Surprised, seeing as how many times I have bashed some regional productions; loudly and drunkedly… and in public… at media events (you can see where I’m going with this), most likely a behavioral relic having done “Asian cinema” in college as an elective unit.
It might come as a relief to you that you will not need to write a lengthy treatise on the 32 films and documentaries nominated from over 500 submissions from 53 countries being showcased.
My nonsense aside, there are some really interesting entries this year especially since Australia and New Zealand have been included. One such entry is the bilateral Australia/Singaporean production “Feet Unbound” (Dir. Kee-Jing Ng) about the tales of women who participated in China’s epic “Long March” which was selected as one of the nominated 10 documentaries.
The nomination night was a fanfare of starlets and delectable finger-messing morsels (like smoked salmon twists and mini-bratwursts) courtesy of house @ Dempsey. Equally delicious MTV VJs May and Choy wan, alongside industry icons like Eric Khoo presented the various nominees which were of impressive caliber despite their virgin nature.
For those not in the know, the asian festival of FIRST FILMS is literally that: They are the products of their makers’ first forays into filmmaking. Said Festival Director Sanjoy Roy, “some of the entrants have divorced their families and mortgaged their homes just to be here” Truly, you can feel a strong sense of what Mr. Roy depicted as ‘the desperation of mankind’ in his welcoming address. “Although the people who made these films are of different backgrounds, they have an equal amount of passion” he emphasized.
The AFFF is part of the larger Asia Media Festival and is produced by Teamwork productions. The whole festival runs in November and December with screenings at Golden Village Vivocity and Artshouse with delegate passes available for true film buffs.
At the one I went to, I really enjoyed Kabul Express (India, Yash Raj Films) which is a story of two Indian TV journalists seeking the ultimate scoop by meeting the Taliban and also Weed (China, Wang Liren) – a romeo/Juliet-esque tale of a Chinese wage worker who meets tragedy by falling in love with a prostitute. Eric Khoo remarked that the latter is a favorite: “I think Weed is about to win many awards”; It was nominated for 5 awards including best film and best director.
Visit www.asianfirstfilms.com for more information