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Australian Film Academy Makes China Awards Outreach

Variety logo Variety 6/21/2017 Patrick Frater
© Provided by Variety

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts is to introduce an award for Asian film excellence as part of its annual prize ceremony.

AACTA’s Asian engagement program was unveiled at a banquet event Wednesday on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Actors Sam Neill and Rachel Griffiths were on hand to introduce the new award. Films from 17 countries will be eligible.

The final prize will be decided by a jury, headed by Russel Crowe. It also includes Chinese director LU Chuan, Korean writer, director and producer Kim Ki-Duk, Indian actor Anupam Kher Indian actress Shabana Azmi, Chinese actor Liu Ye, American producer Gary Kurtz, British producer and distributor Adam Torel and veteran Australian film critic Margaret Pomeranz.

The AACTA awards will be presented at an awards ceremony on Dec. 6, 2017 at The Star Event Centre in Sydney.

“We want to encourage more co-production and more co-operation,” said AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “As the Asian screen industry continues to grow and the traditional borders to content distribution are breaking down, audiences across the world are discovering what other regions have to offer.”

AACTA will also develop a range of film forums in Australia and regionally as part of the Asia engagement program.

China and Australia have had an official film co-production treaty for the past  ten years. This year will see the release of the largest Australia-China co-production to date, the Kimble Rendall-directed “Guardians of the Tomb,” starring Li Bingbing.

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