Applications were available from March 1st to May 10th and 144 applicants from 21 Asian countries showed eager passion for the AFA that resulted in a high competition rate of 1:6. A total of 32 out of the 144 applicants (22%) were re-applicants, among which 5 were at their 3rd attempt while other 2 were applying for their 4th time or more. Additionally, applicants from 21 countries included Korea, Japan and China as well as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Nepal, India and Bangladesh showing the heated interests of a number of Asian filmmakers in the AFA.
The 2011 selection process consisted of 1) portfolio submissions, 2) documents and 3) telephone interviews. The final entries included 24 applicants from 17 countries with highly creative and completed portfolios and a good command of communication skills. Ismail Umar Ahmad from Indonesia received special attention for tenacity after being selected this year despite three rejections in the past. Shah Zaman from the desert area of Pakistan, who used to teach young students in a film production workshop program, was finally accepted on his third attempt.
The AFA is the Asian largest film education program under the professional supervision of a faculty group of prominent Asian filmmakers. The program will provide its participants exceptional educational opportunities that include short-film production, workshops, master class, and mentoring with renowned film directors through which they can experience both the philosophy and the actual practice of film production. Through the AFA program, participants from different cultural backgrounds from all over Asia will have a special chance to share and exchange their thoughts and visions in terms of film.
The AFA has long been successfully discovering and nurturing new Asian talent in cinema by providing diverse opportunities for young Asian filmmakers who lack the fine infrastructure of film education. Since the launch of the Asian Film Academy in 2005, prominent participants such as BOO Jun Feng (Singapore/2005), Edwin (Indonesia/2005) and Chris CHONG Chan Fui (Malaysia/2006) have established themselves on the global stage at international film festivals including Cannes and Rotterdam. Besides, Ghost by another outstanding AFA alumnus Dahchi Ma (Korea/2010) was selected for the 2011 Cannes short film competition and attracted global attention. A number of alumni are now cutting conspicuous figures in their own field of specialty and will benefit from the experiences and networks they have cultivated through the AFA.
The AFA 2011 is co-hosted by Dongseo University, Busan Film Commission, and Busan International Film Festival.