Frequently Asked Questions
- What will the Archive collect under the Reel
Emphasis is on works by Southeast Asian filmmakers. We are especially interested
in critically acclaimed works by independent filmmakers whose films are not well
archived and catalogued.
Accepted works include:
- film gauges and video format (35mm, 16mm, 8mm, super 8, digiBeta, BetaSP, miniDV, VHS, HD, DVD and
- length (short, medium or feature)
- genre (narrative, documentary, experimental or animation)
- film-related materials, such as stills, posters, storyboards, scripts, festival catalogues,
thesis and articles.
Does the Archive collect Asian works made by non-Singaporean filmmakers?
Yes. The Archive does collect Asian films. Emphasis is given to works by Southeast
Asian filmmakers. (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines).
For more details, please refer to our collection guidelines.
I am a filmmaker from Southeast Asia but I am not based in Asia. I am based in London. Would
you be interested in my works?
Yes. The Archive is interested in the works of filmmakers based in Asia as well as films on Asian communities by Asian filmmakers based around the world.
For more details, please refer to our collection guidelines.
- Do you only keep old works?
No. In fact, the Archive encourages filmmakers to submit copies of their works as
soon as they are made. By engaging us early, works can be better archived than on
hindsight, where materials might already be misplaced or lost.
The focus of the Asian Film Archive is on the culturally important works of living independent Asian filmmakers that are not well archived.
- Is there a deadline? Why?
Archival of films is a continuing process. The Archive encourages filmmakers
to submit early to minimise further damage of their works and/or the potential of
them being misplaced.
- Why should I archive
my films with Asian Film Archive?
In a tropical environment like Southeast Asia, films (including digital formats)
can disintegrate rapidly if not kept properly. To ensure your films are preserved
for posterity, all film masters are kept in secure and 24-hour temperature
vaults to prolong their lifespan. Other
materials such as scripts, stills, posters can be prolonged if kept in acid free packaging to prevent deterioration. All films
and related materials are maintained and conserved in accordance with accepted standards of archival procedures.
The Archive is set up with the following mission:
SAVE We preserve our collection in a climate controlled environment for posterity.
EXPLORE We build cultural value on our collection through research, education
SHARE We make films accessible to the public to provide sources of inspiration
for creative processes, teaching, and research.
Beyond archival, the Asian Film Archive also promotes films in its collection and makes them accessible to the public through a reference library, educational activities, and screenings.
- Will my rights to the film be relinquished when I deposit my works?
The deposit of the films and materials related to the films does not constitute
an assignment or transfer of the copyright or any other intellectual property rights.
Unless explicitly expressed, any rights subsisting in the films and film related
materials shall at all times remain vested in the relevant copyright owners.
All staff and volunteers of the AFA handling materials and information are carefully selected and are required to sign non-disclosure agreements to protect the confidentiality of information and materials submitted to AFA.
Can I take my films out when I deposit my works at Asian Film Archive?
Yes. However, to avoid damage to the original films, Asian Film Archive strongly
recommends not moving master copies out of the Archive unnecessarily.
For film festivals and retrospectives, Asian Film Archive can and has liaised with the relevant organisations to assist in such screenings. While AFA will help to promote films in the collection so that more people can watch them, it recommends the use of screening copies instead of the originals/masters, whenever possible, for such purposes.
What does it mean for me to donate my film to Asian Film Archive? How do I donate
Donation of one’s film (film print, mini DV, DVD, etc) to Asian Film Archive is considered as donation in kind. This means that the filmmaker will donate part of, or all the proceeds collected from activities Asian Film Archive organized with the film. These may include film screenings, DVD compilations and publications by Asian Film Archive. In events where films are slated for an activity or project, the Archive would seek the filmmaker's approval before use.
- Who should fill in the online form?
The Archive prefers to liaise with the filmmaker(s) directly, either the director
or the producer. This is to verify information submitted for archival and for future
correspondence. The Archive encourages filmmakers to submit a secondary point of
contact as well as for backup. The Archive also accepts representative(s) appointed
by the filmmaker.
Would my film be automatically included in your archive once I have submitted the
No. The online submission form is to provide sufficient information so that Asian Film Archive can follow up with the filmmakers and collect the DVD/VCD screeners for consideration.
- What is the next
step after submitting the online form?
Upon receiving your online submission, Asian Film Archive will arrange to collect
your screeners (preferably in DVD or VCD format). Filmmakers can also send their
screeners to us at the address below.
Asian Film Archive
c/o Library Supply Centre
3 Changi South Street 2
Xilin Districentre Building B
An acknowledgement will be sent to the filmmaker upon receipt of the screeners.
What are the DVD screeners for? What will Asian Film Archive decide on?
Due to space and cost constraints, films that are of cultural and historical significance,
will receive higher priority. More details on the selection criteria can be found in our collection guidelines.
What if I do not own DVD/VCD screeners
but only possess the original film print.
If this is indicated in your online submission form, you will be contacted by AFA
on more information about your films. Possession of only the original film print
will not affect the decision for archival consideration as the Archive will accept
even if there are no ready DVD/VCD screeners.
What does the Archive do with the materials collected? What will happen to my film
once it is included in the Asian Film Archive collection?
With agreement from the filmmaker, Asian Film Archive will
1) Provide reference copies of the films within a library premise
2) Promote the films through exhibition
3) Screen the films through Asian Film Archive’s film programme
All activities will be non-commercial in nature as Asian Film Archive is a non-profit and non-governmental organization. Any proceeds will go to the preservation and cultural mission of the Archive, and not to the commercial reward of any individual, group or organization. Your consent will be sought should a film be selected for screening or if there is a request by external parties for screening.
- Will I be charged for the preservation of my films?
No. Asian Film Archive will bear all costs relating to documentation, logistics,
safekeeping, maintenance and promotion of the films.
- Will I be paid for my films that are preserved?
No. The Archive see ourselves as providing a service to filmmakers to preserve their
works and to the community for preserving our film heritage. The Asian Film Archive
is a non-profit and non-governmental organization founded to save, explore and share
the art of Asian Cinema. The Archive is not a profit driven commercial entity.
- What if my works are not selected
You will be notified if your films are not selected for archival. However, if you need the screeners to be sent back, please enclose a self-addressed and stamped envelope for the screeners to be mailed back to you.
If you have questions that are not answered here, you can email our Archivist,