Indian actors Anupam Kher and Shabana Azmi have been appointed jury members of the Australian Academys inaugural Best Asian Film Award.
Actor Russell Crowe will head the jury for the Asian film award that will be handed out by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) at its annual awards ceremony in Sydney this December, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
Apart from Anupam and Shabana, Crowe will be joined by Chinese director, screenwriter and producer Lu Chuan, South Korean writer, director and producer Kim Ki-Duk, Chinese actor Ye Liu, producer Gary Kurtz, British producer and distributor of Japanese and South Korean films and managing director of Third Window Films Adam Torel and Australian film critic Margaret Pomeranz.
The new award, unveiled at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Wednesday and recognising "excellence in filmmaking throughout the Asian region", will be the cornerstone of AACTA's new Asia International Engagement programme.
"It aims to foster the burgeoning relationship between the film industries of Australia and its closest Asian neighbours," AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said.
Films from 19 countries across the region, including China, India, South Korea and Japan, will be eligible to compete.
Trewhella said: "As the Asian screen industry continues to grow and the traditional borders to content distribution are breaking down, audiences across the world are discovering what other regions have to offer.
"There is strong audience demand for Asian cinema in Australia and an increase in co-productions between Western and Asian filmmakers. We want to continue to make more cultural and film industry connections between filmmakers and audiences in those 19 countries."