APSA and the MPA have renewed their Film Fund in Support of Asia Pacific Filmmakers for 2012. 2012 Film Fund Panellists Announced: Alex Law, Melanie Coombs and Andrew Pike
Andrew Pike (Chair) is a film historian and documentary filmmaker, a producer, film distributor and exhibitor. He has produced and directed several documentaries, and through his company, Ronin Films, has distributed many Asian and Australian films. During the 1980s he specialised in bringing renowned films from Japan and China to Australian audiences and implemented many innovative distribution and marketing activities for which he won the Australian Film Institute’s Byron Kennedy Award in 1986. He has distributed major Australian films including Shine and Strictly Ballroom, the work of documentary directors such as Dennis O’Rourke and Bob Connolly, and the early work of feature film directors such as Jane Campion, Baz Luhrmann, Vincent Ward and Scott Hicks.
He directed Angels of War, which won Best Documentary at the 1982 AFI Awards and Best Documentary at the 1982 Nyon Film Festival, Switzerland. He co-authored a seminal book, Australian Film 1900-1977 published by Oxford University Press. In 2007, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the film industry and the community, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra.
In 2003, he was appointed by the French government to the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres for his promotion of French cinema in Australia. He is a Board member of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. In 2009, Andrew was a member of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards International Jury and in 2010 he chaired the assessment panel for the inaugural MPA APSA Academy Film Fund in 2010.
Melanie Coombs founded Melodrama Pictures in 1999 and has produced award winning shorts, television documentaries and films; including Harvie Krumpet, winner of the 2003 Academy Award for Short Film – Animation. Melanie’s first feature, Mary and Max, also written and directed by Adam Elliot, opened the 2009 Sundance Film festival, won the 2009 Grand Cristal at Annecy and has been released in 30 countries and screened at 70 festivals to date.
Melanie is developing a diverse range of feature films and was named the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) Feature Film producer of the 2009.
In 2011 Melanie created Optimism with award-winning creative producers Mish Armstrong (Movie Mischief) and Alicia Brown (Honeymooner) who also champion talent, push boundaries and enjoy the process: Optimism is currently developing and financing a broad range of feature film and TV projects in both Australia and the UK.
Alex Law graduated from the University of Hong Kong, majoring in English and Chinese Literature. He then studied at the New York University Graduate Film School and received an M.F.A. Degree in Film Production there.
Law has become an award-winning producer and script writer since his first feature, The Illegal Immigrant (1985), which won a Special Jury Award at the 30th Asia Pacific Film Festival. An Autumn’s Tale (1987) gained him more recognition by winning 4 Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
Alex Law’s directorial debut, Painted Faces (1998), won a sweeping 7 Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, and went on to capture the Silver Hugo Award for Best First Feature at the 25th Chicago Film Festival.
Other films he has made – The Soong Sisters (1997), City of Glass (1998), Beijing Rocks (2001), and Traces of A Dragon (2003) – have also been selected by film festivals worldwide. In 2005, Alex served as Artistic Director and Playwright for Song of Light and Shadows, a stage musical in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Chinese cinema, which won the Gold Prize for Best Performance in China.
Alex’s latest directorial work, Echoes of the Rainbow (2010), won the Crystal Bear Award at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, Generation Section, and was winner of 4 Hong Kong film awards.