Asian Festival of 1st Films
2007 & 2009

For a number of years this was the official website for the Asian Festival of 1st Films, the world's premiere Film and Documentary Festival showcasing first time documentaries and film's across 9 award categories including producers, directors, actors, screenplay writers, technicians from people of Asia - Pacific origin.
Content is from the site's 2007 & 2009 archived pages.

Asian Festival of 1st Films 2007

An annual Film and Documentary Festival to celebrate excellence for first time producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, actors, technicians and documentary makers from the Asian diaspora.


Striking and elegant, the stunning Asian Festival of 1st Films (AFFF) Award trophy, sponsored and designed by Swarovski, draws its inspiration from that definitive moment in a film-maker's or an actor's career - walking up the red carpet to be honored for the many hours of grime behind the shine.

A "Red Carpet" of Swarovski crystals at the base of the trophy cascades up to the start of the film-reel - the very heart of film-making - marking the dazzling beginning of many more good years of film-making ahead. As the film reel meanders gracefully skywards, the trail of sparkling  crystals adorning the sides highlight the brilliance of the first-time film-makers as they reach towards the pinnacle of success.

The AFFF trophy was conceptualized and developed by Sanjay Sharma, the Country Manager for Swarovski Crystal Components Business, India, who has designed trophies for many prestigious events, including the 2004 ICC Awards - the "Oscars" of Cricket.

AFFF Trophy


Festival Process

1. Selection will take place worldwide as determined by the Festival Directorate. 

2. The selection committee will consist of eminent personalities from the world of film as appointed by the Directorate. 

3. The Committee will shortlist up to one film per region in each of the following categories:

  • a. Best Film (Producer & Director)
  • b. Best Director
  • c. Best Produce
  • d. Best Cinematographer or Editor
  • e. Best Female Actor
  • f. Best Male Actor
  • g. Best Script/Screenplay
  • h. Best Documentary
  • i. Best Director of Documentary
  • j. Foreign Correspondents Association Choice Award

4. Up to 36 films (comprising up to 28 feature films and 8 documentaries) will be screened at the Asian Festival of 1st Films to be held from 27th Nov to 4th Dec 2007.

5. Nominations will be announced in Singapore and posted on our web site in October 2007. Subsequent contact will be made with the nominees.

6. An international jury composed of eminent film personalities, appointed by the Festival Directorate, will determine the winners in each of the defined categories. 

7. The decisions of the jury will be full and final. 

8. Awards will be announced at a ceremony to be held on 4th December 2007 in Singapore to be telecast across the region.





This was a fabulous event honoring first time filmmakers, and encouraging the creators involved in this wonderful art form. While events based in Singapore went smoothly, there were some unusual issues in the US, the result of Google's algorithm screwing up a bit. Searches in Google for the event initially showed results related to Asian porn and fetish websites. As we investigated how to remove these results we discovered that harmful search results were not uncommon. This experience leaves us wondering how much harm Google is doing to others with no ability to correct the record. Reputations are being destroyed along with businesses as concerns for privacy are ignored by big data's drive for larger profits. The glitch we experienced opened our eyes to a much larger problem with Google that is not going away by itself.

But we put Google issues aside, and focused on the Film and Documentary Festival and those people who are up for awards. During the brief moments of downtime, on of my cohorts found an online affiliate for online casinos that offered slots for US players. I knew Hurley enjoyed playing the slots whenever we were in Las Vegas. And during some of our visits to Australia, we always knew where to find him in the evening after work - in the local pub with other punter playing slots. So I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to see his computer screen light up with a slot game on it. I asked which online casino he had signed up at to play real money slots. I joked that perhaps we should do a documentary about the phenomenon of slots. I heard someone pipe up, why not a documentary of the development of a new slot game instead. Hey, I like that idea. Let's talk up the idea and make a pitch.

Who knows. Perhaps, in a year or two we will be a a finalist...No, a winner in the documentary category and you will have read about how the idea was conceived right here at this 2007 AFFF awards ceremony!



Award Winners of AFFF 2007

Best Screenplay
Fen Fen Cheng for “Keeping Watch”(Taiwan)

Best Director
Kabir Khan for “Kabul Express” (India)

Best Producer 
Jo Dyer and Lesley Dyer for "Lucky Miles" (Australia)

Best Actor Male
Batzul Khayankhyarvaa in “Khadak” (Germany, Mongolia)

Best Actor Female 
Mamtha Bhukya in “Vanaja” (India) &
Tsetsge Byambaa in "Khadak" (Germany, Mongolia)

Best Cinematographer
Hu Linping for “Family on the Sky Lake” (China)


Best Documentary
“The Boy Who Died of Fear” (Israel) produced by Idit Avrahami

Best Director Of Documentary
Maya Newell, “Richard” (Australia)

Best Film;
“Dharm” (India) & "Lucky Miles" (Australia)


Foreign Correspondents Association “Purple Orchid” Award for the Best Film
 “Kabul Express” (India)




Be a Delegate at AFFF 2007

As a delegate at the AFFF 2007 you will get full access to Industry and Press screenings of the Festival. Free tickets for all regular screenings can be reserved or acquired at screening venue, but are subject to availability.

Industry participants will receive the Festival catalogue, the Industry Guide with full listing of all participants and films presented and the calendar of all main events.

Industry participants can register a film for theatrical screening or submit a copy at the Video Library, they are further entitled to set up a stand, to display publicity material in the reserved areas of the festival, to organise conferences, round tables, or to hold promotional and company receptions to present their activities.

Student Delegates will be invited to all workshops, panel discussions, networking nights and special events. They are also entitled to get free tickets for all the movies being screened during AFFF 2007. 


Ticketing Information

AFFF 2007 nominated films and documentaries will premiere at public screenings in GV Vivo City, The Arts House and HOUSE (Dempsey Hill) during the week long Asian Festival of 1 Films.

Ticket Prices per session
GV Vivo City : $9.50
The Arts House : FREE!! (first come first serve)
HOUSE : FREE!! (Outdoor screening)

Tickets are available at the Arts House box office, Golden Village box office counters, online at and at AXS stations island wide.

HOUSE : Complimentary ticets can be picked up before the show itself (First Come First Serve). For more information you can call Yeap at 98551563

Industry Delegate pass: $100
Student Delegate pass : $50

Proof of age is required at both the point of purchase and point of admission for films with age-limited ratings.

The schedule program is subject to change.



Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates for the festival? 
27th Nov - 4th Dec 2007

What is the aim of the festival?
This is an annual film and documentary festival to celebrate excellence for first-time producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, actors and documentary makers from the Asian Diaspora.

It will also serve to raise the profile of these first-time filmmakers and to provide a platform for commercial film transactions to take place. Basically, we introduce the producers to the buyers.

How does one define Asian origin?
'Asian' origin being defined as being of Asian descent (i.e. with at least one parent being native to or the applicant being a citizen of one of the following countries):

Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, East Timor, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen.

Is there a screening schedule for the films? 
The screening schedule with the dates and venues of the screenings of selected films will be posted on the Festival website prior to the event.

What films & documentaries are eligible and what type of criteria are being judged for the films? 
Any and all films & documentaries are eligible for the festival; they can be about anything, so long as the topic is clear and the film is appropriate for viewing (i.e. no pornography). There are no specific criteria as far as technique for judging the films. Winners will be chosen based on creativity and originality.

Who will be judging at the film festival? 
An eminent Jury comprising film and documentary personalities will be invited to judge the best in each category.

Will prizes be awarded to winning filmmakers? 
Currently we are working on several great prize options. The winners will receive their awards on 4th December at a glittering ceremony to be telecast across the region. We expect nominees to be present at the awards ceremony and will work towards hosting them during their stay.

Will all submitted films be shown at the film festival?
There will be a screening process for selection of which films will participate in the festival. A selection committee will select up to four films in each category. Up to 36 films (comprising up to 28 feature films and 8 documentaries) will be screened at the Asian Festival of 1st Films to be held from 27th Nov to 4th Dec 2007.

Can I submit more than one film? 
Yes, you can submit as many films as you like, provided that each entry is accompanied by a completed Entry Form and other documents.

Can a film be nominated in more than one category? 
Yes, films can be nominated across categories as long as they qualify our guidelines.

Do films or documentaries have to be on a particular topic or genre? 
No. Films can be in any style or on any topic, but must not breach copyright, defamation or anti-discrimination laws.

What format should my film be in? 
Feature films final screening print should be in 35mm, 70mm, digital or HD formats. Documentaries may be on any format. All entries for both the Features and Documentary competitions are to be submitted on VHS Pal or DVD only.

If your film is selected for screening, you may be asked to provide a higher quality copy such as Betacam (if available). Finalists may be contacted to discuss options in this regard.

What are the length restrictions for feature film or documentary? 
Minimum length of 70 minutes, including all titles and credits for Feature Films.  There is no minimum length for Documentaries.

Is there an entry fee for the film competitions? 
No, there is no entry fee for the submission of Features or documentaries

When will I find out if my film is a finalist? 
All entrants will be advised usually by email, as to whether or not they have been selected for the festival. Notification will occur in October.

When will the finalists and winners be screened?
The selected feature films and documentaries will be screened from 27th November - 4th December 2007 in Singapore at the Golden Village multiplex venue, the National University and the Arts House.

Can anyone come to watch the film festival? 
Yes, this event is open to the public and will be advertised in the lead up to the event.  Film screenings and their respective venues will be confirmed at a later date.

What time will the screening of the films be from start and finish? 
More details will be provided on our website closer to the event.

How do I receive press accreditation? 
You will need to provide the publicity department with a letter from your editor or producer that confirms your assignment to cover the Asian Festival of 1st Films and states when the coverage will run.

What are the award categories?

There are 9 awards in the categories of: Best Film, Best Director, Best Producer, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Script or Screenplay, Best Cinematographer or Editor, Best Documentary, and Best Director (Documentary).

Who selects the nominated films?
The nominated films are selected by an international selection committee made up of eminent filmmakers, producers and directors who view hours of film and documentaries and to make their nominations for the respective categories.



2007 Selection Committee Members

An eminent selection committee including Carol Haslam (UK) – producer, director and festival coordinator, Gordon Chan (Hong Kong) – award winning director, Peggy Chiao (Taiwan) – producer, writer, academic, Sanjoy K Roy – Festival Director and Uma Da Cunha (India) – critic and festival programmer, congregated in Singapore at the idyllic Oneo 15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove for 6 days. They watched over hundreds of films to decide which ones make the cut to be nominated for AFFF 2007 awards.

Carol Haslam 
Carol had more than 20 years of experience working with TV channels as a producer/director, before she joined the independent sector, as a free-lance executive producer. Her programmes have included an annual series on ITV for new documentary directors called ‘Metroland’ (which ran for 10 years) and many co-productions, with NHK and CNN. In addition to production, she devotes much time to non-executive roles in a range of NGOs and trusts. She is a past chair of the Edinburgh International TV Festival, the current festival chair and trustee of Wildscreen, and has been a programme judge for Banff, Grierson, One World, and various other national and international awards.

Gordon Chan
Gordon worked in the HK film industry for more than 20 years giving the audience various action packed hits. In 2002, he directed The Medallion(2002), starring international action-movie star Jackie Chan. In 2005, he directed A1(2005) and was the recommended film of the year. His newest film was Mr. 3 Minutes(2006). Gordon is one of the most respected of the HK action directors and currently working on his next big titles Julius Caesar and Kamata Match. Presently he is the president of Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild, Hong Kong Film Awards Association and Vice president of Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild.

Peggy Chiao (Taiwan)
Peggy Chiao is one of the leading producers in Taiwan. She established Arc Light Films in 1996 and has worked with many famous directors from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and France. She has produced more than a dozen films and won various international awards. In 1996, she was awarded as Diamond Lady for Artistic Achievement by People Magazine. In 2006, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Osian’s-Cinefan Asian Film Festival, the same year she won Decade Contribution Award on Chinese Cinema by Nanfang Daily in China. She has served as juror in more than 50 international film festivals. Currently in 2007, Peggy serves as the chair for the renowned Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and the program director for the Graduate School of Film Making, National University of the Arts.

Uma da Cunha
Uma’s name is synonymous with Indian films. Her film career began in 1974 with organizing film events for the Indian government. She then went on to programme and represent festivals in India and abroad. Her work as casting director includes films such as Monsoon Wedding, Holy Smoke, Lagaan and Water among others. She is a well known film critic and editor of a quarterly magazine Film India Worldwide, published from Mumbai. Presently she writes for Screen (India’s leading weekly trade newspaper) and she is also one of the leading journalists for Mumbai Mirror, Sunday Herald and Film Information Weekly.





Top Quality Films Bag Nominations @ Third Asian Festival of 1st Films Awards (AFFF 2007)  

+ 32 films and documentaries nominated from record 500 submissions from 53 countries, including first time entries from Australia and New Zealand

+ All-Singaporean Production “Feet Unbound” nominated for Best Documentary

+ AFFF introduces ‘Delegate Passes’ for Film Aficionados and Industry Delegates as well as for Student Delegates

1 November 2007 – The Nominations for the 3rd Asian Festival of 1st films, an event under the Asia Media Festival 2007 , hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), have been announced in Singapore. 21 films and documentaries across nine award categories have been selected for this year’s festival. An additional 8 films have been selected in the out-of-competition section. The festival culminates in a grand, star-studded Awards Night (4 December 2007)where the jury will announce the award winning films for AFFF 2007. A specially designed Swarovski trophy will be presented along with a prize sponsored by MDA, for the Best Film and Best Documentary.

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA said: “We are pleased that AFFF has grown to become a key event at Asia Media Festival where it plays an important role in promoting Asian cinema to global audiences. From the record number of quality entries received, it is clear that the festival serves to raise the profile of first time filmmakers and provides a platform for commercial film transactions to take place”.

From the selection this year, Singapore production “Feet Unbound” has been selected as one of the 10 nominated documentaries at this year’s AFFF 2007 awards. Depicting the tales of women who joined in China’s epic Long March, it is produced by first time Singapore director Kee-Jing Ng and supported by an all-local team, including local troupe Tang Quartet who composed the soundtrack.

Australia and New Zealand have been included for the first time this year and contributed significantly to the unprecedented number of 500 films and documentaries received across the nine award categories, marking a 100% increase since the inception of the festival three years ago in 2005. 7 Australian films are featured in this year’s festival line up.

An eminent selection committee including producer, director and festival coordinator Carol Haslam (UK); award winning director Gordon Chan (Hong Kong); producer, writer and academic Peggy Chiao (Taiwan); Festival Director Sanjoy K Roy and critic and festival programmer Uma Da Cunha (India) congregated in Singapore at the idyllic Oneo 15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove for six days.

The quality of films received this year has been exceptionally high and in the words of the selection committee, their experience has been ‘amazing’, ‘extraordinary’, ‘eye opening’ and ‘incredible’. This year’s festival will present remarkable films and documentaries to worldwide audiences on themes ranging from World War II to an extraordinary first time film from Mongolia.

Said noted Director Mr Gordon Chan (Director), member of the selection committee, “I was really impressed by seeing the works of these new breed of directors and film makers. They have already attained quite a high standard in their first films that means that experienced people like me should go back and learn some more tricks to keep up with the new talent. It’s almost scary.” Commenting about the standards of the films at AFFF with comparison to other festivals in the world, Ms Carol Haslam added, “We were highly impressed by the quality of films submitted for AFFF. These standards have set a significant milestone for AFFF that will bring awe-inspiring scenes to global audiences and enhance the festival’s fast growing reputation as an influential platform to showcase exceptional work by talented first-time filmmakers.”

Announcing the nominations was a stellar cast of local celebrities and personalities, the likes of May and Choy (from the super hit local production 881), Jade Seah (Miss Singapore Universe 2006), Raymond Lee (Award winning writer and producer of the internationally acclaimed movie Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) and Eric Khoo (Noted film veteran and Director), all recognized for their film achievements and contributions to the local film industry. The nomination awards were held at HOUSE, the new restaurant, bar and spa located in Dempsey Hill for the uber cool and more recently, the new place of inspiration for art enthusiasts.

Nominated films hail from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Lebanon, Mongolia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, USA and Vietnam. The 21 nominated first films and documentaries will vie for 10 awards in the categories of: Best Film (Producer & Director), Best Director, Best Producer, Best Cinematographer or Editor, Best Actor (Female), Best Actor (Male), Best Script/Screenplay, Best Documentary, Best Director of Documentary and the Purple Orchid Foreign Correspondents Association Choice Award.

All films and documentaries will be screened at Golden Village Vivocity cinemas, the Arts House and HOUSE during the week-long Asian Festival of 1st Films from 27 November – 4 December 2007.

This year, for the first time, Delegate Passes will be available at S$100 for industry delegates and film buffs, and at S$50 for student delegates. 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.

AFFF’s impressive début in Singapore in 2005 as the world’s first Asian festival for first films attracted the attention of the global media and indicates a growing distributor and investor confidence in Asian first films.

“The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau, a group of the Singapore Tourism Board, is delighted that Singapore is the host of the third Asian Festival of First Films (AFFF). The AFFF, under the auspices of Asia Media Festival (AMF), showcases Singapore’s vibrant media and entertainment industry. As the development of Singapore into an innovative and multi-talented global city for arts and culture gathers pace, the hosting of AFFF increases the vibrancy of Singapore’s creative industries. With our strong knowledge economy, tech-savvy population, dynamic pro-business environment and solid track record in hosting information technology and digital media events, the Asian Festival of First Films adds to our exciting pipeline of media-related business events. The AFFF, which recognizes exemplary first-time filmmakers, further reaffirms Singapore’s position as an exchange capital of Asia, drawing creative talents from around the region for the exchange of ideas and business opportunities,” said Mr Aloysius Arlando, Assistant Chief Executive, Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board.

In the past two years alone, many of the award winners have moved on to gain critical acclaim and major awards (in high-profile categories such as Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Actor) at prestigious international film festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, La Palmas, New York Film Festival and San Francisco Film Festival. Through distribution, these films generated over S$18 million of business across Asia and Europe including China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and South Africa.



2009 / 5th Annual
Asian Festival of First Films

May 15, 2009 to December 04, 2009

9 Rhu Cross
15-04 Costa Rhu
Singapore Singapore 437436
Phone: +65 81189144



  1. The Asian Festival of First Films is the world's premiere Film and Documentary Festival for first time documentaries and films across 11 award categories including Producers, Directors, Actors, Screenplay writers and Technicians by people of Asia - Pacific origin.

    Join us in Singapore from 28th Nov to 4th Dec 2009 to enjoy some of the best movies from across the world being showcased for the first time.

    "Asian Festival of First Films is NOT accepting submissions through Withoutabox for this year's festival. Please go directly to and download an entry form to submit directly to the festival." 


    Eligibility and Criteria

    The Asian Festival of 1st Films will be held in Singapore from 28th November – 4th December 2009

    The Festival Directorate invites films from first-time filmmakers of Asian Pacific origin in the following categories:
    Best Film (Producer & Director)
    Best Director
    Best Producer
    Best Cinematographer or Editor
    Best Female Actor
    Best Male Actor
    Best Script/Screenplay
    Best Documentary
    Best Director of Documentary
    Foreign Correspondents Association Choice “Purple Orchid” Award

    * Asian Pacific origin being defined as being of Asian or Pacific descent (i.e. with at least one parent being native to or the applicant being a citizen of one of the following countries): 

    Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, East Timor, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen.

    Festival Process:
    1. Selection will take place worldwide as determined by the Festival Directorate.

    2. After the selection process the directorate will shortlist films in each of the following categories:

    a.Best Film (Producer or Director)
    b.Best Director
    c.Best Producer
    d.Best Cinematographer or Editor
    e.Best Female Actor
    f.Best Male Actor
    g.Best Script/Screenplay
    h.Best Documentary
    i.Best Director of Documentary
    j.Foreign Correspondents Association Choice Award
    k.Best Short Film Award

    4.The films will be screened at the Asian Festival of 1st Films to be held from 28th Nov to 4th Dec 2009.

    5.Nominations will be announced in Singapore and posted on our web site in November 2009. Subsequent contact will be made with the nominees.

    6.An international jury composed of eminent film personalities, appointed by the Festival Directorate, will determine the winners in each of the defined categories. 

    7.The decisions of the jury will be full and final. 

    8.Awards will be announced at a ceremony to be held on 4th December 2009 in Singapore to be telecast across the region.



    1. Films must have been produced between September 1st 2008 and August 31st 2009. 

    2. Films can only be submitted by first time filmmakers of Asian Pacific origin* in the categories mentioned above. 

    3. Feature films final screening print should be in 35mm, 70mm, digital or HD formats 

    4. Documentaries may be on any format. 

    5. Feature Films should have a minimum running time of 80minutes. 

    6. All films must be submitted in their original language with English subtitles.

    7. The Directorate must receive entries by the 15th September 2009. 

    8. Entries must be submitted online at the Official Festival website. In addition hard copies must be sent with DVD’s of the films to be submitted. 

    9. Each entry must be accompanied by the following:

      • An official letter of consent from the producer of the film authorizing entry to the competition,
      • Two printed copies of the completed entry form must accompany the tapes/DVDs.
      • 3 non-returnable copies of each film or documentary in either DVD or VHS PAL format.
      • A full list of artistic and technical credits.
      • A profile of the nominee.
      • Two photographs of the person/s or nominee entering the competition
      • Two stills of the film/documentary.
      • A synopsis written in English in not more than 100 words.

    10. Postal cost of tapes and submission forms will be borne by the submitting artist. 

    11. There is no entry fee required for submission of feature films and documentaries. 

    12. In the event that films are selected for screening at the Festival, all costs of shipping prints, including customs, insurance and return shipping are the responsibility of the producer. 

    13. No film maybe withdrawn once it has entered the selection process. 

    14. In cases of copyright infringement, whether local or international, the submitting producer shall be held directly responsible. The Festival Directorate will not be held liable. 

    15. Nominees in each award category are expected to attend the Award Ceremony. 

    16. Adequate publicity and promotional material must accompany the films short-listed to be screened at the Festival.