Asia Pacific Screen Awards Return to In-Person Event, Add Netflix as Backer

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Streaming giant Netflix has joined as a major sponsor of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which will return to Queensland’s Gold Coast for the third edition of its forum and the 14th edition of its awards ceremony.

After a slimmed-down 2020 edition, this year marks a return to full competition for the 14th Awards on Nov. 11, with all categories to be presented. The in-person ceremony will be held at the Home of The Arts.

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The forum (Nov. 11-16) will feature conversations with: Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose recent “Memoria” played in competition in Cannes; “Memoria” producer Soros Sukhum; and fast-rising Singaporean producer Jeremy Chua. His latest film the Abdullaah Mohammad Saad-directed “Rehana Maryam Noor,” was the first Bangladeshi film to be selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.

Sukhum was honored by FIAPF at APSA in 2020 for his contribution to Asia Pacific cinema – particularly for his discovery and fostering of new voices and creating pathways to facilitate the realization of their creative visions.

Gold Coast audiences will also get a chance to see “Rehana” and Chua’s earlier K. Rajagopal-directed “A Yellow Bird.”

A returning strand of the forum is its ‘meet the programmers’ section which allows industry and locals to interact with leading festival programmers. This year’s participants include: head of the Berlinale’s Generation Maryanne Redpath; Busan’s senior programmer Dosin Pak, Visions du Réel – International Film Festival Nyon artistic director Emilie Bujès; and Mumbai Film Festival programming head Kalpana Nair. The session is hosted by Kiki Fung, program consultant at Hong Kong International Film Festival and former head programmer for the Brisbane International Film Festival.

The APSA event was held in Gold Coast in its early years before relocating to Brisbane. Brisbane gave up the awards in 2020, as the result of a combination of financial difficulties and the coronavirus pandemic.

The forum will also introduce Random Connections, a virtual replication of the all-important networking and connections achieved by attending festivals, awards and screen events.

“APSA has embraced the opportunity to deliver the forum and awards using accessible technology and continue our unwavering commitment to support and showcase the region’s remarkable storytellers and screen-makers, particularly through these most challenging times,” chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Tracey Vieira.

“We are incredibly proud of the growing slate of local language films and series we are making with amazing creators across Asia Pacific. As a region, it is also the fastest growing in the world for Netflix memberships. So, it’s the ideal time for us to partner with APSA to celebrate and inspire storytellers across APAC,” Debra Richards, Netflix director, APAC studio & production affairs, said.

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