Due to the COVID-19 pandemic AAIFF45 will be a hybrid festival, primarily virtual with limited in-person events designed for as much safety as possible in New York City. We are aiming to have the virtual portion available to as much of North America as possible.
AAIFF has joined Seed and Spark's Film Festival Survival pledge regarding virtual screenings and eligibility. If you held a piece completed in 2020 in hopes for physical screening in 2020/2021 but would like to submit for a virtual screening now in 2021, you are eligible as long as the piece never screened virtually in 2020. More info about the Seed and Spark Film Festival Survival pledge please see https://try.seedandspark.com/film-festival-pledge/
Some category updates: Digital/New Media has been split up to Digital/Web and VR/Interactive. Digital/Web can include IG Reel/TikTok compilations. VR/Interactive can include video games. More information about the revised categories below.
New Awards! We're adding craft specific awards this year include best editing, cinematography, and more. More information below.
If there are any questions, concerns, or financial assistance requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) is proudly known as "The First Home to Asian American Cinema." Organized by Asian CineVision, it's the first and longest-running festival dedicated to showcasing the moving image work by media artists of Asian descent for and about the Asian diaspora experience. The Festival takes place in New York City, the second-largest Asian American market in the U.S. Every year, AAIFF attracts audiences from all five boroughs of New York City, the tri-state region, and around the world.
Asian CineVision (ACV) is a media arts nonprofit devoted to the development, exhibition, promotion, and preservation of Asian and Asian American experiences through storytelling. Our mission is to nurture and grow the community of makers and lovers of Asian and Asian American independent film, television, and digital.
Films submitted and screened at the festival are eligible to participate in our National Tour program, bringing Asian diaspora stories to broader audiences across North America through a rental service for cultural and educational institutions.
Jury Presented Awards may include:
• EMERGING DIRECTOR IN NARRATIVE FEATURE - Directors screening their first or second narrative feature film projects are eligible for this award
• EMERGING DIRECTOR IN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Directors screening their first or second narrative documentary film projects are eligible for this award
• EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE SHORT FILMMAKING
• EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMMAKING
• ONE TO WATCH YOUTH FILMMAKER - Projects submitted by filmmakers under the age of 21 are eligible for this award.
• ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION (AAISC)
• EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC VIDEOS
• EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL/WEB
• EXCELLENCE IN EPISODIC
Honorable Mentions may include
• EXCELLENCE IN EDITING
• EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
• EXCELLENCE IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
• EXCELLENCE IN SCREENWRITING
By Audience Votes:
• AUDIENCE AWARD: NARRATIVE FEATURE
• AUDIENCE AWARD: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
• AUDIENCE AWARD: NARRATIVE SHORT
• AUDIENCE AWARD: DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Additionally, AAIFF presents THE ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA AWARD and the ASIAN MEDIA HUMANITARIAN AWARD to those who have contributed significantly to Asian American media. Since its inception in 1987, recipients have included:
Wayne Wang (1987); Loni Dong (1988); Christine Choy (1989), James Yee (1990), Steven Okazaki (1991); Mira Nair (1992), Ang Lee (1993); Joan Chen (1994); Kayo Hatta and Freida Lee Mock (1995), Russell Wong (1996); Jessica Yu and Arthur Dong (1997), Michelle Yeoh (1998); Sammo Hung (1999); Andy Lau (2000); Tamlyn Tomita (2001); Marilou Diaz-Abaya (2002); Jet Li and Maggie Cheung (2005); Janet Yang (2012); Kara Wai (2016); and Justin Chon (2017).
Eligible projects include:
•Completed submissions that have at least one person of Asian descent from any nationality in a key creative role i.e. Director, Writer, Producer, DP, etc.
•Completed submissions that represent the Asian diaspora experience.
***People of Asian descent includes but is not limited to people from and are descended from areas now known as Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Russia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, and the Pacific Islands.***
Submissions must be completed after January 1st, 2021. With the exception of:
• Projects submitted to the Works-in-Progress category
All applicants will be notified by email. Please do not contact us before the notification deadline about selection status.
You must contact us immediately if you want to withdraw your work from our consideration.
AAIFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless AAIFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.