Copyright MediaConnex Asia 2017

ASEAN Intl Film Fest & Awards (AIFFA) Returns!

Long-awaited, biennial event gears for its 3rd run in Kuching this May.


Ever since it launched in 2013 in Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia, the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) has showcased over 100 full-length features, short films, and documentaries from Malaysia, from its neighboring Southeast Asian nations, and from the rest of the world. Even for a relatively young film festival, AIFFA can already boast of an impressive slate with titles like Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb (Philippines), Aung Ko Lat’s Kayan Beauties (Myanmar), and Jack Neo’s The Lion Men (Singapore). Among the biggest names to have graced the prior 2 editions have been Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, and Ekta Kapoor.

This 3rd edition of the film festival is made even more special as it’s in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN’s founding. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the regional cooperative that promotes economic, political, and security cooperation among its ten-member nations in Southeast Asia.   AIFFA has been sanctioned as one of the official joint activities for the regional grouping.

Last 16th of February, 2017, AIFFA officially launched the film festival with YB Datuk John Sikie Tayai, Assistant Minister of Arts and Culture Sarawak, YBhg Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism Sarawak, YBhg Dato Deddy M. Burhan, Advisor of FINAS, YBhg Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, Film Producers Association Malaysia Deputy President, and Livan Tajang, AIFFA 2017 Festival Director.

YB Datuk John has said of the festival, “Sarawak is lucky. We have an abundance of creative talents in arts, sports, entertainment, fashion, and culinary, just to name a few. The film industry and film tourism, too, is a definitive creative force.”  Meanwhile, Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba in her speech remarked, “Kudos AIFFA 2017 and the ever supporting Chief Minister YAB Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Hj Openg, Ministry of Tourism Sarawak, the Sarawak government, and all the team at WorldComm. AIFFA is a brand for all Sarawakians and Malaysians to cherish.”

Apart from the film festival proper which happens on the first week of May, AIFFA will be coordinating other activities that are open to moviegoers and audiences alike for the next couple of months leading to the main event. On the 17th – 19th of March, AIFFA will hold a 3-day Hollywood Masterclass Programme at Taylor’s Lakeside Universityin Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan. AIFFA will also be sponsoring free movie screenings at the Amphitheatre Waterfront, in Kuching for all weekends in April.

AIFFA Festival Director, Livan Tajang explains what sets AIFFA 2017 apart from the prior 2 editions, “AIFFA 2017 promises even more exciting activities for everyone. International, ASEAN, and Malaysia delegates and film enthusiasts will enjoy the educational café crawl, 48-hour film marathon at selected cinemas, the world record attempt opening night and networking dinner at our Kuching Amphitheatre, Taman Budaya. The AIFFA Biz World for networking business sessions and exhibitions plus the finale Gala Night promise to benefit many Sarawak film business community and film enthusiasts.

AIFFA will kick off international and ASEAN film screenings on the 30th of April till the 1st of May at the RM1 at Lotus Five Star Riverside Cineplex. The main event follows on the 4th – 6th of May at various venues around Kuching. To find out more, check out their website at



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Janice freelances as a Screenwriter and Director in the Philippines and the U.S., but her first, great love will always be Creative Writing. She's contributed for dailies and magazines in her island hometown of Cebu from the age of 14. One of her most exciting writing gigs was in the Film section of the now-defunct lifestyle webzine, Limité, in which she got to interview one of her filmmaker heroes, Richard Linklater in New York City in 2012. When she's not writing or daydreaming up stories, Janice loves to go backpacking around small islands, making driftwood art, and playing with her Shih-Poo dog, Brandy.

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