Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk today announced Brisbane City Council would fund the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in the 2013/14 budget as part of the push to strengthen Brisbane’s position in the Asia Pacific market.
Cr Quirk said Brisbane would become the new home for the event, allocating $1.75M to manage the awards, established in 2007, as well as the academy, established in 2008.
Economic development agency Brisbane Marketing will manage this year’s awards.
“The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, or APSAs as they are known, is the highest film accolade in the world’s fastest-growing film region – 70 countries and home to 4.5 billion people,” Cr Quirk said.
“Over half of the world’s film and multi-media production derives from this burgeoning region.
“Our decision to manage these prestigious awards and secure its international secretariat and academy is about positioning Brisbane for business opportunities while continuing to foster cultural relationships with our regional neighbours.
“It is also about reading the economic signs: Asia Pacific is the economic powerhouse of the world and it is important for our future that we claim our slice of the pie.
“Hosting APSA strengthens Brisbane’s proposition as the new world city, not just of Australia, but of the Asia Pacific.
“APSA complements the Asia Pacific Cities Summit, the Australian Performing Arts Market and the Asia Pacific Triennial.”
Cr Quirk said the council had made a three year commitment to funding APSA with $1.75M allocated in the first year, including a target for industry sponsorship of $250,000 increasing to $750,000 by year three.
Brisbane Marketing CEO John Aitken said Brisbane’s commitment to APSA showed the city was a serious player in the Asia Pacific region economically and culturally.
“It is an incredible honour and responsibility and an enormously powerful opportunity,” Mr Aitken said.
“APSA will provide Brisbane with an entrée into some of our key source markets: China, India, Korea and the Middle East through the industry’s high-profile individuals.
“APSA will introduce us to the Jack Thompsons, Jane Campions and Bruce Beresfords of Asia Pacific societies: powerful people with powerful contacts and influence.”
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy brings together 600 of the region’s most respected names in film as an influential alumni of filmmakers.
APSA Academy president, actor Jack Thompson AM, said film enabled people to connect with the issues that influenced the world socially, economically and culturally.
“It’s important we learn from one another and there is no more eloquent medium than film,” Dr Thompson said. “I congratulate Lord Mayor Quirk and his councillors on their decision to support APSA.”
Queensland Ballet Artistic Director and author of the book and Bruce Beresford film Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin welcomed the news as a boon for the local arts community and Brisbane’s reputation as a cultural beacon.
“APSA has made a profound impression in a relatively short space of time,” Mr Cunxin said.
“It not only promotes films from the region to global audiences, it promotes the values of cultural diversity and expression.
“From a purely business point of view, we need to understand our neighbouring cultures, their beliefs, traditions and customs if we are to have meaningful, productive and friendly relationships. Film not only opens doors it opens minds.”
Some 300 films will be considered for nomination in nine categories including Best Feature Film.
The Asia Pacific Screen Awards was established in 2007. The awards, originally held at the Gold Coast, were held in Brisbane for the first time last year.
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy was established in 2008 and brings together 600 of the region’s most respected names in film. This influential alumni of filmmakers grows by around 100 each year.
APSA Productions presents a range of programs for television and online viewing, including the broadcast version of the annual Awards ceremony, documentaries and interviews with some of the world’s most accomplished filmmaker.
APSA has forged an international alliance with the European Film Academy, which presents the prestigious annual European Film Awards.
The president of the international jury will be announced in coming weeks. Previous presidents of the international jury include Australia’s Jan Chapman (triple winner of an Academy Award® The Piano) and Bruce Beresford (Mao’s Last Dancer, four time Academy Award® winner Driving Miss Daisy, Breaker Morant), China’s Huang Jian Xin, Director of two of China’s highest grossing box office films, Hong Kong’s, Nansun Shi (Detective Dee, Dragon Tiger Gate) , the UK’s Lord David Puttnam (Academy Award® winner, The Mission, The Killing Fields, Chariots of Fire) , India’s Shabana Azmi , actor in over 140 films, humanitarian and former member of the Indian Parliament.
Photo Credit Caroline Russo Media.