×

Singapore Film Festival Unspools With New Focus on Audience Outreach

Back for its sophomore outing as a component of the Singapore Media Festival, the 26th Singapore Intl. Film Festival is showing little sign of the malaise that often strikes after a particularly interesting debut. Festival runs Nov. 26-Dec. 6.

Previous incarnations of the festival endured a particularly fractious relationship with the Singaporean authorities over persistent censorship, one that new management is not particularly keen on reigniting. Instead, according to festival co-director Yuni Hadi, the focus this year is on getting the festival more personal with its audience.

“(Being personal) will fall into every aspect of what we do, even in the films we choose. That’s why we’re doing a lot more talks and masterclasses,” says Yuni. “We’re creating the access to the people behind the films, so they can know the stories behind the stories. I think that’s what makes us interesting as a festival.”

In practice, that means more talks, master classes and forums, and in a departure from previous festivals, all talks will be free to the public.

Indeed, the master classes announced include a solid, if not entirely inspiring, lineup of film-fest circuit regulars, such as Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Filipino neo-realist Brillante Mendoza, Hong Kong producer Terence Chang and Iranian auteur Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Selection also features a wide panorama of Asian cinematic voices in the program, including Pan Nalin’s “Angry Indian Goddesses,” pictured.

In another bold move, the festival is eschewing the traditional closing film. Instead, audiences will vote on an Audience Choice Award, the recipient of which will be announced and re-screened on the final day. Sidebar events that continue from last year include the Southeast Asian Film Lab, which brings together 10 regional filmmakers under a mentor.

“That need for community, not just in Singapore but also a wider Southeast Asian film community is even more relevant now, because it has become harder to find money for your movie,” says Yuni. “Bringing together that energy to push forth with projects and support filmmakers who are not necessarily commercial, requires that sense of community.”

More Film

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Mahershala AliMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the most buzz for eight of the top 10 movies or [...]

  • Chris Rock - Netflix

    Chris Rock's 'Saw' Reboot Moves Up Five Months to May 2020

    Lionsgate has moved Chris Rock’s upcoming “Saw” reboot forward by five months to May 15, 2020, vacating the pre-Halloween date of Oct. 23, 2020. The studio indicated Monday that it decided to move the untitled “Saw” movie into the summer slot after seeing early footage from the set of the film currently shooting in Toronto. The move [...]

  • Peter Farrelly

    Peter Farrelly to Judge Sun Valley Film Festival's Film Lab Competition

    Sun Valley Film Festival has set “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly as the judge for the sixth annual Film Lab competition. The program, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is in its sixth year, selects one team of filmmakers to work with the festival to complete their film projects. The director and producer of the [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Dominates, But Is Disney Running Low on Remakes?

    “The Lion King” and its massive $185 million domestic debut proved that audiences have an insatiable appetite for Disney’s remakes and re-imaginings. Despite mixed reviews, moviegoers turned out in force for director Jon Favreau’s hyper-realistic update of the classic cartoon. “The Lion King” broke numerous box office records, including the best start among Disney’s live-action [...]

  • The Fast and the Furious

    'Fast & Furious 9' Production Halted After Stuntman Injured in Fall on Set

    An accident on the set of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in the United Kingdom has left a stuntman in hospital with a serious head injury. Production on the movie has halted at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, near London. “We had an injury on the set of ‘FAST 9’ today in Leavesden with one of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content