Day Three of the All Asian Independent Film Festival

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Well, there we are! The end of another thrilling weekend of groundbreaking cinema. As the doors to the Power Plant Cinema close and the sun sets over Manila, let’s take a look at the third and final day of this year’s All Asian Independent Film Festival.
The start of the afternoon saw the final entry of the Filipino Film Students Special Competition, A Personal Reminiscence by Mark Daniel B. De Castro. This powerful, emotive reflection on the experiences of colonial history explores the relationship between identity, homeland and literature, and certainly provided a thought-provoking start to the day’s events. It means a lot to AAIFF to have been able to platform such an eloquent examination of Filipino cultural heritage within the Philippines itself. In an interview, Mark Daniel told us about his love of filmmaking as a powerful tool to tell stories about “things that are not being talked about” and “inspire creativity within a community”.
Filmmakers and staff at AAIFF 2023

Later in the day, after a look at some of the highlights of AAIFF’s partner festival in Europe, the focus returned to the world’s largest continent as the screenings of this year’s Official Selection continued. Once again, the films provided a wide-ranging platform for some of the key social, cultural and political issues of both Asian countries and the world beyond. 
Take, for example, the dramatic short I am no one. Directors Sebastian Kong and Steve Tran explained how their film deals with “the theme of social invisibility through the prism of Asians in France”, adding how they “wanted to show to the rest of the world that we are Asian, but first of all we are humans”.  
Kaz Akashi’s dramatic feature Hannora, which won the category of Best Dramatic Feature Film, explores the question of what ‘freedom’ really means. Akashi explained that “the definition of freedom varies depending on country, ethnicity, religion, family and individual” – the film, therefore, is “just one answer to this question”. Akashi’s film explores the contradictions in Japan’s concept of freedom; in particular, he hopes to give courage to young people who are currently “living and fighting with doubt” after having left the education system. 

Kaz Akashi’s Hannora

The weekend’s excitement culminated in a sparkling awards ceremony earlier this evening, which saw the very best of this year’s submissions rewarded for their talent, artistry and innovation. After careful deliberation the Jury decided on the following awards:
The winners: 

Filipino Student’s Special Award: Wails of the Shadows Dancing in the Wind

Documentary Film: My Mother’s Daughter

Dramatic Short Film: The Dragon in the Clouds

Music Video: Tiger (Silver Lotus)

Dramatic Feature Film: Hannora

Experimental Film: Version of Nature

Student Film: Blue is the color of the planet from the view above

Audience Award: A Sorry Love Story

Jury’s Special Mention: Jet Lag

Asia’s Best Independent Film: Avenger

Congratulations to all those who received an award; we’re looking forward to seeing the next steps of your filmmaking journeys and are delighted to know that the AAIFF has played a part.
Once again, a massive thank you to everyone who participated this year – whether in person or at home, filmmaker or cine-enthusiast. We’re already looking forward to next year’s edition, and warmly encourage you to check our website and social media to see when submissions open. 
See you all soon! 

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