Arts Preview Singapore

Preview: Perspectives Film Festival 2019


The Perspectives Film Festival – Singapore’s first and longest student-run film festival, is back for its 12th edition this October! Taking place for a single weekend from 24th to 27th October at the newly opened state-of-the-art Oldham Theatre, this year’s festival takes on the theme of “Crossroads”, as the team explores what it means to be at an intersection, both traditionally and in the present day.

For Sama

This year’s line-up of films is set to open with For Sama, a 2019 Syrian documentary that won the Prix L’Œild’Or for Best Documentary at Cannes Film Festival 2019. For Sama takes a female insider look into Assad’s inhumane regime in Aleppo, Syria many years back. Described as a heart-wrenching, bittersweet masterpiece, the film celebrates love, humanity, and the bravery of a woman and her baby desiring for normalcy in a time of extreme socio-political unrest. Award-winning foreign correspondent Prerna Suri will be present for a post-screening dialogue, sharing her experiences as a war journalist during the Syrian refugee crisis.


Closing the festival will be VAI, a portmanteau feature directed by nine female directors from various South Pacific islands as they come together to map out the life of a woman – from a playful child to a wise great-grandmother. The film premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, and this special screening is supported by the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore. Director ‘Ofa-ki-Levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, will be part of the post-screening dialogue, where she will speak about the filmmaking process and working on the special project. Festival-goers also have an opportunity to appreciate a cultural New Zealand powhiri performance by the Waka Ama Group, courtesy of the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore.

The River

Other films in the programme include the late influential French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda’s mind-bending if rarely-seen The Creatures (1966) and Jean Renoir’s The River (1951), which was shot entirely in India in glorious Technicolor. Both films are supported by the Embassy of France in Singapore. In addition, festival-goers will be treated to a brand new 4K restoration of the Mexican political classic, Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976), with support from the Embassy of Mexico in Singapore.

Canoa: A Shameful Memory

Guests can also sign up for an intimate dialogue session, “The In-Betweens”, where three
speakers discuss life and death, the time in-between and what it means to be standing at a crossroads. Participants are recommended to catch the accompanying screening, After Life (Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda).

After Life

“Perspectives Film Festival is the perfect casual weekend activity for anyone who is looking to learn more about the world through outstanding films,” explains Co-Festival Director Danelia Chim. “We are proud to provide a festival for independent, uncensored films that people can look forward to.”

Perspectives Film Festival 2019 runs from 24th to 27th October 2019 at the Oldham Theatre. Individual tickets may be purchased, or a Festival Pass that allows access to all 7 films. Tickets and full programme lineup available here

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