Arts Film News Singapore

Eight SEA documentaries and short films to receive SGIFF Film Fund this year

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has announced its shortlist of eight documentaries and short films from Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar which will receive its SGIFF Film Fund this year. 

Clockwise from top left: Chuck Escasa, Jason Soo, Komtouch Napattaloong and Joseph Mangat

Comprising the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC) and SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS), the fund will help support the development and production of these compelling and thought-provoking films that contribute to the growth of the Southeast Asian film landscape.

Four mid-length or feature documentaries have been chosen to receive the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation – SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC), — two production projects with a cash amount of S$30,000 per recipient and two post-production projects with a cash amount of S$20,000 per recipient. With the SEA-DOC grant, the Foundation hopes to support Southeast Asian documentary filmmakers, particularly through the global pandemic, to continue capturing the stories unique to the region.

“Documentary films serve to highlight issues of social importance around us. We hope the grant allows filmmakers in the region to continue their work in developing stories that speak to the issues that shape our world.”

– Tan Keng Leck, Vice Chairman of the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation

The grants were awarded to Ghosts of Kalantiaw by Chuck Escasa and Divine Factory by Joseph Mangat from the Philippines, Hours of Ours by Komtouch Napattaloong from Thailand, and Operation Spectrum by Jason Soo from Singapore. The selection jury felt that each of these projects presented powerful stories with strong Southeast Asian perspectives and an engaging and experimental approach to storytelling, and commended the filmmakers on the outstanding quality of their projects. 

Clockwise from top left: Kris Ong, Timothy John Baraceros Collanto, Lin Htet Aung, and Pom Bunsermvicha

Meanwhile, supported by C47 Investment and White Light Post, the SGIFF Southeast Asian-Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS) is awarded to four short films this year, double the number from previous years. Each recipient will receive a cash amount of S$4,000 from C47 Investment, and post-production support worth S$4,000 from White Light Post. 

When selecting the short films, the jury had shortlisted projects from up and coming filmmakers with a distinct cinematic voice, that were creative, inspiring and original. It was felt that the winners, Mountain Land: A Celebration by Singapore director Kris Ong, April Mud by Timothy John Baraceros Collanto from the Philippines, Once Upon A Time There Was A Mom by Lin Htet Aung from Myanmar and The Nature of Dogs by Thailand’s Pom Bunsermvicha, demonstrated these qualities, with captivating stories that would resonate across Southeast Asian countries.  

SGIFF 2021 is slated to run from 25th November to 5th December 2021. For more information about the SGIFF, visit their website here

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