AFA Anniversary – An Ode to Our People

The common refrain that an organisation is defined by its people rings true for the Asian Film Archive. Every staff member, past and present, brings with them their indomitable passion for cinema and firm faith in the importance of the work we aspire to do. AFA would not be the same without the wonderfully committed individuals who have contributed to making it a home, not just for the films we preserve, but one for all who pass through its doors. 

Today, we shine a spotlight on staff who moved from being an intern to becoming a full-time member of the team. Starting with AFA’s latest staff member, Koon Yen, who joined us in October 2021  as our new Outreach Senior Executive. Koon Yen has a deep affinity with AFA that dates back  to 2007, where he started off as an intern, and helped to organise one of our first major events Asian Film Archive Presents: Southeast Asian Digital Cinema. Koon Yen subsequently became a volunteer for many years, helping out at front of house in Oldham Theatre and in programmes like Asian Restored Classics, before the opportunity came along for him to become a full-time staff.

Koon Yen volunteering at one of AFA’s events

“Although it’s been so many years since I interned at AFA, coming back to work here doesn’t feel foreign, and I am absolutely delighted to be back. I have always loved films and their capacity to evoke sorrow, joy and everything in between. I hope that during my time at AFA, I’d be able to share my passion and AFA’s wonderful work with more people,” says Koon Yen on his experience starting out as an intern and returning as a full-time staff member at AFA.

Tee Pao, our archivist assessing and cleaning a film reel
Matthew, our archive officer

Tee Pao and Matthew, our Archivist and Archive Officer who have been with us for 12 and 3 years respectively, traversed a similar route from intern to staff. It is great that they have found in AFA a place to call home.      

The AFA team has grown, evolved, and gotten through various challenges. But one thing remains the same: our love for films and Asian cinema. So if you see any of us at our programmes, do come say hi and stay to talk.

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