Peng Tao Awarded Script Development Grant

Peng Tao

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Peng Tao was one of the four recipients of this year’s inaugural MPA APSA Script Development Grants. He has been awarded $US25,000 to develop his script Straw Man.

The MPA APSA Script Development Grants come under the MPA APSA Film Fund, which is a new initiative jointly offered by the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to APSA Academy members exclusively. In 2007, Peng Tao’s Little Moth was nominated for APSA’s Best Achievement in Directing. Like the other nominees, Peng was automatically included in the APSA Academy and was eligible to apply for the fund.

A former APSA Jury member but also acting on the assessment panel for the script submissions this year, Chinese Australian director Pauline Chan comments on Peng Tao’s work:

“I really love that his work is able to depart from the traditional structure of Chinese filmmaking, which we, in the west are quite familiar with. To me he represents a new wave and a new voice in a really refined, restrained culture. He is also able to find a traditional angle, a Chinese tradition, but he is able to bring the tradition into a new light so it’s not trapped and it surprises you.”

The APSA is one of the most reputable awards for filmmakers in the Asian Pacific region. Right now it has over 70 member countries. The MPA APSA Film Fund maps a meaningful new turn in the future of the APSA because support will be offered alongside with recognition. Former International Jury member and Ronin Films Managing Director Andrew Pike describes its significance:

“The Fund significantly extends the work of APSA into a very exciting new dimension; APSA is not just offering a higher profile to the work of filmmakers in the region, it’s actually helping them make their films possible by providing financial support and recognition at a crucial part of the production phase – that is, the development stage. A Project in development is very vulnerable and endorsement at this crucial stage is critical.”

Lee Chang-dong, Sergey Dvortsevoy, and Asghar Farhadi are the other three recipients of this year’s grants. Each of them has also received $US25,000 for the development of their new films.

Isabella Tianzi Cai is a regular contributor to the dGenerate blog. She is a graduate student in Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University.


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