Philadelphia Asian American Film & Filmmakers was founded in 2008 by a passionate group of Asian Americans who felt a need for a festival space that was focused on supporting the growing Asian filmmaking community. The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) is the organization’s showcase event and is dedicated to supporting and highlighting the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander diaspora through creative community-focused programs. PAAFF is the third-largest film festival of its kind in the United States. In addition to its film programs, the volunteer-run organization also presents programming that includes live performances, chef demonstrations, panels and lectures, and educational workshops during the festival and throughout the year.
A 2021 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network helped cover operating costs for PAAFF’s panels and other live-programming at its annual festival. The panels, conversations, and live-performances at the festival aim to provide a space for dialogue about topics important to Asian diasporic storytelling. The festival invites industry leaders, academics, artists, and activists to share their expertise and experiences with the goal of cultivating a community of critical thinkers focused on supporting, growing, and developing Asian and Pacific Islander arts.