Rolf de Heer wins $25,000 USD to develop ‘Mr Ward’s Incredible Journey’

29 November, 2016 by Staff Writer

Rolf de Heer. 


Award-winning director Rolf de Heer (Twelve Canoes, Charlie’s Country) has been named one of four recipients of this year's MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, designed to support new feature film projects at script stage.

Announced by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Brisbane last week, de Heer will receive a $25,000 USD grant to develop his script Mr Ward’s Incredible Journey.

De Heer's screenplay follows the true story of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, who tragically died in the back of a police van in the outback in 2008. De Heer will once again collaborate with David Gulpilil on the film.

The jury described the script as both “elegiac and timely” and commended de Heer and his Gulpilil for their “courage in taking on such a critical story in the ongoing history of the race relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Australia today.”

De Heer was inducted into the APSA Academy back in 2014 when he was nominated for Achievement in Directing for Charlie’s Country. Another Country, which he produced, was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film in 2015. 

President and MD of MPA Asia Pacific Mike Ellis said he was thrilled to announce the grants.

“My thanks go to the dedicated panel of industry experts chaired once again by Andrew Pike, joined this year by filmmakers Hanna Lee and Glenys Rowe.”

Alongside de Heer, the three other recipients of the 2016 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund are:

Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudi Arabia) for Miss Camel

Joo Young Park (Republic of Korea) for Morning Star (Yeonbaek)

Emir Baigazin (Kazakhstan) for The River