Before the 1970s, Southeast Asian films were mostly unknown to the outside world. Then came Lino Brocka and Mike de Leon in the '70s and '80s, who introduced Filipino cinema to world. The 1990s gave us the Southeast Asian New Wave: Cambodia's Rithy Panh, Indonesia's Garin Nugroho, Singapore's Eric Khoo, Thailand's Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Vietnam's Tran Anh Hung, among others. Outside of auteur cinema, commercial filmmaking also took off with the worldwide successes of ONG BAK (2003), SHUTTER (2004) and THE RAID (2011). The decade was capped by Cannes Palme d'Or winner UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010).

SEAFIC’s goal is to help the next generation of Southeast Asian filmmakers develop scripts that continue the region's cinematic successes. With the decline of Asian cinema's box office around the world, there is a greater urgency now to ensure that the region's films attain a quality that can lead them to be seen worldwide.

Simply put, SEAFIC aims to promote Southeast Asian cinema to the world.