Jack Neo Heads Up Team of Singapore Delegates at the
Inaugural ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards 2013
The inaugural ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards 2013 (AIFFA 2013) is a prestigious three-day event to be held in the Malaysian state of Kuching, Sarawak from March 28 to 30, 2013. The pioneer festival will see members from the ASEAN, Bollywood and Hollywood film industries gather to enjoy the full ASEAN cultural spectrum, films of all genres and languages and, share their knowledge in the art of filmmaking with their peers and fans alike. Seminars and exhibitions will also be conducted to benefit filmmakers not to mention entertain and educate audience members.
This is the first time all ten ASEAN nations have sent in delegates to participate in a regional Film Festival which seeks to be on the magnitude of Cannes or from the sporting perspective, the SEA Games. Singapore is proud to have one of the largest contingents at the Festival. Esteemed director and Cultural Medallion recipient Jack Neo will be also serving as one of the five jury members for AIFFA 2013.
Other Singaporean representatives at AIFFA 2013 include the full spectrum of vocations and personalities from the local movie and entertainment industry. These include producers, directors, actors, acting coaches, intellectual property lawyers, writers, visual effects supervisors, hosts, digital content exhibitors and much more. In no particular order, the team of Singapore delegates are: Jack Neo, Shawn Tan, Mohen Leo, Kamil Haque, Henry Golding, Kelvin Sng, Chan Pui Yin, Louis Chew, Tay Hoo Wee, David Liu, Keagan Kang, Ho Jia Jian, Derek Tan, Louis Wu, Eric Wong, Boris Boo, Lee Chee Tian, Tan Ai-Leng, Nicholas Chee, Pam Oei, Jimmy T, Elizabeth Lazan, Liv Lo, Daniel Boey, Pamelyn Chee, Edgar Tang, Amy Cheng, Samuel Seow, Jessica Tan, Ian Ong, Ho Weijin, Richmond Loo, Paul Foster, Yvette King.
The festival’s opening night will be held at the award-winning Sarawak Cultural Village which will host a 19 hour marathon of film screenings in Dayak longhouses converted into theatres. The second day of AIFFA 2013 will feature numerous seminars and exhibitions. Keynote speakers include renowned Hollywood producer Gary Levinsohn, nominated for an Oscar for his work in Saving Private Ryan.
Other Hollywood producers in attendance at the Festival include producer Kymber Lim whose credits include Tron: Legacy, 2012 and Spider-Man 2. Other speakers include producer Ted Kim and producer Christopher Chen. Mr Kim’s credits include the Hollywood adaptation of My Sassy Girl. He is currently working to produce the upcoming blockbuster Sympathy for Lady Vengeance starring Charlize Theron. Mr Chen’s credits include Looper will also have the ASEAN premiere of his sports-themed documentary Linsanity based on Asian-American NBA superstar Jeremy Lin at the Festival.
Several leading Indian filmmakers, including Tanuj Garg and Ekta Kapoor of Baluji Studios will also be in attendance at the Festival to explore future collaborations between ASEAN and Bollywood. Several members of the Singapore delegates will also be hosting their own panel discussions and workshops.
Livan Tajang, AIFFA 2013 Festival Director says that the AIFFA recognizes the resurgence in ASEAN’s film production. “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. AIFFA 2013 provides the gateway for Singaporeans to present their thriving film industry to the ASEAN market as well as the world and it is a great platform in terms of networking.”
The entire Festival culminates in a Gala Night dinner on March 30, 2013 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. Nominated feature films selected by the jury will jostle for 14 different awards. Jack Neo noted how significant this premiere festival is in setting a benchmark for the future of the ASEAN film industry.
“As a director of 20 films already, I cannot help but smile to myself as I witness the transformation over the years of the Southeast Asian film industry becoming the flourishing industry it is today. I envision AIFFA (being able) to showcase more and more captivating stories and state-of-the-art productions year after year.” Some of the awards include the ASEAN Spirit Award, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Apart from the feature films awards, AIFFA 2013 will also award cash prizes to the best short films as part of a competition for all aspiring and professional filmmakers. Focusing on the uniqueness of ASEAN culture, the theme for the short film competition is “Naturally Beautiful ASEAN”. The jury for the competition includes Viddsee, Kamil Haque and Steven Bernard, a festival consultant from Hollywood. Singaporean company founded by Ho Jia Jian and Derek Tan, Viddsee, will serve as the official digital partner for AIFFA 2013. With Viddsee, AIFFA is able to go beyond the screening venue to reach a digital audience around Southeast Asia. In line with the vision of sharing the rich diverse cultures around Southeast Asia to the world, selected nominee short films from AIFFA 2013 will have a chance to showcase their films on Viddsee (http://viddsee.com).
Coordinating the entire team of Singapore delegates to ensure there is a credible and visible Singaporean presence at AIFFA 2013 as well as consulting on the Festival is Singaporean Kamil Haque, actor and acting coach from the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles. Kamil is the youngest and first Asian to teach acting at the Institute which has trained notable alumni like Oscar winners, Christoph Waltz, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Dusting Hoffman. In the near future, Kamil will be looking to expand his operation in the ASEAN region with the opening of an acting school in Singapore.
“AIFFA 2013 is a fantastic platform for artists, film makers and fans to have a meeting of the hearts and minds. By granting such intimate access to the fans, we will be able to hear what the audience truly wants and in turn we as artists can challenge ourselves to tell more relevant, real, compelling, authentic and stimulating stories that are a reflection of our audience. The artist is nothing without an audience and the audience needs the artist to create and share the stories that he or she does not know how to express or is not able to express. AIFFA 2013 can be the start of an ongoing dialogue to allow more ASEAN stories to be told, more ASEAN actors to be acting and more ASEAN productions to come to the fore in the global film industry.”
AIFFA 2013 is endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and is fully supported by the Ministry of Information, Communications & Culture Malaysia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia (ASEAN-Malaysia National Secretariat), as well as the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).
Though this is the first official ASEAN-backed film festival ever, the festival is well placed to rise to the occasion.
Tickets to all the events and further information about AIFFA 2013 are available on the official website: www.aseanfilmfest.com or on our official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/aiffa2013