MPAA WASHINGTON EVENT CELEBRATES BRISBANE’S ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS
MPA APSA Academy Film Fund receives entries from 28 countries and areas of Asia Pacific
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Australian Embassy tonight held a Celebration of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) at the MPAA Washington headquarters, with a screening of the powerful feature film Memories on Stone (Bîranînên Li Ser Kevirî) from Iraqi Kurdish filmmaker Shawkat Amin Korki, who was in attendance.
MPAA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Senator Chris Dodd; Ambassador Kim Beazley, AC, Embassy of Australia and APSA Executive Chairman Michael Hawkins all spoke about the relevance of this important Brisbane based event; the region’s highest accolade in film. Attendees included Embassy representatives, guests of the Australian Embassy, US government staff, representatives from the DC film community and film students.
Memories on Stone began its development phase as a winner of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund script development grant in 2011. Since then, the completed film has had phenomenal success, winning the APSA International Jury chosen 2014 APSA UNESCO Award for the preservation of cultural diversity through film and more than a dozen awards internationally. In June, the film had an official screening at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, during UNESCO’s 2015 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Express. It is now Iraq’s official submission for the 88th Academy Awards® for the Best Foreign-Language Film.
A powerful story of friendship and filmmaking in a place that continues to be one of the world’s most troubled regions, Memories on Stone, has been described by Variety as ‘A dark tale of an inescapable past, told with dollops of absurdist humour.’
The film’s writer/director Shawkat Amin Korki, based in Erbil, Iraq, will travel on from Washington to Brisbane, Australia where he will Chair the 2015 APSA Youth, Animation and Documentary International Jury.
Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO, MPAA, who was inducted into the APSA Academy on the night, said, “We have a wonderful partnership with the APSAs through our film project development initiative – the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. The Fund provides a valuable means for new film projects to take shape through the development process, and helps ensure that all types of stories from every part of the Asia Pacific are able to find their way to the screen.”
Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, MPA said “The Asia Pacific is now the second largest theatrical box office region in the world after the United States, and is growing apace. There is a growing demand from cinema audiences for a wide range of entertaining and thought-provoking films, and the APSAs is playing an important role in recognising and rewarding some of the best filmmakers from across the Asia Pacific. We are delighted in the response from the region’s filmmakers to the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, and the high calibre of projects the Fund continues to attract.”
This successful event for partner organisations MPA and APSA, serves to highlight the longstanding relationship, the key focus of which is the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, established in 2010 with the aim to stimulate film production in Asia Pacific.
The fund, now six years strong, will see four more projects win grants in 2015, bringing the total number of recipient projects to twenty-four. Exclusive to APSA Academy members, the four $25,000 development grants, supported wholly by the MPA, will be announced at the APSA Ceremony on 26 November held in City Hall, in Brisbane, Australia.
APSA Executive Chairman Michael Hawkins said ‘Memories on Stone, a film that like most recipient projects, would have struggled to reach completion without the support of the film fund, is another shining example of the quality of film that the fund has supported. It follows in the footsteps of other recipients whose films have become incredible success stories at a global level, A Separation, Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winning drama and Maryam Ebrahimi’s No Burqas Behind Bars, which won the documentary International Emmy. We look forward to seeing which MPA APSA Academy Film Fund project will be the next to garner the world’s attention, and to seeing which projects will be the 2015 recipients from what is an incredibly strong and diverse field.’
In 2015 the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund received project submissions from a total of 28 Asia Pacific countries and areas.
The 2015 panel who will determine the Fund recipients will be Chaired by the esteemed Andrew Pike OAM (Australia), a film historian, documentary filmmaker, producer, distributor and exhibitor, acknowledged as a leading figure in bringing Asian cinema to Australian screens. This will be Andrew Pyke’s sixth year in the role.