KUCHING: Film and television industry professionals and movie stars from 10 Asean countries have brought a wealth of knowledge and experience on filmmaking to an enthusiastic Sarawakian audience at the 2nd Asean International Film Festivals and Awards (Aiffa) 2015.
Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik pointed out yesterday that Aiffa provided a rare opportunity for the Asean community to come together to share their passion for cinema, film and television.
“This international event is not all attached to the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry only,” he said in addressing the opening of the three-day Aiffa Film Biz World Seminar and Workshop that started on Thursday at Sarawak Tourism Complex in the Old Courthouse here.
“We are very fortunate and honoured to have some the greatest minds in the industry from 10 Asean countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, to come together to share and learn from each other and grow together,” he added.
The Asean countries, Ik Pahon emphasised, which are home to approximately 600 million people and with abundant resources, are headed for even greater heights in 2015.
“We want to make sure that the movie industry continues to grow especially for Sarawak with support from the government,” he assured.
He also welcomed suggestions and proposals from delegates convening at Aiffa in order to make further improvements in hosting such a big, grand and international event in coming years.
“We would like to apologise for any shortcomings as we are still learning. We humble ourselves to learn from all,” he said, thanking delegates, sponsors and everyone involved in making this event an enormous success.
Ik Pahon also revealed that China delegates consisting of 14 directors were expected to visit Bakun Hydro Dam today (Saturday) to see for themselves the beauty, charm and picturesque scenery of the location that is suitable for filming.
In addition, Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg will be present to witness the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with several industry players, also scheduled for today (Saturday).
Meanwhile, Ik Pahon together with Aiffa director Jaffri Amin and Aiffa festival director Livan Tajang took centre stage to create special rhythm on the drums as a symbolic opening of the Aiffa Film Biz World Seminar and Workshop.
Later, delegates were welcomed with an ‘Alu Alu’ (Welcoming) dance in which representatives from some of the Asean countries also took part, drawing a heavy round of applause from the audience.
The Aiffa Gala Nite and Awards will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) tonight (Saturday) when winners for the 14 categories will be announced.
A total of 60 films has been received to vie for the awards.
The spectacular show ends with the Spirit of Asean Award to be given to the film that portrays the best of Asean.
Another iconic award is the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an Asean film personality who has broken the international barrier. Winner for the award in 2013 was Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh who will also be in town.