Academy initiative supports Asian pix

The Motion Picture Assn. Asia Pacific and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards have announced the continuation of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, which supports new films from the region.

The four $25,000 development grants are exclusive to members of the APSA Academy, an influential body of filmmakers comprising past APSA nominees, winners, jury and nominations council members.

APSA is a cultural initiative of the Queensland government in Australia, in collaboration with UNESCO and the Intl. Federation of Film Producers Assns.

The decision to continue the fund was announced by MPA Asia-Pacific Prexy and m.d. Mike Ellis at a reception at the Beijing Film Festival, where the attendees included “Black Swan” helmer Darren Aronofsky.

Chinese helmer Xue Xiaolu and Aussie helmer Tony Ayres will join the assessment panel for 2011, which will again be chaired by Ronin Films’ m.d. and member of APSA’s 2009 international jury, Andrew Pike.

The 2011 application period runs June 1 to Oct. 28, and successful applicants will be announced during the awards ceremony on Australia’s Gold Coast on Nov. 24.

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