Arts Film News Singapore

SGIFF 2021: 32nd Singapore International Film Festival opens with Golden Leopard winning feature and commissioned Singapore short

Boo Junfeng, Chairperson, SGIFF; Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth; Emily J. Hoe, Executive Director, SGIFF; and Thong Kay Wee, Programme Director, SGIFF

The 32nd Singapore International Film Festival officially opened last night, with leading names in independent cinema gracing the red carpet at Shaw Theatres Lido, including award-winning Indonesian director Edwin whose critically acclaimed film ‘Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash’ made its Southeast Asian premiere. This was screened alongside the world premiere of the Festival’s commissioned short film ‘Dreaming’ by Singaporean director, Nelson Yeo.

“It is a tremendous feeling to be back at SGIFF alongside so many members of the film community,” shares Edwin, who goes by one name. “The Festival is a key marker on my annual calendar, and it is my honour to have Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash make its regional debut here — the same Festival where I showed my first short film almost two decades ago. To witness the growth of Southeast Asian cinema throughout this time has been heartening and I thank SGIFF for being a champion of regional storytelling.”

Adds Yeo, “Dreaming is a very special short film and it is my honour to be able to open the Festival alongside Edwin. I’m grateful to SGIFF for the opportunity and the freedom to make this film the way I envisioned it from the start. I look forward to presenting Dreaming and watching many more films back on the big screen through the course of the Festival.”

In addition to filmmakers Edwin and Nelson Yeo, Thursday night’s celebration also saw the likes of Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui (‘Barbarian Invasion’), Thai director Taiki Sakpisit (‘The Edge of Daybreak’), and American director Jake Wachtal (‘Karmalink’) traveling into Singapore for the occasion. In the spirit of community and conversation, Tan, Sakpisit and Wachtal will also be present for live Q&A sessions after their films are screened in cinemas, alongside local filmmakers Roystan Tan (‘24’), Panuksmi Hardjowirogo (‘Scene UnSeen’) and Quen Wong (‘Some Women’).

“Tonight was a wonderful celebration of the Southeast Asian film community and we are extremely thankful that hundreds of guests took the time out to join us. It gives us great joy to see the return to cinema for SGIFF 32 and we are excited to continue the conversations through our FORUM banner this year, with leaders of the film community participating in panel discussions and live Q&A sessions over the next 10 days,” concludes Emily J. Hoe, Executive Director, Singapore International Film Festival.

The 32nd SGIFF is happening now until 5 December 2021. The Festival will screen over 100 titles from more than 40 countries, hosted across multiple festival venues; screenings are held at Filmgarde Bugis+, Carnival Cinema at Golden Mile Tower, Golden Village Grand, Oldham Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, and Shaw Lido. FORUM sessions will be held at The Arts House and The Projector; and Film Academy sessions at LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Technological University and WILD RICE. SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA).

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

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