Aiffa stars, celebrities, film people start arriving today


Livan (front) briefs the media on the proceedings of the festival.

KUCHING: The second Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) starts today with celebrities and film industry people from all Asean countries arriving here to network, give seminars and workshops, and see who takes home an award.

Among the most instantly recognisable names who will be here this week are Datuk Jackie Chan and Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh.

Chan will be meeting fans at the Old Courthouse on April 11, after a 20-minute session with the media at 4pm. This will be his only formal public appearance as he intends to spend his visit enjoying what Kuching has to offer. However, organisers also cautioned that the time is subject to change, and for fans to keep an eye out for the latest information.

Yeoh is here to present the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to an Asean film personality who has broken the international barrier. She was given the award at the first Aiffa.

Among plans during her trip to Kuching is to check on the Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s (SFC) ‘Turtle Adoption Programme’. She adopted 13 hatcheries during her visit in 2013.

Kuching is also getting excited about the ‘Running Man’ TV series coming to the city this week, but festival director Livan Tajang said that 11 Korean directors would be coming to scout the city and surrounding areas for possible shooting locations.

“They will also be checking out the Bakun Dam as a possible location,” she said during a media briefing yesterday.

The theme for this year’s Aiffa is Aiffa Movies and Networking Inspire Asean (Aiffa Mania).

Over 60 celebrities are expected, including a large Malaysian delegation.

Names on the list are Nora Aunor and the Giuterrezz family from the Philippines, Zay Yar Aung (Myanmar), Pongsatorn Jongwilas (Thailand), Chy Thmor (Cambodia), Mello-Pham Thi Nhung, Siu Pham (Vietnam), Hanung Bramantyo (Indonesia), Tony Kern (Singapore), Datuk Yusoff Haslam (Malaysian Film Producers Association president) and chief juror U-Wei Saari (Malaysia).

A total of 65 films from 10 countries have been submitted for consideration and winners for the 14 categories will be announced at the Gala Night to be held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on April 11.

Entertainment for the Gala Night includes Malaysian superstar Anuar Zain, soul sensation Dasha Logan, Filipino heart-throb Piolo Pascual and K-Pop group Nolza.

Those staying at home can catch the Red Carpet live on TV1 from 7.30pm to 8pm. Later on the same night, there will be live coverage of the award ceremony on TV2 starting from 9pm.

During Aiffa Movies in the Rainforest on April 10, 15 movies will be screened in a 12-hour marathon at Sarawak Cultural Village. Movies will be screened from 6pm on April 10 until 6am on April 11.

Today (Thursday) film stars from or based in the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia are scheduled to arrive at Kuching International Airport (KIA) at 8.55am; 10.15am and 5.15pm respectively. Another group of stars from the Peninsular Malaysia is expected to land at KIA at 11.30am.

Chan is scheduled to land at KIA at 8.30pm tomorrow but Yeoh’s arrival is not specified.

For more information, visit