Friday, November 02, 2007

[Asian Festival of First Films] And the Nominees Are...

The Asian Festival of First Films (AFFF), now into its 3rd edition, will kick off on 27th November this year, and will run through to 4th December, culminating with an Awards Night where the jury will announce the winning films in categories such as Best Director, Best Producer, Best Film, Best Screenplay/Script, Best Cinematographer, Best Male Actor, Best Female Actor, Best Documentary, Best Director of Documentary, and the Purple Orchid Foreign Correspondents Association Choice Award.

The Nomination Night this evening unveiled the nominees in the respective categories, which were selected from a staggering 512 films from 53 countries, as revealed by Festival Director Sanjoy Roy. The selection committee, comprising of Carol Haslam, Gordon Chan, Peggy Chiao, Uma Da Cunha and Sanjay himself, spent 6 days to select the lineup of films in competition. Sanjay reflected that every great filmmaker would have to have their first moment in the sun, and the quality of the films have shown that they are made with passion, blood, sweat and tears. He reminisced what Gordan Chan had said to him, that after making a number of films, he would have thought he knew a lot about filmmaking, but after having seen these first films, it was humbling that he still had a lot to learn.

And it is the passion and belief that these filmmakers emobody, that were celebrated and honoured in today's Nomination Night.

The nominees, as announced by May and Choy Wan, Raymond Lee, Jade Seah and Eric Khoo, are:

Beautiful (Australia)
Dharm (India)
The Touch of Fate (Taiwan)
Weed (China)

Dharm (India) - Sheetal Talwar
Lucky Miles (Australia) - Jo Dyer & Lesley Dyer
Vanaja (India) - Latha R Domalpalli
Weed (China) - Wang Liren

Kabul Express (India) - Kabir Khan
The Touch of Fate (Taiwan) - Pan Zhi Yuan
Vanaja (India) - Latha R Domalpalli
Weed (China) - Wang Liren

5 Moments of Infidelity (Australia) - Kate Gorman
Keeping Watch (Taiwan) - Fen Fen Cheng
Owl & the Sparrow (USA) - Stephane Gauger
Weed (China) - Wang Liren

Family on the Sky Lake (China) - Hu Linping
Keeping Watch (Taiwan) - Adili Chen
The Last Lumberjacks (China) - Yu Guangyi
The Touch of Fate (Taiwan) - Hung Tien Ren

Khadak (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands) - Batzul Khayankhyarvaa
The Touch of Fate (Taiwan) - Wu Zhong Tian
Weed (China) - Mai Zi

Beautiful (Australia) - Julia Foenander
Keeping Watch (Taiwan) - Haden Kuo
Owl & the Sparrow (USA) - Pham Thi Han
Vanaja (India, USA) - Mamatha Bhukya

Feet Unbound (Australia) - Ng Khee Jin
Lockout (Australia) - Diane Michael
The Boy Who Died of Fear (Israel) - Idit Avrahami
The Last Lumberjacks (China) - Yu Guangyi
USS Cooper - Return to Ormoc Bay (Philippines) - Irena Leica S Cruz

Family on the Sky Lake (China) - Hu Linping
Gearing Up - The Fire Within (Hong Kong) - Sheetal S Agarwal
My Palestine (Lebanon, France) - Nadine Naous & Lena Rouxel
Richard (Australia) - Maya Newell
The Migrant (Bangladesh) - Mridul Chowdhary & Sujan Mahmud

Personally I've seen Khee Jin's documentary Feet Unbound during the Singapore International Film Festival, and Kabul Express is high on my list as I've missed its theatrical run late last year. And from the list, it seems that China's Weed by Wang Liren ought to appeal as well, given the multiple nominations it garnered for this year's AFFF.

All fllms and documentaries will be screened at Golden Village Vivocity, the Arts House and HOUSE. This year, for the first time, Delegate Passes will be available at S$100 to industry delegates and film buffs (S$50 for students). This pass will entitle the holder to attend unlimited film screenings, the opening and closing night ceremonies, as well as additional networking sessions and lectures.

Make time for the Festival, and come see the films! For more details and screening schedules, head on down to the official festival website.

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