Taxi Taxi first official Singapore entry at inaugural Asean International Film Festival and Awards
It has only been out in cinemas for slightly over a week, but already, the local film Taxi Taxi – directed by Kelvin Sng and starring local comedians Gurmit Singh and Mark Lee – has been entered as Singapore’s first official entry at the inaugural Asean International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) 2013.
To be held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia from March 28-30 this year, it is the first time that the festival is incorporating awards into the line-up.
The event has also stepped up a notch under the leadership of Ms Livan Tajang who was appointed the film festival director for AIFFA 2013 in September 2012. Previously an editor of a Malaysian newspaper and now serving as a senior executive at the World Communications Network Resouces (M), Ms Tajang stressed during a press conference on Jan 9 that she hopes to raise the profile of film-making in the region.
She said: “We hope to position all ten Asean member nations as a unified artistic voice, to be seen as a major player in film production and to have this festival be a highlight in the global film festival circuit.
“We are not just looking at films that have been premiered, but we are encouraging independent film-makers to submit their films for our Feature Film Festival & Awards.”
The AIFFA 2013 will accept submissions until Feb 15, 2013.
Many of the nominated films will be screened on the first day during the Movies In The Rainforest night – a unique movie experience where Dayak longhouses will be used as theatres.
Another highlight – an acting workshop on the second day of the festival for all aspiring actors led by Singapore-born Kamil Haque, a Los Angeles-based acting instructor from the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, East West Players and Company of Angels.
The former Anglo-Chinese School student is also serving as the Singapore Liaison Director for the festival, working directly with a team in LA to set up systems to put AIFFA on the same level as some of the more prominent international film festivals.
As such, renowned producers from Hollywood, such as Gary Levinsohn, nominated for his work on Saving Private Ryan, will also be speaking during the seminar.
Other Hollywood producers who will be guest speakers include Kymber Lim whose credits include Tron: Legacy, 2012 and Spider-Man 2, as well as Christopher Chen who produced Iron Man 2 and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
Several Indian film-makers from Bollywood and Kollywood are also slated to join in the festival. Ekta Kapoor of Baluji Studios will be speaking at the seminar on how Asean can work together with Bollywood, while scouting for locations in the region.
Meanwhile, the awards, which will be given in 15 categories, will have a film jury deliberate over all the nominated films screened over the three days for the awards to be presented at the AIFFA 2013 Gala Night on March 30, 2013.
The red carpet occasion, themed Black and White Borneo, will usher in international celebrities, film-makers, as well as dignitaries from the Asean region and its host country, Malaysia.
The award categories include the Asean Spirit Award, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Foreign Film (Outside of Asean) among many others.
Apart from the submission of feature films, a short-film competition is also being held, with prize money up for grabs.
Divided into two categories – one for students, and the other, open to the public – the competition for short-films is themed Naturally Beautiful Asean.
More details as well as entry forms are available on AIFFA 2013’s official website: www.aseanfilmfest.com