CinemAsia FilmLAB was initiated by CinemAsia Film Festival founder Doris Yeung. Doris realised that screening films from the Asian continent in the Netherlands wouldn’t suffice to reach CinemAsia’s mission to create better and more diverse representation of people with an Asian background within the Netherlands. Therefore she created the CinemAsia FilmLAB program back in 2006 to give young Asian talent the opportunity to make their own stories into films and a way to see their realities reflected on screen. A call of submission would be shared and published to attract filmmaking talent. Then three filmmakers would be selected to receive a small budget. They received a few weeks to make a documentary or fiction short film. The films would then experience their premieres during CinemAsia Film Festival. Every edition of FilmLAB would coincide with CinemAsia Film Festival which was a bi annual film festival until 2012. 

In 2008 Judith Mulder joined as FilmLAB Coördinator and helped to expand the FilmLAB Program, by bringing in new experts, sponsorship partners and organizing more meetups. She brought in partners such as Cam-a-lot and Filmmore. 

After the 2012 edition FilmLAB  former FilmLAB participant.Daan Vree joined Judith Mulder as FilmLAB Coördinator. This coming to help with CinemAsia FilmLAB and CinemAsia Film Festival shift to an annual festival. From then onward every year three filmmakers would be selected to create three short films. 

In 2017 Daan Vree and Judith Mulder passed on the baton to FilmLAB Coördinator Martijn van Veen and FilmLAB Producer Genny van ‘t Veer. Together with help from Indian film producer Waylon D’mellow they have created a program for the 2018 edition of FilmLAB with more sponsorships, such as LITES and Fever Film, more meet-ups and with the production of a total of 5 fiction short films. 

In 2018 CinemAsia celebrated the 10th edition of CinemAsia FilmLAB by organising two programs for the 2018/2019 edition of FilmLAB: A documentary short film program and a writers room program. After producer Waylon D’mellow’s departure CinemAsia attracted Swaze Hartog as the new FilmLAB Producer. The Documentary short film program lead to the creation of 4 documentary short films. The writers room resulted in 10 finished short film scripts that were pitched to professionals from the film and media industry during CinemAsia Film Festival 2019.

In 2019 FilmLAB expands its ambitions to include the FilmLAB alumni network with its own activities and focus to benefit it’s alumni..
2019 also was the year in which FilmLAB lost Judith Mulder to cancer. Therefore CinemAsia has decided to Honor Judith’s legacy and thus created the Judith Mulder Distribution fund.  You can find out more about the Judith Mulder Distribution here.