Asia International Engagement Program
Launched in Shanghai in June 2017, AACTA’s Asia International Engagement program is now in its fourth year. The key aim of the program is to foster the burgeoning relationship between the film industries of Australia and its closest Asian neighbours. The Program not only champions the skills and achievements of Asian filmmakers to audiences and industry in Australia, but also promotes Australia’s highly skilled screen practitioners to the booming industries of Asia, developing meaningful pathways for collaborations between Australia and the Asian region.
The cornerstone of the program is the AACTA Award for Best Asian Film, recognising excellence in filmmaking throughout the Asian region. The Award reflects the growing popularity and importance of Asian films in Australia, with the growing Chinese and Indian diaspora having had a substantial impact on Australian box office and cinema trends.
The inaugural Best Asian Film Award - recognising global box-office hits and international film festival favourites to a Palme d’Or winner and multiple Best International Feature Film Oscar® entries - was awarded to Indian sports drama DANGAL – the first Indian film to gross $300 million worldwide. Lead actress Sakshi Tanwar accepted the Award, which was presented by Best Asian Film Grand Jury President and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe at the 2017 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel. In 2018, the coveted Award acknowledged the achievement of Chinese film DYING TO SURVIVE, and was presented to the film’s director Muye Wen in Sydney at the 2018 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel.
The program has seen some incredible events held in Sydney, Shanghai and Mumbai, including: the Academy’s first-ever masterclass in China, Animal Logic: Reimagining Story through Animation and VFX; a pioneering China-India Film and Cultural Exchange Panel and Discussion as part of the 2018 Shanghai International Film Festival; a number of In Conversation events with leading Asian filmmakers including WOLF WARRIOR II screenwriter Li Yiu, and acclaimed Indian actors Shabana Azmi and Anupam Kher; and an exciting series of panel discussions at 2019 Screen Week with world-renowned actors and Visual Effects Producers working across Australian, Asian and global industries.
As the program grows, AACTA will continue to develop a range of film forums, masterclasses and special events in Australia and Asia. These events present the significant opportunity to share knowledge and foster cultural understanding, allowing for greater harmony and engagement between the Australian and Asian screen industries and audiences, including the growing Asian communities living in Australia and active in our local screen industry.
For any further information on the AACTA Asia International Engagement program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all the filmmakers, guilds and industry bodies who assisted in the development of the Asia International Engagement program through industry consultation, including: Matrix United Holdings; Tony Coombs and David Redman from Harvest Pictures Group; Mitu Bhowmick-Lange and Mindblowing Films; Anupam Sharma from Films and Casting Temple; David Park from Korean Cultural Centre Australia; Margarett Cortez and Ayusa Koshi from Japan Foundation; AusFilm; Screen Australia; Adrian Danks; Chinalion Films; Cine-Asia; Eros International; and Madman Entertainment.