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A Word From the AAIFF

Baptism (2022) by Dir. Nani Li

Recapping the third edition of the AAIFF – All Asian Independent Film Festival. The winner of Asia’s Best Dramatic Short 2022, Baptism by director Nan Li, is a film centred on “rehabilitating” a mother after an incident of mistreating her infant, was a superb film that stood out. The use of black and white to accurately paint the grim bleakness of the facility she was admitted, along with the malicious, extreme reconditioning she was enduring, was cinematically creative. The story blurs the lines of reality as the mother interacts with certain individuals at the asylum was locked in. In the end, Nan Li leaves to interpretation for the viewers whether if the mother was successfully cleansed of her wrongdoings.

One of the newly added sections to AAIFF was the Filipino Student Corner, a category dedicated to film students from the Philippines to help support the next generation of aspiring Philippine filmmakers.

When Martin Scorsese was asked how filmmakers in the beginning should start out, he simply stated, “Build your own industry. Recreate movies”. What he meant by that was, it doesn’t matter where you are situated – you don’t necessarily have to relocate around the film capitals of the world to pursue a film career – as long as you posses the drive to be bold in telling stories differently than predecessors and that you care about in what you are telling – whilst blissfully disregarding what the mainstream industry is doing – then that is all what should truly matter to you as a storyteller.

On behalf of the festival, we would like to once again give an enormous special thanks to the AAIFF Filipino student corner directors: Patrick Pangan (We Were Never Really Strangers), Niko Chu (Rosario), Jan Pauline A. Dacop (Mara), Stephanie Metcalf (Kahilwasan (safety) ), Sean Tongco (Dying On Borrowed Time), and Arthur Benedict Dugan Eustaquio (Philharmonic) for submitting their films to AAIFF!

May the spirit of indie filmmaking never wither away within you! We look forward to welcoming more Filipino filmmakers to AAIFF 2023.

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