The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, held annually in Queensland, Australia, will run in November in a slimmed down fashion. Earlier this year the event’s future seemed deeply clouded due to financial problems and the coronavirus.
Where normally a dozen prizes are awarded to artistic films from across the vast UNESCO-defined Asia region, the event this year will focus on two: the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, to be presented to a personality who has shaped the industry through innovation and creativity, and the APSA Young Cinema Award. The ceremony will retain the Nov. 26 date that was previously announced date before it was thrown into limbo.
In June, the Brisbane City Council and its offshoot Brisbane Marketing, notified APSA organizers that they would not be able to fund the event in the next financial year, which runs July to June, due to the impact of the coronavirus on the city’s finances. The 14th edition was to have been held at the Brisbane Conventions & Exhibitions Centre.
The slimmed down 2020 ceremony will also include the announcement of the four recipients of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, who each receive a $25,000 script development grant.
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The awards will be preceded by the second edition of Asia Pacific Screen Forum, running Nov 20-26. It will include events, screenings and industry round-table discussions with creatives from the APSA Academy, whose members are mostly previous prize winners. The forum will be delivered online.
The moves were announced by Tracey Vieira, who has become the event’s new chair. Former CEO of Screen Queensland and current chief content officer of film and television production company Hoodlum, Vieira replaces departing chairman Michael Hawkins and APSA founding chairman Des Power.
“APSA and its initiatives have long demonstrated great leadership uniting and connecting the filmmaking communities of Asia Pacific and beyond, creating opportunities, providing vital funds at script development stage in partnership with the Motion Picture Association and celebrating cultural diversity and cinematic excellence through the Awards and Forum,” said Vieira.
Screen Queensland is a major backer of the new awards and forum through its Screen Culture Funding program. The full program for the 2nd Asia Pacific Screen Forum will be announced in early October.