The longest-running international film platform in Southeast Asia, SGIFF celebrates its 28th edition with a futuristic theme
We are hardly done with the first week of November but this month is looking like quite the month for film festivals already, and why shouldn’t it be? If you’ve checked out our recent stories on horror films to watching films outdoors or in arthouse cinemas, you might have noticed we like to geek out on cinema over here. Going strong and 28 editions later, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns on 23 November to 3 December this year. It’s THE film-centric event of the year for fans of film, and with over 100 films to catch (if you can) – here’s some reasons to check it out and get them tickets.
You might just bump into Josh Hartnett
Yes, late 90s fangirls will rejoice. The movie heartthrob will be making an appearance at the festival representing Oh Lucy!, a quirky film of a lonely Tokyo woman who follows her English teacher to California. There will also be other actors present including award-winning actor Irrfan Khan, from films like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire.
It’s a film festival that embraces the future of the film industry
While the festival casts a spotlight on quality films and outstanding filmmakers, it is no secret that the industry is evolving largely through the impact of new technologies on cinematography, production, and even the way we consume our films. With this year’s theme being The Future Is, SGIFF promises to take on a key role in facilitating dialogues in light of this advancement and creating a demand for independent films in this burgeoning industry with their series of talks, programmes and sessions as well such as the The Future of Cinema Forum that will show scenes from films that were shot in Virtual Reality (VR) – including Manic and The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes, while discussing how the use of both VR and Augmented Reality (AR) can connect both creators and audiences.
Network like a pro
The festival will introduce the inaugural Southeast Asian Producer’s Network this year. Twelve regional commissioners and producers, including Singapore’s Fran Borgia, Indonesia’s Mouly Surya and representatives from HBO Asia and Astro Shaw, will gather at the festival to chart the future of collaborative filmmaking in the region, while sharing insights with festival-goers through a public talk.
Horror movie fan? SGIFF has got you covered
If you’re a fan of horror movies – both cheesy and terrifying – and find film festivals too stuffy with its high-brow selections, here’s something to interest you. SGIFF will be introducing a new Midnight Mayhem section which will cover films from action to horror – to the unexplainable. Prepared to be surprised!
Singapore filmmakers, represent!
Films presented by Singapore filmmakers definitely stand out with their remarkable sensitivity and nuance in storytelling. Some highlights include Wesley Leon Aroozoo’s first full-length documentary, I Want to Go Home that takes on a gentle direction in depicting one’s emotions with the loss of a loved one. The film follows the journey of a man’s determination to reunite with his wife after the Great East Japan earthquake to fulfil her final wish. One of Singapore’s pioneer female filmmakers, Wee Li Lin will present her latest short – Areola Borealis that features an uptight mother who tries to upstage her daughter’s untraditional wedding. This year’s Festival Commission Nyi Ma Lay by Chiang Wei Liang also questions and raises awareness on the emotional abuse domestic workers suffer from.
Asia’s got talent
This year’s SGIFF will present Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho with the Honorary Award for his contribution to the film industry. One of the most important Southeast Asian filmmakers of our time, Nugroho captures his love for Indonesia, his people and the Javanese culture through the camera, while keeping to an distinct undeniable poetic, reflective film style that resonates strongly with audiences. The Cinema Legend Award this year will be conferred on Japan’s leading actor, Koji Yakusho. The award recognises the body of work of Asian actors while celebrating their talent and outstanding achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on screen. Both Yakusho and Nugroho will also be conducting masterclasses at the ArtScience Museum on 2 Dec, and the National Museum of Singapore on 3 Dec respectively. Learn their secrets and get inspired!
The 28th Singapore International Film Festival runs from 23 November to 3 December 2017, and will take place across various venues, including Marina Bay Sands, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs and *SCAPE. Get tickets here.
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