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The Singapore International Film Festival has appointed Taiwanese film curator, Kuo Ming-Jung, as its new program director alongside executive director, Yuni Hadi.

A previous Consultant of SGIFF, Kuo takes over from Thai filmmaker and critic, Pimpaka Towira, to lead the festival’s film curation and programs. An experienced film industry professional, Kuo was the program director at the Taipei Film Festival from 2014 to 2018. She has also served on several juries and selection panels including at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Locarno Film Festival.

The 30th SGIFF will run from 21 Nov. to 1 Dec. 2019

Festival organizers also announced details of the first edition of the SGIFF Film Academy (SFA), which it describes as “the region’s first holistic training initiative to support Southeast Asian film talents and nurture film appreciation among the audience.”

Four documentary projects received funding under the new SGIFF SE Asian documentary grant scheme: “Some Women,” by Quenyee Wong (Singapore); “68,” by Tan Biyun (Singapore); “Aswang,” by Alyx Ayn Arumpac (Philippines); “Ploy,” by Prapat Jiwarangsan (Thailand).

Veteran producer and transmedia filmmaker, Michel Reilhac, will take on the role as head mentor for the 2019 Southeast Asian Film Lab, bringing his experience as head of studies at the Venice Biennale College and former executive director of Arte France Cinema. He will work alongside two mentors – Hong Kong film producer, Teresa Kwong and Thai film editor, Lee Chatametikool. This year’s youth jury & critics program will also be led by Thai film critic, and former Variety correspondent Kong Rithdee.