Attended by film luminaries from Asia and across America, including businessmen and State of Arizona Officials, Asian International Film Festival (AIFFA) was launched at the Pollack Theatre, last December 6, 2019.
Conceived and founded by Film Director and Actor Ihman Esturco, Festival Adviser Martial Knaebel and Evelyn Vargas-Knaebel in the roundtable meetings at the FACINE San Francisco, AIFFA has made a strong impact and presence in the film festival arena when it showcased award winning films from Asian countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, South Korea, Indonesia and Philippines.
Though very young, AIFFA has a very clear and vivid vision of blending, harmonizing inter-cultural uniqueness of Asian Countries and Western World. At the onset, AIFFA is bringing films that are accessible, topics that are universal and engaging to the general audience. Language has never been and should never be a barrier, especially when themes about life, love, freedom, identity and independence are expressed and shared through film and cinema.
From there, the mission continues.
With the spate of COVID19 cases globally, the way we conduct our daily lives has changed. But as said time and again, amidst trials and tribulations, LIFE MUST GO ON. Our goal of bridging the World through Asian Cinema becomes more relevant, with the ‘NEW NORMAL”, wearing of mask as mandatory and observing social distancing in public places, AIFFA will actively campaign for it as our way to save lives and make the public understand that such mandatories are now part of our way of life, at least in the next 2 years.
As scheduled, In its first official Festival season this December 2020, AIFFA is preparing for a virtual edition. Films from all over Asia will be invited, and even blue carpet are likely to happen. Innovation and ingenuity become more natural during crisis, and this has been the case for AIFFA. Pandemic will still be there and we should be more cautious and responsible in taking care of our people, especially our Festival audience.
But no virus nor any pandemic can stop AIFFA from launching a revolution, a film festival revolution. A Festival revolution with top caliber Asian films at the frontline, a festival revolution charming theatre audience to become online audience, a festival revolution of Asian Cinema as conduit to a world divided by the COVID pandemic.
AIFFA’s pledge in the film and festival industry is sturdy as an old oak tree, we will continue to Discover, Distribute and Develop.