Once again, Kuching is geared up for the forth edition of Asean International Film Festival & Awards. AIFFA 2019 will be held on April 25-27, 2019 in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. The three-day gathering of filmmaker, film buffs, celebrities and international stars aims to increase awareness of Sarawak, especially as the festival is one of the highlights of “Visit Sawarak Campaign”.
It is to be told Kuching is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. Indeed a perfect venue for a film festival as it is cultural and serene, scenic and historic while its people are friendly and warm. Whether you are a local or a visitor, filmmaker or film fan so to speak.
Ms. Livan Tajang, Festival Director of Asean International Film Festival & Awards 2019 said that “All preparations and contingencies have been made and we can proudly say that in the true spirit of ASEAN community, all the ten member countries have participated, she added. She also announced the five-member AIFFA 2019 Jury, four of whom are from ASEAN.
The President Jury is Malaysian director U-Wei Haji Saari. U- Wei has been the Head Juror since the inception of Asean International Film Festival & Awards and this will be his fourth time holding the role. Besides directing some well-known Malaysian Films, he has been a jury member for many prestigious film festival.
While the other International Juror, Alain Jalladeau is the Festival Director – The Festival of the Three Continents (French: Festival des 3 Continents).
ASEAN JUROR are Amable “Tikoy” Aguiluz an award-winning Filipino director,screenwriter and cinematographer, founder of Cinemanila International Film Festival. Also, Mattie Do, is the first female director of Lao feature film. Her directorial debut Chanthaly is the first horror film written and directed entirely in Laos, as well as the first to be screened at major film festivals outside of Southeast Asia like 2013 Fantastic Fest. Lastly, Daniel RudiHaryanto, is an award-winning Indonesia Documentary Director.
YB Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports stand as guest of honor of the event. The Minister has been a supporter of the biennial festival from the beginning and even recall that Henry Golding once hosted the AIFFA event. He added that “AIFFA is one of the events to help propagate our culture, people, heritage sites and our natural beauty,” the Minister said. He quipped “AIFFA will build familiarity of Sarawak among ASEAN people through the film industry, and I hope to see the festival grow beyond to be a familiar name among the film festival circuits,” he concluded.
Among the guest for the event were YB Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Hii Chang kee, the Permanent Secretary for Sarawak’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Puan Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Council members of the malaysian Film Producers Association, Malaysian Filmaking Fraternity and the ASEAN media.
Asean International Film Festival & Awards is turning to be the “Cannes Film Festival of the South” and in due time, AIFFA will be in the rightful place to be called “The Best Film Festival In South East Asia” So mark you calendar now and witness the glitz and glamour of Asean International Film Festival & Awards on April 25-27, 2019.
Kudos to Shandii Bacolod for giving me a once in a lifetime experience in Kuala Lumpur and to Fadhillah Abdullah for the warm hospitality.