It's back! The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns next week with a stellar lineup of films, masterclasses and conversations with filmmakers from the region and beyond. The festival takes place over 12 days from 28 November to 9 December 2018, and will showcase the over 100 films in a variety of innovative formats. Think: Open air film screenings, gala premieres, awards for legends of the silver screen and more.
"[The] Singapore International Film Festival as an international film festival, brings both regional and international creators and audiences together, creating opportunity for dialogue," said Pimpaka Towira, Programming Director, SGIFF, about the festival lineup for this year. "This year's programme of over 100 films celebrates the diversity of our region and cultures; and offers audiences an opportunity for the discovery of independent cinema."
Ahead of the upcoming film festival, we compiled seven things that you need to know:
1. Asian filmmakers at the fore
With over 100 films from 44 countries, the slate of films showing at SGIFF is already impressive. Add to that the inumber of Asian filmmakers who have submitted entries for the film festival this year and you'll practically feel compelled to attend. Two notable Asian films making their debut are The Third Wife by first-time filmmaker Ash Mayfair from Vietnam, which tells the story of a young woman after she marries into a wealthy family and explores issues such as child-marriage and women's rights in 19th-century Vietnam; and Dear Ex by Taiwanese filmmakers Mag Hsu and Hsu Chih-yen, in which a widow must make peace with her late husband's former lover.
2. Singapore represent!
Talk about local talent taking centre stage — the festival will showcase 18 films and co-productions from Singapore, including six feature films and 12 short films. With the premieres of films such as Craig McTurk's The Last Artisan, Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen's Cannonball, as well as Alvin Lee's A Time For Us, as well as Festival Commission, Kingdom, by Tan Wei Keong, to name a few, it has never been a better time for Singaporean filmmakers to shine.
Another element of the SGIFF this year also sees the return of beloved Singaporean films such as Royston Tan's 15, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, is not one to be missed at the festival, with the original cast said to be attending its premiere.
3. Celebrities in attendance
This year's stellar lineup of celebrities attending include Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim, Asian-American actress Joan Chen (who will also be receiving this year's Cinema Legend Award), Hong Kong actress and singer Sammi Cheng, Taiwanese actor Joseph Huang and Filipino actress Bea Alonzo. Many of these celebrities will also be part of the talks, masterclasses and panel sessions that will be held as part of the festival, and are open to the public to attend.
4. Independent filmmakers get a boost
The SGIFF also launches a new initiative to support independent filmmakers this year: The SGIFF Film Fund will have two new grants, the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant, and the SGIFF SEA-SHORTS Grant, which will support filmmakers to tell stories across both the fiction and nonfiction genres.
"The inaugural SGIFF Film Fund supports local voices in Southeast Asian films and aims to create an inspiring space for content development and co-productions, in our continued effort of championing filmmaking talents in the region," said Wahyuni Hadi, Executive Director, SGIFF, of the decision to launch this fund.
5. Showcasing the world
Not forgetting its international audience, the SGIFF is also bringing in films from the Czech Republic, Chile, and Mexico, as well as the most buzzed about shows at Sundance, Cannes, Venice, and Locarno. Films from the US such as Kate Novack's The Gospel According To André, which explores the life of legendary Vogue editor André Leon Talley, will also be shown in Singapore for the first time.
6. When the SGIFF will take place
The 2018 SGIFF will run from 28 November to 9 December 2018.
7. Where the films will be held
The film screenings for the 2018 SGIFF will be held at Capitol Theatre, The Cathay, Filmgarde Bugis+, National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, and *SCAPE.
So there you have it! Take out your phones and key in those dates to your Calendar apps — this year's Singapore International Film Festival looks to be a big hit already.
For more information, visit sgiff.com