This year's prestigious NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) Award is now under deliberation and includes the five films by first and second time directors at IFFA this year. The films will be judged by Herman van Eyken (Chair), a scriptwriter, director, researcher and member of many prestigious film societies in the Asia Pacific region, Richard Sowada, head of films programs at ACMI, and world-renowned Iranian artist, Hossein Valamanesh.
NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) is a worldwide organization founded in 1990 by Aruna Vasudev as the result of a conference organized in New Delhi by Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly, at the request of UNESCO, to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Asian films and filmmakers at a time when Asian cinema was just coming into its own but was relatively unknown regionally and internationally. Cinemaya, launched independently by Aruna Vasudev in 1988, had already paved the way. When, as a result of the New Delhi conference, NETPAC was born established as a regional and international network, Cinemaya became its official journal. This is a new line.
Herman van Eyken
Chair of the 2015 5th IFFA NETPAC Jury, and head of Griffith Film School
Herman has a background in script writing, producing and directing. He has directed more than 190 films – shortlisted within international competition of leading film festivals such as Cannes, New York, Montreal and Vienna. Many of his films have received top awards in their respective category. His feature film has been released in more than 10 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy and Taiwan. Herman’s research interests lay in the area of film policies, cross cultural collaboration and film training needs for professionals. As Project Chair and curator he developed a research pilot project (DVD - 600 min. of interviews with foremost filmmakers from Europe and the Asia-Pacific region) called Lessons in film (CILECT - The International Association of Film and TV Schools). He has served on the jury of several international competitions.
Herman is the current Chair of CAPA (CILECT Asia-Pacific Association) and is a member of the CILECT Executive Council representing the Asia Pacific Region. Recently he was invited to join NETPAC, the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema and launched the operations of the Asia Pacific Screen Lab in close collaboration with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy. Under the initiative of Prof Sun Lijun from the Beijing Film Academy, Herman is also the President of the Asia Pacific Animation Association.
World-renowned Iranian artist
Hossein was born in Iran, immigrated to Australia in 1973. He graduated from South Australian School of Art, 1977 and has exhibited in Australia and overseas including Germany, Poland and Japan, Finland, UAE and UK.
He has completed a number of major public art commissions including An Gorta Mor, memorial to the Great Irish Famine, 1999, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney and 14 Pieces on North Terrace, in Adelaide both with Angela Valamanesh
He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship 1998. His work is included in most major public Australian art collections. A major survey of his work was held at the Art Gallery of South Australia in mid 2001 and a survey of his more recent work was held at Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, 2002.
Wakefield Press recently published a monograph of his work, titled Hossein Valamanesh, Out of nothingness, with essays by Mary Knights and Ian North.
In 2014 he undertook a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington DC.
He lives and works in Adelaide, South Australia and is represented by Greenaway Art Gallery Adelaide, Grey Noise Dubai and Karen Woodbury Melbourne.
Head of Film Programs - Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Sowada has been an active player in the Australian Screen Culture sector of nearly two decades. As founder/director of the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Sowada build a considerable reputation as an inventive and uncompromising film curator and vocal advocate of screen culture activity. Since between 2006 and2015, Sowada was as Head of Film Programs at the country’s leading screen culture organisation, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
Sowada has previously acted as script and project assessor for the ScreenWest and the Australian Film Commission, curator/tour manager for the regional film festival Big Screen, 2001 AIDC Conference Director and lecturer in documentary and arts management. He is currently completing a PhD examining the works of Frank Capra for the US Government in WW2.
Last year the NETPAC Award winner for 4th IFFA 2014 was Fish & Cat, directed by Shahram Mokri.
The film dazzled the jury with its technical prowess and innovation. The film is shot entirely in one take, and includes some impressive performances and cinematography. The award was presented to the film's distributor, Mohammad Atebbai, at the opening night in Brisbane.