Singapore Festival To Expand Southeast Asia Emphasis

The 26th edition of the revived Singapore International Film Festival, is putting a greater emphasis on titles from South East Asia. It will pack in 146 features and shorts over its 11 day span (Nov. 26 – Dec. 6).

Films from Nepal, Turkey, Iran and The Philippines will compete with titles from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan for the Silver Screen Awards.

“The Southeast Asian Film Lab, Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, and the Youth Jury & Critics Program are tailored to spotlight talents from the region,” said Yuni Hadi, executive director, after unveiling the full line-up on Tuesday.

The festival will hold gala screenings of “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” Lee Chung’s Taiwanese drama “The Laundryman” and Eric Khoo’s “In The Room,” as well as the previously announced opening film “Panay.”

Previously announced, the festival will pay tribute to Iran’s Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It also introduces a new ‘Cinema Legend’ award which, which honors an Asian actor who has made a significant impact on his/her craft, and will be presented to Michelle Yeoh.

The Silver Screen feature prize will be decided by a jury headed by Brillante Mendoza and also including Hong Kong producer Ivy Ho, Korean producer Oh Jung-wan, and Czech festival programmer Karel Och. The short film jury is headed by Singapore director Boo Junfeng, with Malaysian actress Sharifah Amani and Indonesian producer Sheila Timothy.

Competition films include Min Bahadur Bham’s “The Black Hen,” Lee Sang-woo’s “Dirty Romance,” Gurvinder Singh’s “The Fourth Direction,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Happy Hour,” Alvin Yapan’s “The House By The Bamboo Grove,” Sammy Yu’s “The Kids,” Sina Bataeian Dena’s “Paradise,” Ju Anqi’s “Poet on a Business Trip,” Faruk Hacihafizoglu’s “Snow Pirates,” and Avishai Sivun’s “Tikkun.”

The SGIFF’s festival of festival selection banded together under the ‘Asian Vision’ banner includes Pan Nalin’s “Angry Indian Goddesses,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Cemetery of Splendour,” Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart,” Josh Kim’s “How To Win At Checkers (Every Time),” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Right Now, Wrong Then.”

Other programming strands include a selection of independent documentaries from China and a focus on the recent developments in Mexican cinema.

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