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
  • The festival team was very friendly and welcoming! I enjoyed the screening and their events so much.

    August 2019
  • AAIFF is a fantastic film festival that really looks after both its filmmakers and the community. From the moment of acceptance, we were kept closely in the loop of all the events, screenings, and perks. The staff was extremely communicative. The venues were beautiful.

    AAIFF put in great effort to fill each theatre with excited audiences, facilitated social media and press exposure for the filmmakers, really going above and beyond to get each film seen!

    It was a great pleasure and honor to show our short film, "End of Summer," at AAIFF42, and we will definitely look forward to attending again in the future!

    August 2019
  • haruna tanaka

    It was a very friendly and wonderful film festival. I met many filmmakers and got a lot of communication. I was honored to be able to participate from Japan. I want to come back to this festival with new works.

    August 2019
  • Out of all the short film blocks my film has been apart of, AAIFF presented the most engaging curation, an immaculate venue, and thoughtful Q&A.

    Besides that, everything from the graphic design to the warmth of the staff and the constant loop in communication was clear and concise. it was well worth the trip to not only see the films, but to meet all the incredible filmmakers who also participated. Would definitely recommend submitting just to have a chance to participate!

    Hoping to definitely come back in the future!

    August 2019
  • David Chai

    This is one of the best festivals I've attended. Professional, extremely well organized, fantastic screening venues and great programming. No wonder they've been running for over 40 years! Saw some awesome films, met with many great filmmakers. Truly an incredible festival and I'm honored to be a part of it!

    August 2019