Since the birth of the idea for a Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) at the New Delhi conference organised by Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly in 1990 at the request and with the participation of UNESCO, Paris, NETPAC has come a long way.
It was registered as a non-profit society in the Philippines in 1994 with the aim of establishing a network of Asian film centres in each Asian country and associate members in the world.
The network is designed to collect information and documentation about Asian cinema for dissemination worldwide, to explore distribution of Asian film, stimulate coproductions, offer incentives and awards to filmmakers and critics, and create and sustain audience interest in the cinemas of Asia. Cinemaya is the official journal of NETPAC which is now registered as a non-governmental organisation in Singapore.
There are now 16 Member countries in Asia and 8 Associate Members. In these years NETPAC has made its presence felt internationally by instituting a NETPAC award for the Best Asian Film at the following international film festivals: Amiens, Berlin, Brisbane, CineManila, Dhaka, Karlovy Vary, Pusan, Rotterdam, Singapore, Taipei International Documentary Film Festival, Yamagata and Venice.
At the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 1998 NETPAC presented a selection of Asian films. This was the first time that an entire section on Asia had been presented as part of this festival.
Each year a NETPAC Film Discovery Selection of Asian films is made around a specific theme. This selection is then offered to various Festivals, and is also published in Cinemaya. Under preparation is an Asian Film Directory listing the structures, institutions, festivals etc., in all Asian countries.
In the pipeline is a book on Asian Cinema with exhaustive essays on each country. In addition Asian Film Centres have been actively pursuing NETPAC's goals in their own countries.