KUCHING: The second Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) to be held here from April 9 till 11 this year is set to bring glitz and glamour to the city with its showcase of films, screenings and top celebrities from the region.
Movie fans will get to meet and possibly rub shoulders with Asean celebrities like Raymond, Richard and Ruffa Gutierrez of the famed reality series ‘It takes gutz to be a Gutierrez’, Nora Aunor and Piolo Pascual from the Philippines, Shafira Umm, Alex Komag, Christine Hakim from Indonesia and our very own Dayang Nurfaizah and Dewi Lina Seriestha, Anuar Zain and Nur Fazura Sharifuddin.
The biennial film festival, which celebrates the best of films from around the Asean region and to build business-to-business networking, will kick start its programme with film business presentations, seminars and exhibitions at the Sarawak Tourism Complex, including Asean-China films and television productions on the final day.
The official opening of the festival is scheduled to take place at the Sarawak Cultural Village on April 10, which includes a marathon of films competing in Aiffa 2015 to be selected by juries comprising top film makers from the Asean region such as Uwei Saari, Philip Cheah of Singapore, Pantham Thongsang (Thailand), Phan Dang Di (Vietnam) and Latika Padgaonkar of India.
The much anticipated award night and gala dinner will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), where winners of the 12 categories including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director of Photography will be announced.
“The state will play host to the second Aiffa after we first held it in 2013. Aiffa 2015 will be the first to be endorsed as a strategic event by Asean leaders.
“As the Asean chairmanship has been passed to Malaysia this year, this social event will integrate with the interest of the people in Asean’s 10-member countries.
“This film festival will definitely promote arts and performance in the state and country,” Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg told a press conference after officiating at the soft launch of the event at Pullman Hotel here yesterday.
He added that about 150 well-known Asean and international film makers plus some 200 celebrities including those from China are expected to attend the festival and that media exposure of Sarawak and Malaysia worldwide is worth up to RM100 million.
Abang Johari highlighted that the festival would help promote local talents while stimulating the growth of the local film industry.
Resulting from the two memorandum of understanding ssigned during the previous Aiffa for films to be shot in the state, was ‘Kilat’, a RM6 million production in which 30 per cent would be channelled to Sarawak and a RM12 million Hollywood production entitled ‘Bujang Senang’ where 60 per cent would be channelled back to the state and a documentary about former state and national boxer Sapok Biki would be produced.
He said Aiffa 2015 would also see the world premiere of Malaysian film ‘Pilot Café’.
Directed by Osman Ali and produced by Tarantela Pictures, the film is adapted from the bestselling novel by author Ahadiat Akashah.
In conjunction with the upcoming festival, a free screening of submitted movies will be held every Saturday for free at the Godown Theatre, Waterfront beginning last weekend from 7 to 11pm until April 4.