×

SGIFF: Shorts Panorama Showcases Diversity of Singapore Talent

Most of Singapore’s current crop of globally-known filmmakers cut their teeth on short films. And the format continues to be a popular one in the city-state. The Singapore International Film Festival’s Singapore Panorama shorts strand showcased some of the best and most diverse new local work at the National Museum of Singapore on Nov. 29 and 30.

“A Dance For Ren Hang” was made by Lei Yuan Bin in conjunction with Brussels-based Singaporean dancer Sara Tan. The short sees dancers re-enact images by the late Chinese erotic photographer Ren Hang, who died in 2017 at the age of 30. Lei is one of the founders of Singaporean filmmakers’ collective 13 Little Pictures, and has also directed two features and a documentary.

Leon Cheo has directed several shorts and the television series “People Like Us.” His new short “SIN-SFO” was in competition at the Austin Film Festival and follows a couple on a drive to San Francisco as they discuss their decision to give up their birth citizenships.

Mei Ann Teo is also an experienced filmmaker, documentarian and theatre director whose recent work includes “Dim Sum Warriors,” a musical adaptation of the popular graphic novels. Her new short “Let Me Kill My Mother First” sees a bold teenager venture into an imaginary world in order to attain skills required to counter her abusive mother.

After adapting Haruki Murakami in “Max” and exploring ancestry, migration, history, modernity, the Chinese diaspora and the Teochew cuisine in “Fishing For Roots”, Los Angeles based Singaporean Tan Siyou focuses on a woman who waits her turn in the electric chair, diving into her memories in “2200 Volts.”

Kris Ong, who was an assistant producer on multi award-winning Singaporean co-production “Pop Aye”, has made a few shorts and music videos. Her new short “You Idiot” is set on the streets at night and involves the writing of a song. In “Salted Egg,” filmmaker Nikki Koh goes to Hainan, her mother’s homeland, to find a unique dying recipe for salted egg. In the process she gets in touch with her roots.

There are plenty of shorts by film students in the Singapore Panorama. Grace Swee, an M.F.A. Film student at Columbia, showcased “Distance,” in which the protagonist’s mother returns from the grave. Tisch School of the Arts student, Chew Chia Shao Min “May And June” about a pair of teenage fencers on a quest of self-discovery. Fellow Tisch student, Carin Leong, presents “Songs Of Our Memories,” where an opera singer seeks to conserve the legacy of Havana’s Chinatown.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Kent Jones Directs 'Diane'

    Kent Jones to Exit New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a surprise move, New York Film Festival’s director and selection committee chair of seven years Kent Jones will step down following this year’s 57th edition, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. The departure comes as Jones’ feature filmmaking career is taking off. Issues of potential conflicts of interest have arisen as his work has moved [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Fox Searchlight Buys Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch'

    Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” extending the indie studio’s long collaboration with the filmmaker. The company has released four of Anderson’s films, including his two most recent pictures, “Isle of Dogs” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “The French Dispatch” is described as “a love letter to journalists” [...]

  • If I Were a Rich Man

    Filmax Nabs Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Filmax has taken international rights to Álvaro Fernández Armero’s comedy “If I Were a Rich Man.” Produced by Telecinco Cinema, Think Studio and Ciskul, and backed by Mediaset España and Movistar+, “If I Were a Rich Man” is a Spanish remake of Michel Munz and Gerard Bitton’s French comedy “Ah! Si j’étais [...]

  • Baby

    Latido Takes Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s 'Baby' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Latido Films has taken world sales rights outside Spain on Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s “Baby,” a drama with a psychological thriller narrative thrust starring Rosie Day (“Down a Dark Hall”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Phantom Thread”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), Charo López (“All Night Long”) and young actress Mafalda Carbonell (“To Live Twice”). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content