Singapore project Amoeba, the debut feature written and directed by Siyou Tan and produced by Fran Borgia (AKANGA FILM ASIA), wins the first TAICCA/Focus Asia Co-Production Award!
With over 200 participants from 35 territories, 11 projects in development, 8 works in progress and 3 days of panels & case studies and over 200 one to one meetings, Focus Asia 2023 confirms his unique role in fostering artistic and production links between Asia and Europe.
Within the frame of this special edition, marked by a large series of new partnerships and reinvented initiatives, the first ever TAICCA/Focus Asia Co-Production Award, cash prize worth €10,000 awarded to the project with the greatest potential for co-production between Europe and Asia, goes to the Singapore project Amoeba, a coming of age story about Choo, a tomboy schoolgirl living in a repressive city-state, who persuades three classmates at an all-girls school to rebel by forming a triad gang. The launch of this new award is part of a revamped international strategy based on a close long-lasting collaboration with a large network of Asian and European partners.
On the Asian side, thanks to the partnership with FDCP - Film Development Council of the Philippines, VIPO - Visual Industry Promotion Organization, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian Producer Association (APROFI), Singapore Film Commission, TAICCA - Taiwan Creative Content Agency, and the support of ICE - Agenzia per la promozione all'estero e l'internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane, this edition of Focus Asia could count on the direct support to all directors and producers from Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan of the selected projects and works in progress.
On the European side, Focus Asia and Ties That Bind, the Asia Europe Co-Production Workshop run for the past 14 years by FVG Audiovisual Fund, EAVE, FEFF and TAICCA, is launching a partnership with the Marché du Film-Festival de Cannes in order to shape and co-curate a programme, built around two events: the first just took place in Udine as part of Focus Asia and the second will be held in Cannes during the Marché du Film as part of the new Spotlight Asia initiative.
All along Focus Asia, around twenty producers selected and supported by the British Film Institute, Canada Media Fund, Ciclic - Centre-Val de Loire, Luxembourg Film Fund, Norwegian Film Institute, Netherlands Film Fund and Polish Film Institute, have participated in a tailor-made programme designed to highlight the real opportunities offered by the two continents and thus stimulate new forms of collaboration.
Whereas in Cannes, in less than three weeks, the Spotlight Asia programme will include a series of panels on the key Asian markets and on European-Asian animation co-production, as well as the session Roadmap to Asia-Europe Funding Landscape, a unique introduction to more than 20 international, national and regional funding schemes that support Asian-European co-productions, followed by a series of roundtable discussions with 130 attending producers and fund representatives from both continents.
Alongside the project market, works in progress and programmes to foster Asia Europe co-production, Focus Asia 2023 saw the launch of the brand-new Distribution Lab organized in partnership with Europa Distribution, the European Network of Independent Film Publishers and Distributors, the Lab has brought together 20 distributors from over 15 countries keen to discuss and share best practices and innovative strategies for promoting the distribution of Asian cinema in Europe and vice versa.
For future editions, there is still a lot to explore and discover, but there is no doubt that after only 8 editions Focus Asia managed to create a unique programme that throughout these years constantly grew, reinvented itself and dreamt big about the future, confirming a strategic leading role amongst the existing platforms dedicated to Asian and European film professionals.
Focus Asia is organized by Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche with the support of MiC - Ministero della Cultura Direzione Generale per il Cinema and ICE - Agenzia per la promozione all'estero e l'internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane. It is developed in partnership with the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, EAVE, Ties That Bind, Confindustria Udine, and in collaboration with British Film Institute, Canada Media Fund, Ciclic - Centre-Val de Loire, Europa Distribution, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Golden Horse Film Project Promotion Taiwan, HAF Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian Producer Association (APROFI), Netherlands Film Fund, Norwegian Film Institute, Polish Film Institute, Singapore Film Commission, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO).