The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) is proudly known as "The First Home to Asian American Cinema." It's the first and longest-running festival dedicated to showcasing the moving image work by media artists of Asian descent, from any nationality, and about the Asian community. 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 and the tri-state region.

After AAIFF ends, we go on a National Festival Tour, which enables participating filmmakers to reach broader audiences across North America through a rental service for cultural and educational institutions. In 2007, The National Tour made its international debut screening at universities in Hong Kong and Macau. Many more viewers and readers follow the festival in local, national and international media coverage.

AAIFF awards include The Best Emerging Director in Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature competitions, Excellence in Short Filmmaking competition, For Youth One-to-Watch Award, AAISC Screenplay Competition, and Audience Choice Awards. Additionally, AAIFF presents The Asian American Media 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); and Justin Chon (2017). Other awards include Asian Media Humanitarian Award: Jet Li (2005) and Kara Wai (2016).

The AAIFF accepts completed film and video submissions produced, written, directed by media makers of Asian descent from any nationality, or about the Asian community.
- Works must have been completed after January 1, 2018.
- Check to make sure your DVDs play smoothly on standard DVD players from beginning to end without skipping or getting stuck. Malfunctioning DVDs may be disqualified.
- Each entry must be clearly labeled with: director's name, work title, total running time, FilmFreeway tracking number.
- Submission DVDs will not be returned.
- Each project must be on a separate DVD. Do not submit compilations and/or other projects not intended for this CFE.
- If selected, exhibition DVDs and tapes must be sent PRE-PAID to the festival.
- If selected, AAIFF will cover return shipping of exhibition tapes. DVDs will not be returned unless specified.
- All applicants will be notified by email June 2nd, 2019.
- You must contact us immediately if you want to withdraw your work from our consideration
- The festival does not pay rental fees.
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.

Overall Rating
  • Alfonso Bui

    It was a helluva time! Thanks to the AAIFF committee for making this a special one.

    August 2018
  • Melanie Lim

    So sad to have missed the 2018 festival, it looked like a hoot! The customer service and communication from the film festival to the filmmakers is absolutely superb. Thank you for everything, it was an honor to be a part of AIFF41! :)

    August 2018
  • Neil George

    It was a great pleasure and privilege to have After the Sewol premiere at the 40th AAIFF. The team were in constant communication with us and although we couldn't attend the screening due to not living in the US, we followed the social media updates with interest.
    We will be submitting our next film to AAIFF next year for sure!
    Great team and a great festival!

    August 2017
  • Michael Manese

    Thank you so much to the staff of the 40th Asian American International Film Festival. My cast, crew and I had a great time! The festival was very organized, the volunteers were helpful, and the programs were inspiring. It was very memorable, thanks for all your hard work. We appreciate it. See you next year.

    August 2017