×

‘Scales’ Saudi Feminist Film Named Best Picture in Singapore

Scales” (aka “Sayidat Al Bahr”), directed by Saudi Arabian first-time filmmaker, Shahad Ameen, was named as the best film in the Asian feature competition at the 30th edition of the Singapore International Film Festival.

The tale of a young girl who defies her village’s harsh and chauvinistic traditions to prove her worth, collected the festival’s Silver Screen Award on Saturday at a ceremony held in the National Museum of Singapore.

The blue carpet event welcomed local figures Boo Junfeng, Royston Tan, and Tan Pin Pin, as well as film industry officials Joachim Ng, and Howie Lau. Chinese acting star Yao Chen (“Lost, Found,” “Send Me to the Clouds”) and Japanese director Miike Takashi were also present to pick up special awards. Yao spiced up proceedings, with a throw-away comment: “recently I have been able to play several characters who found the strength to go after the love and sex that they wanted.”

Anthony Chen, whose film”Wet Season” opened the festival a week earlier, returned to Singapore having fitted in a round Asia trip that included the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, and the Filmex festival in Tokyo.

Popular on Variety

“Singapore is making some very amazing films,” said Chen. “But Singapore cinema cannot be sustainable if audiences don’t go and see them.”

Scales” recounts a story of a fishing village which believes that every family should sacrifice a daughter in order to appease sea monsters and guarantee a good catch. The 12 year-old girl is saved from ritual sacrifice by her father and, rather than live with the shame of being spared, sets out to slay some other monsters. The jury found it to be a “very original and strong film from a first-time filmmaker who speaks about patriarchy with the simplicity of a fable.”

“It took me six years to make this film, the way I wanted, as feminist as I wanted,” Ameen said from the stage.

The competition jury was headed by India’s Anurag Kashyap, Malaysian movie producer, Amir Muhammad, veteran Hong Kong director and screenwriter Pang Ho-cheung, and Indonesian filmmaker Nia Dinata. The Southeast Asian Film Lab awards were decided by a panel that included Aditya Assarat, Teresa Kwong Lee Chatametikool.

The festival is held at multiple venues cross Singapore and runs Nov. 21 to Dec. 1. On Sunday morning it was announced that Singaporean documentary “Unteachable” had won the audience award.

 

30th Singapore International Film Festival’s Silver Screen Awards
Best Film
“Scales” (Sayidat Al Bahr) dir. Shahad Ameen
Best Director
Oren Gerner for “Africa”
Best Performance
Kristoffer King in “Verdict”
Special Mention
“Passed by Censor” dir. Serhat Karaaslan
Best SE Asian Short Film
“I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype” dir. Hesome Chemamah
Best Singaporean Short Film
“Adam” dir. Shoki Lin
Special Mention (short film)
“California Dreaming” dir. Sreylin Meas
Best Director (short film)
Zaw Bo Bo Hein for “Sick”
Youth Jury Prize (short film)
“Sweet, Salty” dir. Duong Dieu Linh
Honorary Award
Takashi Miike
Cinema Icon Award
Yao Chen
Southeast Asian Film Lab – Most Promising Project
“Amoeba” by Tan Siyou
Southeast Asian Film Lab – Residency Award
“Bing.Bong.Bang” by Kristin Parreno Barrameda
Youth Jury and Critics’ Program – Young Critic Award
Lee Sze Wei

SGIFF Audience Award

“Unteachable” dir. Yong Shu Ling.

 

 

More Film

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    HBO Seeks Dismissal of Michael Jackson Estate's Suit Over 'Leaving Neverland'

    HBO urged an appeals court on Friday to throw out litigation brought by the Michael Jackson estate over the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland.” HBO and the Jackson estate have been locked in a legal war ever since the premium cable network agreed to run the documentary, which chronicles child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. The [...]

  • Denzel Washington

    Film News Roundup: Denzel Washington-Rami Malek Thriller Set for Early 2021 Release

    In today’s film news roundup, a Denzel Washington-Rami Malek thriller gets a release date, “Escape Room 2” gets moved, Paramount sets a double feature, “So Cold the River” wraps and the Sonoma Film Festival unveils its lineup. RELEASE DATES Warner Bros. has set the Denzel Washington-Rami Malek police thriller “The Little Things” for a Jan. 29, [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Says It Helped Negotiate 100 Deals for Agent-Less Members

    The Writers Guild of America has asserted that it has assisted in negotiating more than 100 deals in recent months for members without agents. The missive from the WGA West board of directors comes nearly a year after the guild leaders ordered their 15,000 members to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed [...]

  • the jesus rolls

    Émilie Simon Contributes Flamenco/Gypsy Vibe to John Turturro's ‘The Jesus Rolls’

    For French musician Émilie Simon, the flamenco-meets-gypsy vibe writer-director John Turturro was seeking for the soundtrack to his movie “The Jesus Rolls” turned out to be in her musical and genetical DNA. “This music originally comes from where I grew up in the south of France,” says the 41-year-old electronic musician, who has released five [...]

  • My Hero Academia Heroes Rising

    'My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising' ADR Director on Adapting the Anime for a U.S. Audience

    “My Hero Academia” has officially Detroit Smashed into North American theaters. Sony Pictures Television’s Funimation released “Heroes Rising” in the U.S. on Wednesday, grossing $2.5 million on its opening day. Theaters are showing the film, a standalone entry in the popular superhero anime based on the manga, with options for either subtitles or with an [...]

  • Lost in America

    'Lost in America': Film Review

    You might feel a sense of shame watching Rotimi Rainwater’s “Lost in America,” an expansive documentary look at the issue of youth homelessness in a country where the problem seems unthinkable, and its victims are so often invisible. You are likely to ask yourself how many times you have passed by a homeless child and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content