SEAFIC (Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab) is a pioneering non-profit script and development lab created for Southeast Asian filmmakers in order to strengthen the quality of feature-length fiction films from the region. Each year SEAFIC invites 1st, 2nd and 3rd-time filmmakers to work with our script consultant and international experts for 8 months to develop their projects. Coinciding with the final session is SEAFIC Open House, a public event in which talks, panels, screenings and other activities will be held for free, including the final pitch event with our SEAFIC jury. The parallel producers’ lab, called SEAFIC×PAS, is run jointly with Festival des 3 Continents' Produire au Sud. For more information, please visit http://www.seaficlab.com.
Overall it was a very challenging year due to the pandemic, but we are very proud that:
- We successfully conducted 1 in-person session during March 2020 despite all odds. We are very proud of this because if the filmmakers never met each other in person at all, the lab would have not gone as well as it had. Logistically it was nightmare, but it was worth it!
- We successfully conducted our first-ever online public event with SEAFIC Open House, and it was very well-attended – much more than we had expected! Also, nothing technically went wrong, which was both a blessing and as a result of our experience with our 2nd session online
- We did not cut down any events, sessions or components to our full lab despite having to transition online. At times we had many challenges, from technical problems to having to deal with filmmakers virtually, but in the end we did our best, and even managed to make the lab even more beneficial to our SEAFIC filmmakers by giving them time to attend SEAFIC×PAS sessions and Open House public events.
As for the future, SEAFIC in 2021 will go through a year of transition. Alas with the pandemic, funding for our lab has been very challenging, with us losing our main sponsor. Also, we will be unable to apply for Japan Foundation Asia Center this year, which presents another budgetary challenge. As such, we have decided to downscale SEAFIC in 2021 and not run a full 9-month script lab, instead doing a smaller 2-session lab for shorts filmmakers that last only 2-3 months called Seed Lab. We shall have more details on this soon. We hope that in 2022 we can once again find new funders and return to conducting the full 9-month lab once again.
Finally, thank you to Japan Foundation Asian Center grant for funding the past 3 years of SEAFIC. This grant has been instrumental to our lab running our full program, and this is evident as in 2021 we can no longer have the full script lab without Japan Foundation’s funding. We also enjoy having Japanese mentors and the two Japanese producers joining us this year. And we very much appreciate your consideration in us having to change both our dates for 2nd session and Open House as well as all the changes to our budget due to the program going online.