Securing the future of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards
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.
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.