • Mahdi Moniri

    Regretfully, I was informed that APSA is going to be closed any moment! For me as one of the winners of APSA award, which was my first international prize, as well, hearing this was really annoying. After traveling to many countries and participating to different film festivals around the world and getting some international awards, I believe none of them have the same level of professional standards as APSA has. Professional directors, experienced staff, well done programs and unique hospitality are some of my reasons that APSA is the best. And finally, as one of the members of the award, I ask for the continuing support of the Federal Government of Australia for next years.

    With all my best regards and wishes, Mahdi Moniri (Filmmaker, Iran, APSA Academy member)

  • Hanna LEE

    The news regarding the Federal Government’s decision to cut back on its support for the Asia Pacific Film Awards(APSA) came as a shock and great disappointment as I had no doubt the APSAs was slowly gaining recognition as a stage to commend filmmakers from the Asia Pacific for all the hard work in their endeavors to tell a great story and stir the audience with emotion, insight and intellectual challenges, create solidarity within this community as well as promote their cinemas beyond regional territories. Furthermore, the APSAs efforts to extent its support to Asian Pacific filmmaker through programs such as the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund have resulted in their assistance to outstanding works including Asghar Farhadi’s award-winning . The APSAs came at a perfect time when it was needed and now it is about to enter a new phase in its ongoing support for Asia-Pacific cinema and its film community. This all could not have happened and cannot continue to happen without all the amazing efforts of the APSA organization and its wonderful staff. It would be such a loss to see more of what APSA can and will do.

  • PARK Chanok

    Although I missed out on the opportunity to participate in the APSAs in 2010 when my film PAJU was nominated for Best Feature and Best Actress, I have heard many good things about the APSAs and acknowledge its contributions in promoting and supporting Asia-Pacific films. As I hear the news of a drastic cut back in the Federal Government’s support for the APSAs, I would like to express my greatest regret for this unfortunate situation and convey my full support for the APSA committee and its staff.

  • KIM Jukyung

    I regret to hear such troubling news about the threat on the APSAs. The APSAs I participated in 2010 with the film I produced, PAJU was truly a great experience personally for the heartfelt support and commendation I felt from the committee and staff which was rewarding especially in light of all the hard work put into a film made in an independent film production environment like PAJU and also the opportunity it provided to connect with fellow colleagues from the Asia-Pacific film community. Furthermore the APSA Film Fund gives filmmakers like us the actually support and inspiration to continue an arduous journey to reach an audience with our stories. I hope this will not come to a stop and would like to show my firm support for APSA.

  • LEE Chang-dong

    It is often said that culture and art enhances the quality of life on an intangible level. But in fact, the actual influence that culture and art has upon a national and local economy is more than significant. I was once in charge of Korea’s cultural administration as Minister of Culture through which I acquired the invaluable experience of confirming this undeniable truth. And accordingly it came as a great shock and pity to hear the Federal government’s decision to cut back on its support for APSA. I do hope that this is not due to any economic reason for Australia’s economic energy cannot continue burning without the help of cultural engines such as APSA. APSA has brought Australia closer to the Asian community to acknowledge it as a nearby neighbor and a partner with broad-minded leadership in a vast content industry which includes cinema. Through APSAs efforts, Asia has slowly come to be seen not as an assembly of scattered nations but a great and meaningful market. Although such accomplishments cannot be translated into immediate numbers the effective endeavors that APSA has displayed to achieve these grand ambitions are truly exceptional. APSA must continue its journey, not just for Australia but for the Asia-Pacific film industry in general as the road APSA has taken leads to our future.

  • Jess Conoplia

    It would be a crying shame if APSA were to struggle for funding or suffer from a reduction in fiscal support. Aside from the myriad of benefits the Awards provide filmmakers, they are reflective of Australia’s commitment to working with its Asia Pacific counterparts. This is indeed a new period in history and tremendous focus is on the Asia Pacific region. Australia is key player, culturally and politically, in this part of the world and support of the Awards reiterates this. APSA has significant international recognition but should also receive financial support from the hosting country. It has been my privilege to attend all but one of the APSA ceremonies. They are a credit to Des, Maxine, the APSA team and event sponsors.

  • YANG Ik-june

    In hopes of a stable and continuous growth of the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, I would like to convey my utmost alignment and support to the APSA committee and staff.

  • Linda Jaivin

    Having been involved over a number of years with APSA as a consultant and translator, I have nothing but admiration and respect for this extraordinary institution and the people behind it. As the other comments here testify, though it has only been around for six years, it has made a huge contribution to world and regional film culture and raised both Australia and Queensland’s profile among both filmmakers and film lovers around the globe. It’s absurd, short-sighted and plain mean for the Queensland government to withdraw support from it now. I sincerely hope that APSA will survive into the future.

  • Jeune Son

    It really saddens me to hear the news that APSA is facing its biggest challenge due to government funding cuts. I have been proudly associated with APSA for the past 4 years as a Korean interpreter and translator. I believe that APSA has been one of the most important events in the calendar for the Asis-Pacific film community and deservedly so. Wonderful films and cultures depicted in those films have delighted and inspired all of us and none of those films could not have been known to us without APSA. APSA must continue and the Asia-Pacific region must continue to cherish and celebrate its cinematic and cultural achievement through APSA.

  • Richard Luke Rothschild

    Unfortunately, there is always a need for government subsidies of organizations such as the Asian-Pacific Screen Awards.
    APSA fosters international cultural dialogue, the free exchange of ideas and lifestyles, and – in its own way – fosters the promotion of peace and understanding throughout the non-Western world. It does this on a non-preferential, non-commercial basis.
    This is a difficult goal to achieve, and APSA needs the support of government arts institutions to survive.
    As an American film producer and former APSA jury member, I certainly hope the Australian government can step up to support this worthwhile organization.

  • Loy Arcenas

    More than ever, governments have been talking about the need to have closer contacts with their neighboring countries. APSA, in its short period of existence, has contributed in the development of the film industry of the Asia Pacific region.
    But more importantly, it has helped create a cultural bond among participating nations through personal and cultural exchanges among the filmmakers of the region. That APSA originates from Australia points to the importance of APSA’s Australian roots. It would be a shame if the Australian government will terminate this growing process.

  • Nasrin Vaziri

    As a film sociology researcher, this question come cross to my mind that why the APSA Academy is important to our community.

    Beside all natural beauties, construction and development which have taken place in the few last decades, yet, Australia – Queensland suffers from isolation. APSA Academy not only brings people for a week or so, but its greater benefit for Australian society is global recognition as an intellectual arts (films) destination. With APSA Academy, the academic researchers in film and cinema see the topic of APSA in Australia as one of the most prominent film event and consequently promoting Australia. This global attention has not been obtained easily, rather it has been developed by thoughts, innovation, energy and Australian investment over the years and it would be a big regret in a case of discontinuation.

    The assistance to filmmakers from Asia Pacific regions is not limited to the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund or award at the ceremony. In fact, APSA Academy’s significant contribution, in my opinion, is to encourage and motivate the filmmakers (who many of them go through financial, political and social challenges to make the films in their regions) to express their unique messages through their artistic abilities.

    I am witness that when Asgar Farhadi received “the Grand Jury” award for “About Elly” from APSA in 2009, he told me that the award motivated him to create and make more films. As we see, he submitted and received MPA for the “A Separation” in 2010 as the film received 53 awards and prizes including Oscar “Foreign Film” during 2012. Farhadi’s filmmaking destiny has been completely changed and now he is one of the most prominent Non-English Speaking (NES) filmmakers in glob that many famous movie stars have shown interests in playing in his films (Payman Moadi’s report from Oscar Ceremony 2012). Farhadi is just an example and there are many other successful stories about APSA Academy.

    I hope the Australian government continue to support APSA as the best major event in Queensland, which bring proud for Australia.

    Nasrin Vaziri, Sociologist, academic film critics, Holder of Centenary Federation Medal and Award

  • Mat Kesting

    “Where the hell is Queensland?” I hear my friends in Asia ask followed by the reply “Oh that’s where the APSAs are held”…

    In just six years the Asia Pacific Screen Awards have grown to become a significant, internationally recognised event that is considered to be the equivalent of the Academy Awards (Oscars) in Asia. And it’s in Australia. How amazing is that?!

    The APSAs present a range of opportunities that extend well beyond the obvious benefits of providing an opportunity for filmmakers and film professionals in our region to meet and exchange whilst celebrating the very best of this art form – the value of which should not be disregarded. The quality of the films and calibre of filmmakers is second to none. The wider benefit is greater cultural understanding using the medium of film as a mechanism.

    It is clear that we are now in the midst of the Asian century as acknowledged by the recent white paper presented by Prime Minister Gillard. Whilst we clamber for trade with the growing economic powerhouses of Asia, we surely can not do this separate from art and culture. Engagement within our region can be done with far more grace if we understand with whom we are speaking. Film presents an accesible way for us to gain this understanding. Furthermore, the promotion of Australian cinema and stories enables others to gain insight into our culture. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is the peak event in the region enabling this cultural exchange occur. The loss of the APSAs would indeed be tragic – for film and for our nation.

  • Michael Eldred

    I’ve observed the development of the APSA and the academy over their outset and congratulate all those who have built such an important and vibrant part of the film industry. It’s focus on the Asia pacific realises at once access to significant, growing audiences as well as potential finance and co production opportunities. Immense potential for the Australian film industry overall.
    More than that, it provides support to a world of new, exciting, film makers from places and cultures we may not otherwise ever witness. We need to hear this voice.
    I really can’t understand how it’s further support and development could NOT be supported??
    Michael Eldred

  • Sheron Dayoc

    I hope Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) continues. They recognized the best that Asian cinema has produced. And they also encouraged new filmmakers like me who was lucky enough to be given a NETPAC Development prize for Halaw. Their roster of nominees and eventually their winners show the highest standard of excellence they aim for. It is a celebration of the best of Asian Cinema that filmmakers would aspire for and a showcase to the rest of the world.

  • Eun Lee

    As a winner of APSA 2011, I wish Australian Federal Government continue to support this important film event as usual. APSA has helped a lot of creators in Asia-Pacific region financially and inbreathed courage into filmmakers. Also it has played the role of exchange cultures and indetities among contries.

  • Robert Lambeth

    The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is in full support of
    APSA and the great work and promotion it does for Asia Pacific Rim
    cinema. The 21st Century is often referred to as “the Asian Century”
    and what APSA does is tantamount to HIFF’s mission: bridging East and
    West through the medium of film. APSA’s ability to bring the region’s
    great cinema to the global stage is not only extraordinary, but it
    also makes Australia a major leader, innovator and cultural hub of the
    Asia Pacific Rim. If ASPA were to not continue, it would deal a major
    blow to Asia Pacific Rim cinema and culture.

  • Jane O’Neill

    I sincerely hope that the great efforts in establishing APSA will not go to waste, that this important cultural connection with our neighbours in the Asia Pacific region will be preserved.

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