Aiffa 2017 offers US$30mil in film funding

by - 15:06

A total of US$30mil (RM133.2mil) in funding are up for grabs for delegates of this year’s Asean International Film Festival And Award (Aiffa).

For the first time since its inception in 2013, Aiffa is partnering with South-East Asian Audio Visual Association (Saava) who will be inviting a group of financiers to the festival.

“If you have a film project and you would like to pitch it, there are about five financiers available and they will decide whether to take up your project,” explains festival director Livan Tajang at a press event promoting Aiffa.

She adds that each film project stands a chance to receive between US$500,000 (RM2.2mil) to US$1mil (RM4.4mil) in funding. The move will allow Asean filmmakers the opportunity to collaborate.

“The basic criteria is that you have to be an Asean filmmaker and you work in an Asean country. You can be a first-time filmmaker or veteran filmmaker. And if the film showcases the Asean region, of course, we are more interested, but more importantly, what we’re looking for is commercial viability and the story,” says Leon Tan, head of the Malaysian chapter of Saava.

Aiffa, now running for the third time, is a biennial competition for filmmakers from the 10 Asean countries, held in Kuching, Sarawak. This year’s edition will span three days, beginning May 4, where various talks, film screenings and pitching sessions will take place, culminating the awards ceremony on May 6 at Pullman Hotel, Kuching.

Judged by film personalities including Malaysia’s U-Wei Haji Saari, there are 16 categories encompassing major aspects of the creative and technical areas of filmmaking in competition.

Aiffa has received over 120 entries so far, with over 40 submissions from Malaysia. Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Sarawak’s Assistant Minister For Tourism, reflects on the beauty of Asean countries as settings for films. “Everywhere you go in the 10 Asean countries, you are in a natural studio, where you can explore the richness of nature, the charming people and the centuries of history.”

Leading up to the awards night, Aiffa will be screening Asean films to the public for free every weekend in April at Godown Amphitheatre, Waterfront, in Kuching.

On May 4, Aiffa will also be organising a concert featuring Alleycats and Dayang Nurfaizah. On that night, the festival will be attempting a Guinness World Record for the largest crowd dressed in cat costumes!

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