AFA turns 18 today and there is no better opportunity for us to take stock of the past year. 2022 saw us stepping out of the shadow of the pandemic and a return to in-person live events. As we continue to bring you quality programmes that inspire and provoke, we thank everyone for sticking with us and continuing to support and explore Asian Cinema. We hope you will bring many more people to our programmes and advocate with us to preserve Asia’s cinematic heritage.
In 2022, we launched several new initiatives and programmes. This included the new regular series Off the Catalogue (OTC), where we feature films from AFA’s collection. So if you have always wanted to watch something from our collection, look out for our OTC offerings in 2023. (And if you still cannot get enough, you can also check out the AFA Reference Collection at Lee Kong Chian Library and library@esplanade.) AFA also launched the inaugural edition of Reciprocal, an annual programme where AFA collaborates with another archive to screen and showcase films from each other’s collection. The first-ever edition of Reciprocal saw a collaboration with the Thai Film Archive. We were honoured to have His Excellency Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, the Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore, to launch the event.
We resumed in-person panel discussions and Q&As with Singapore Shorts ‘22, showcasing a selection of 27 of the most exciting short films made in the past year. For this edition, we curated two special programmes: “Hidden Gems: Prize-Winning Entries from the Singapore Video Competition 1985, 1986 and 1988”; and “5 Restored Shorts by Rajendra Gour”, all restored by AFA.
One of the exciting events AFA organised in 2022 was the world premiere of the brand-new 4K restoration of silent film Dragnet Girl (1931, dir. Yasujiro Ozu), as part of Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka. AFA commissioned local musicians and filmmakers Mark Chua and Lam Li-Shuen to compose and perform a live score during the screenings.
Audiences came out in full anticipation of Stanley Kwan’s newly restored films accompanied by Q&A sessions with the director. AFA also curated a film programme in response to the National Library’s “Mapping the World” exhibition (Orienting Paradise: Western Projections of the East), and worked with external regional curators for our Reframe and special programmes that bring alternative and critical voices in and around Asian Cinema..
AFA will endeavour in our mission in preservation as well as encourage and showcase critical engagement with Asian Cinema. You can be a part of it by volunteering with us, or giving us a gift. From now till 31 January 2023, you can also donate the balance of your Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers 2021 and 2022 to AFA via the CDC Vouchers Scheme website.
Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to be kept posted on all the exciting programmes in 2023, as well as updates on our restoration and preservation work.