MPA APSA Academy Film Fund opens, jury announced

Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov with his APSA for Best Directing . He received an MPA APSA Academy Film Fund grant in 2018 for 'A Dark, Dark Man'.

This year’s MPA APSA Academy Film Fund has been launched in Vietnam, with the jury announced for the selection process.

A joint initiative of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the US$100,000 fund is designed to provide support for new feature film projects from members of the academy.

The winners of the four US$25,000 grants wholly supported by the MPA will be announced at the 2021 Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony on Thursday, November 11 as the annual Asia Pacific Screen Forum opens.

The jury for this year’s fund includes film distributor, historian, and documentary filmmaker Andrew Pike, in what is his 12th year as part of the selection panel.

He is joined by 2019 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund recipient and producer Catherine Fitzgerald and Screen Australia’s head of Indigenous, Penny Smallacombe.

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Tracey Vieira said the partnership between the MPA and APSA continued to deliver a significant boost to the region’s creatives.

“The Asia Pacific Screen Academy is proud to support the creative voices across the region through our continued partnership with the MPA,” she said.

“As we together face the repercussions of the global pandemic, we also recognise the value of art and culture in recording our stories”.

To date, 44 projects from 22 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific have been supported through the initiative, with recipients including both emerging talent and established auteurs.

The fund has also helped in the completion of 13 feature films, which have subsequently debuted to international acclaim.

Belinda Lui, president and managing director Asia Pacific MPA, said the Asia Pacific region was “bursting with refreshing, new stories to be told”.

“We can’t wait to see this year’s range of diverse, ground-breaking film project ideas,” she said.