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Iran’s ‘Disappearance’ Wins Silver Screen Award at Singapore Festival

Iranian debut film, “Disappearance” was the winner of the best film prize at the Silver Screen Awards, the competitive section of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Directed by Ali Asgari, the film tells the story of two young lovers who run from hospital to hospital, and are confronted with numerous obstacles, including bureaucratic terror. The story is entirely told in one night. The film also earned lead actress Sadaf Asgari the Silver Screen award for best performer.

The competition jury, headed by India’s Shekhar Kapur, said the film has “such amazing simplicity, truth and compassion, and yet convey(s) the complexity of a whole culture and human relationships that resonate deeply, whichever culture you belong to.”

Thailand’s Anucha Boonyawatana won the Silver Screen Award for “Malila: The Farewell Flower.” The film probes mysteries of love and spiritual redemption. The jury said it was a “quiet, extremely sensitive, beautifully shot exploration of fundamental themes of our existence.”

The Silver Screen Awards were presented on the penultimate evening of the festival. “Disappearance” was played again on Sunday at the National Museum of Singapore. “Call Me By Your Name” was announced on Sunday as winner of the audience choice prize and was also re-screened. Organizers announced that the festival had attracted some 14,000 admissions.

The awards ceremony at the Mastercard Theatre in the Marina Bay Sands complex, was dotted with multiple moving tributes to departed festival personalities.

Lesley Ho, the former co-director of the festival who worked in various capacities for the development of Singapore cinema, died in 2017. Her son and two daughters accepted a plaque in her memory and called attention to her championing of brave films.

Kim Ji-seok, co-founder of the Busan International Film Festival, and international advisory board member of SGIFF, also passed this year and his legacy of discovering was new Asian talent was remembered. Busan programmer Kim Young-woo accepted the plaque on his family’s behalf.

Indonesian filmmaker Mouly Surya presented the SGIFF Honorary Award to her compatriot Garin Nugroho. “He made a path and we follow it and that’s how it will always be,” said Surya.

Yuni Hadi, SGIFF executive director, and “Reign of Assassins” producer Terencce Chang presented the Cinema Legend Award to top Japanese actor Koji Yakusho. The actor had earlier featured in a packed In Conversation event at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum.

Best feature film
“Disappearance” (aka “Napadid Shodan”) dir. Ali Asgari

Best director
Anucha Boonyawatana for “Malila: The Farewell Flower”

Best performance
Sadaf Asgari in “Disappearance”

Special mention
“Scaffolding” (aka “Pigumim”) dir. Matan Yair

Audience Choice Award

“Call Me By Your Name”

Best Southeast Asian short film
“Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month” dir. Carlo Francisco Manatad

Best Singapore short film
Winner: “Between Us Two” dir. Tan Wei Keong

Special mention

“The Malediction” dir. Makbul Mubarak

Best short film director
Sorayos Prapapan

Youth jury prize
“Death of the Sound Man” (aka “Awasarn Sound Man”) dir. Sorayos Prapapan

Honorary award
Garin Nugruho

Cinema legend award
Koji Yakusho

Inspiring woman in film award
Ana Urushadze

 

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