Film festival to generate RM100mil of media exposure for Sarawak


Looking forward: Abang Johari (right), accompanied by festival director Livan Tajang (second from right) and other guests, looking at a poster of AIFFA 2015.

KUCHING: International filmmakers and celebrities will offer converge here for the second Asean International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) from April 9 to 11.

Among the stars headlining the guest list are the Gutierrez family and Piolo Pascual from the Philippines and Christine Hakim from Indonesia.

Malaysia’s top singers Anuar Zain and Dasha Logan as well as Sarawakian beauty queen Dewi Liana Seriestha are also expected to perform at the AIFFA gala dinner and awards night at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said AIFFA made its debut in 2013 as a state government initiative and had now been endorsed by the Asean secretariat as the film festival for the region, to be hosted by Kuching every two years.

“With the success of the first AIFFA, we feel that Sarawak has the experience in organising the event. This time it will be even better than the first one.

“We expect 150 Asean and international filmmakers as well as 200 celebrities to attend the festival,” he told a press conference during the soft launch of the event recently.

Abang Johari said two memorandum of understanding (MoUs) were signed during AIFFA 2013 for films to be shot in Sarawak - the RM6mil “Kilat”, “Sapok Biki” by Moonbeam Production and “Bujang Senang”, a RM12mil Hollywood-Malaysia production.

He said another movie, “The White Rajah”, was now being negotiated for shooting in the state.

“This film festival will definitely promote arts and performance in Sarawak and Malaysia. We will collaborate with the other Asean member countries to encourage film-making, ” he said, adding that AIFFA was expected to generate RM100mil worth of media exposure to the state.

For AIFFA 2015, 50 film entries from Asean have been submitted and will be judged by a five-member panel. Twelve awards will be presented, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture in the Comedy, Drama and Action categories.

The nominated films will be screened in a 24-hour movie marathon at the Sarawak Cultural Village on April 10.

A Sarawak short film competition is also being held in conjunction with the festival as a platform for young Sarawakians to participate in the film industry. Winners will be announced at AIFFA 2015’s opening ceremony on April 10.

Tickets, priced at RM30 for the “Movies in the Rainforest” marathon and RM50 or RM500 for the gala dinner and awards night, will be available at www.ticketcharge.com.my from Feb 23.

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