On the closing night of the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (Philippines) on Aug 15 2015, NETPAC was given a special award for its important contributions to Asian cinema in its 25 year history. The award was received by Netpac's Vice-President Philip Cheah and longtime Netpac member, Max Tessier (who now resides in the Philippines).
To mark this year's Cinemalaya festival, Netpac organised a special sidebar of award winning films by two of its members - Ashley Ratnavibhushana (Sri Lanka) and Max Tessier (France). Many of these films such as Adilkhan Yerzhanov's The Owners (Kazakhstan) and Reis Celik's Night of Silence (Turkey) have been Netpac award winners.
In addition, the festival organised a special Netpac seminar for students studying film and mass communication. Netpac President and Founder, Aruna Vasudev, spoke on this occasion of the legacy of Asia to world cinema, that its traditions in shadow puppet plays and other traditional drama forms were its early cinema roots. Other speakers were Nick Deocampo on how to read Asian film, Max Tessier on the impact of Netpac on western film festivals and Philip Cheah on the intrinsic "voice" that defines an Asian film.
Netpac is especially proud to have brought to international attention independent films by new directors whose works might well have remained unknown due to lack of resources.
Among the many initiatives that NETPAC has taken over the past 25 years are the presentation of the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at 30 film festivals throughout the world, including Berlin, Rotterdam, Warsaw, Moscow, Jeonju, Busan and Hawaii, to focus attention on the talent of young emerging filmmakers to facilitate their future works.
-by Philip Cheah