Singapore International Film Festival makes waves in Southeast Asia ahead of its 30th edition
The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is here to make waves with launch of its inaugural edition of Travelling Waves and an all-new format of New Waves. Pioneering these refreshed programmes ahead of its 30th edition in November, the Festival continues to grow appreciation among film-lovers, strengthen the independent film ecosystem in the region, while championing its talents and stories.
Travelling Waves is a multi-city programme that brings Southeast Asian cinematic voices to independent screening venues around the region. In the inaugural edition, five short films by emerging regional filmmakers in Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur will be presented, followed by discussions with filmmakers as the film community mingles, exchanges ideas and perspectives. Says Executive Director Yuni Hadi: “Even though SGIFF is based in Singapore, we want to better connect with our neighbouring film communities through this regional programme and the initiatives of the SGIFF Film Academy. Partnering with independent film spaces such as the Bangkok Screening Room, Kinosaurus and TDSC allows us to work closely with film organisations who champion the independent spirit we see in short films. Our upcoming 30th edition provides a timely opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on Southeast Asian filmmakers with these original stories that resonate with us. Through these programmes, we see the strength of the region coming together to further develop and nurture the potential of storytelling in Southeast Asia.”
The first session of Travelling Waves at Bangkok Screening Room in April received a full-house reception. A testament of the curiosity towards Southeast Asian films, the audience participated actively in the post-screening dialogue with filmmakers Pathompon Mont Tesprateep (Song X) and Danech San (A Million Years). The session was moderated by esteemed Thai film critic Kong Rithdee, who will also be returning to SGIFF as Head Mentor of the Youth Jury and Critics Programme this year. Travelling Waves will be hosted next in Jakarta in June and Kuala Lumpur in 20 July.
Meanwhile, now in its fourth edition, this year’s New Waves will take place over one intimate weekend from 12th to 13th July, with an all new format comprising screenings and a panel discussion to develop the film audience in Singapore. Part of the SGIFF Film Academy, this year’s New Waves will see retrospectives of short films produced by Akanga Film Asia and led by producer Fran Borgia (Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice and Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined). It will also chart the rise and development of award-winning filmmaker Anthony Chen, in anticipation of his upcoming feature film Wet Season (2019), after the award-winning feature Ilo Ilo. Both Fran and Anthony will participate in the post-screening discussions.
New Waves will also be featuring a line-up of films from the female perspective in Through Her Eyes, while Southeast Asian stories and regional cultural histories will be discussed with local filmmakers such as Nicole Midori Woodford and M Raihan Halim, moderated by writer Alfian Sa’at. Adds Yuni Hadi: “SGIFF presents stories that help us understand the world around us, be it through films, programmes, or experiences. New Waves has always been an assembly ground for the community, and will continue to be a touchpoint for reflection, exploration and dialogue as it sets the stage for the Festival in November.”
SGIFF 2019 runs from 21st November to 1st December 2019, with its call for entries running from now till 19th August 2019. For more information on the upcoming 30th edition of SGIFF, visit their website here