By R Ramachandran AFCC 2015
Dear AFCC Family Members,
Thank you for your wholehearted support for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2015. I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to the many wonderful people involved in making this Festival a success.
Thank you, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, for gracing the Opening Ceremony & HABA Award Presentation.
A big thank-you to Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for the Ministries of Education and Communications and Information, for supporting us these past few years with her gracious presence at AFCC. We’ve also greatly benefited from her support through the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism, which has helped us to publish and promote more quality bilingual books for children.
This year, China was our Country of Focus and we concluded AFCC appropriately with our special evening programme, China Night, where we celebrated the country’s stellar contribution to the growth and development of quality children’s literature.
A big thank-you to Ms Liu Hong, Deputy CEO of AFCC 2015’s Country Partner, the Hunan Juvenile & Children’s Books Publishing House. Thank you for heading the distinguished Chinese delegation of outstanding authors, illustrators, educators and academics. We believe their inspiring talks, seminars, stories, and industry insights at this year’s festival will continue to touch and inspire the hearts of many.
This year, we also witnessed the launch of the collaborative book 狮心绘意—中新儿童文学原创作品 Lion’s Heart, Painted Thoughts: Children’s Literature from Singapore and China, which was supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism. This is the first time that authors from both Singapore and China have come together to collaborate on such a meaningful project. We’re excited at how it celebrates the cultural diversity and literary talents of Singapore and China, while promoting bilingualism, the art of translation, and language-building skills.
Thank you to Ms Claire Chiang, Chairperson of NBDCS, for this wonderful intiative. Her contribution to the development of AFCC, and books and related materials with Asian content for children, is ever-increasing, and all of us – delegates, participants, supporters and everyone involved in AFCC – are the beneficiaries.
I wish to take this opportunity to also thank Ms Poon Sing Wah and Dr Tan Chee Lay for helping us to bring China’s distinguished authors and publishers to our shores, and for putting together Lion’s Heart, Painted Thoughts. At China Night, we also launched the China edition of Water. My gratitude to Ms Susanna Goho-Quek for illustrating this book and for her great artworks. Thank you also to the author Mr Christopher Cheng.
Thank you, Ms Tang Sulan, AFCC Board of Advisors (BOA) and member of the Chinese delegation, for her wonderful contribution and for continuing to serve in the Board.
My thanks also to Ms Andrea Pasion-Flores, BOA member from Philippines who headed our very successful first AFCC Writers & Illustrators Retreat at Bintan, which was kindly sponsored by our Chairperson.
To all other distinguished BOA members: my grateful thanks – a special mention too, to our new member Ms Durreen Shahnaz. We’re delighted and excited to have you on board.
My special thanks to Mr Ken Spillman who has been my guide and mentor over the years, and who has brought Australia closer to AFCC. We were fortunate to have the pleasure of his company and his insights for the past eight years, and we look forward to his presence again next year.
My personal thanks are also due to Ms Evelyn Wong, author and BOA Member; and Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal and Dr Chitra Shegar, whose steadfast dedication and support for AFCC continues to inspire me.
My thanks are due to the Judges involved in AFCC’s award competitions; to the Executive Committee of NBDCS, and to the Organising Committee of AFCC for all the guidance and assistance.
Our deepest appreciation to Ms Elaine Ng, and the National Library Board, for coming on board as a Venue Sponsor. Also, thank you to the Singapore Management University; our Special Partner Bank of China; our Digital Partner Tusitala; and our award sponsors Samsung and Scholastic.
Thank you to all our Sponsors and Supporting Partners including the Ministry of Education; the Media Development Authority; Early Childhood Development Agency; SCBWI, orchardgateway, SC (Sang Choy) International, and many more.
Special thanks to the Lee Foundation and Hong Leong Foundation for your continued support and for the confidence placed in us.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped us in every small step of the way, and in spreading the good word of AFCC. To the National Arts Council – we can’t thank you enough for your unwavering support all these years.
There are so many more to name, but I think I will just say this: To all the speakers, moderators and volunteers who have given us their time and their effort in making AFCC a success, I thank you all deeply. You have contributed so much for so little.
Last but not least, my grateful thanks to the AFCC team members headed by Kenneth Quek , who have been working hard throughout the year. They are motivated with a love for their work, and a passion to bring Asian content creators and producers like you to the rest of the world – so that many more will come to know Singapore and Asia not only as economic miracles but also as world-class content producers in all formats.
We hope you can continue to spread the word that once a year in Singapore, those of us who are passionate about children’s content come to AFCC to meet and discuss the present situation where content flows predominately from the West to the East, and to examine how this process can be reversed. For this to happen, AFCC will strive to continue developing into a better event that is effectively coordinated to grow into a movement throughout Asia. We look forward to your continued support and participation in this revolution.
Next year, Japan will be our Country of Focus. The Japanese delegation will be headed by Ms Yuko Takesako,Vice Director of the Chihiro Art Museum, and joined by Ms Michiko Matsukata, also from Chihiro Art Museum, as well as author and Illustrator Ms Naomi Kojima. They have already been working hard to introduce and share with you some of the best content and creators from Japan.
Please save this date: 25 – 29 May 2016. The story continues with AFCC 2016 Country of Focus: Japan, and we look forward to having your warmest support once again at this exciting festival. Thank you, and see you at AFCC 2016!
PS: Thank you also to Ms Claire Chiang for hosting the Closing Party for AFCC 2015. Here was our favourite photo from the night!
Executive Director, National Book Development Council of Singapore