26th SGIFF Wraps Up With More Than 12,000 Audiences And 14 Sold Out Screenings Of International And Local Films

The audience also voted for their favourite film in the inaugural Audience Choice Awards this year

Singapore, 6 December 2015 – The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) concluded its 26th edition today, drawing over 12,000 festival-goers from Singapore and across the region. The Festival was held over an 11-day period, from 26 November to 6 December 2015. 

Committed to celebrating independent cinema and telling Asia’s story in film, the longest running international film platform in Southeast Asia showcased a total of 146 feature and short films from 51 countries this year. Not only were its various post-screening talks and masterclasses with acclaimed filmmakers well-attended by festival-goers, the SGIFF also saw a total of 14 sold out screenings – of which five were local productions. (Detailed list of screenings can be found in the appended annex)

Sailing A Sinking Sea by Olivia Wyatt also emerged as the favourite feature film among festival-goers at this edition of SGIFF in the inaugural Audience Choice Awards, in recognition of the growing desire by festival goers for greater involvement.  

Over the past week, the SGIFF brought to town more than just films and through its programming provided all festival-goers a vibrant and immersive experience. During the entire course of the Festival, an impressive line-up of internationally renowned personalities descended our shores. Stars such as Michelle Yeoh, Dev Patel, Sonia Sui Tang and Choi Woo-Shik not only graced the Festival with their presence, some of them also conducted In Conversation dialogues sessions with the public. Distinguished filmmakers and producers from around the world including Terence Chang, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Brillante Mendoza interacted with audiences through talks, masterclasses and provided mentorship at the Southeast Asian Film Lab.

SGIFF Executive Director, Yuni Hadi, said, “SGIFF has always been a magical and inspiring experience for me, and our team constantly finds ways to excite, engage and grow our film community. We hope to continue building a platform that allows people to not just come to watch film, but to also expand their conversations and perspectives on film and filmmaking in Singapore and Asia. Through this year’s Festival, it is evident that pride and interest in independent cinema is growing, and that is what we hope to continue to encourage in the years to come.”

“The SGIFF has put up a strong showing this year, affirming itself as one of the region’s most established international platforms for Southeast Asian cinema and independent filmmaking,” said Angeline Poh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Industry Group), Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). Poh added, “As an event of the Singapore Media Festival, the SGIFF is a key platform for local filmmaking talent to showcase their projects to an international audience. We look forward to even more compelling stories by Singaporean and Asian filmmakers in future editions of the SGIFF.” 

Mr. George Tanasijevich, President and CEO of Marina Bay Sands, said: “Marina Bay Sands is proud to present the Singapore International Film Festival with its high calibre of creative talent from around the world, culminating at the Silver Screen Awards last night. Over the past ten days, the festival has inspired, engaged and connected the community. As the Presenting Sponsor of the SGIFF, we are honoured to support its mission to showcase fresh and unique voices from Southeast Asia and beyond. Through our Corporate Social Responsibility programme, we want to play a vital role in growing the arts and its audiences in Singapore. With original storytelling that pushes the boundaries of filmmaking as an art form, new talent is discovered and cinema breaks new ground.”

Unlike previous editions where a closing film wrapped up the Festival, the SGIFF celebrated the closing of the Festival by screening The Fourth Direction, the Best Asian Feature Film at this year’s Silver Screen Awards as well as the winning film of the Audience Choice Award, Sinking A Sailing Sea. The winners of this year’s Best Southeast Asian Short Film – The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might – and Best Singapore Short Film – My Father After Dinner – will also be rescreened alongside the Best Asian Feature Film and Audience Choice Award film respectively. 

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Media Development Authority (Singapore). SGIFF’s Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Marina Bay Sands; Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen; Official TV, Fox International; Official Airline, Singapore Airlines; Official Technology Partner, Mocha Chai Laboratories and Official Art Magazine, Art Republik.

###

Please also find enclosed in the media kit.

For Media Enquiries, please contact: press.office@sgiff.com

Resources

About the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)

Founded in 1987, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. It has become an iconic event in the local arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics; and known for its dynamic programming and focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema for Singapore and the region. Committed to nurturing and championing local and regional talent, its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards, brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legends. With its mentorship programmes, masterclasses and dialogues with attending filmmakers, the Festival also serves as a catalyst for igniting public interest, artistic dialogue, and cultural exchanges in the art of filmmaking. The SGIFF is organised by the Singapore International Film Festival Ltd, a non-profit organisation with Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/sginternationalfilmfestival/

About the Media Festival

Founded in 1987, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. It has become an iconic event in the local arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics; and known for its dynamic programming and focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema for Singapore and the region. Committed to nurturing and championing local and regional talent, its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards, brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legends. With its mentorship programmes, masterclasses and dialogues with attending filmmakers, the Festival also serves as a catalyst for igniting public interest, artistic dialogue, and cultural exchanges in the art of filmmaking. The SGIFF is organised by the Singapore International Film Festival Ltd, a non-profit organisation with Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/sginternationalfilmfestival/

About SGIFF Film Academy (SFA)

The SGIFF Film Academy (SFA) is the region’s first holistic training initiative to support Southeast Asian film talents and nurture film appreciation among the audience. A launch pad for mentorship, exchange of ideas and strengthening film literacy, the developmental programmes - Southeast Asian Producers Network, Southeast Asian Film Lab, Youth Jury & Critics Programme, SGIFF Film Fund, and Film Immersion Programme for Schools - aim to enhance the capabilities of the regional film scene collectively.

ANNEX A: Quotes from Local and International Filmmakers/Actors

Eric Khoo

Singaporean filmmaker and member of the SGIFF International Advisory Board

“This is the most emotional Singapore International Film Festival I’ve ever attended because my first feature Mee Pok Man is screened here – restored by the Asian Film Archive – and my latest film In The Room is also screened here – uncut. And my son Edward’s short film is in the competition where I started back in 1991.”

Boo Junfeng

Singaporean filmmaker and Jury Head of the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

“The Singapore International Film Festival has always been a place where filmmakers are discovered and I can’t express enough how honoured I am to be heading this year’s jury of the same award (the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition) that started my career. The films we’ve seen over the past two days have been beautiful and inspiring.”

Tan Pin Pin

Board Member of the SGIFF

“So many great films and so little time. So many of the screenings had film directors and producers in attendance giving Singapore audiences a chance to meet the creators themselves to learn more about the societies and the conditions of filming. Kudos to the team for the programme and how smoothly everything went.”

Gladys Ng

Singaporean filmmaker and winner of the Best Singapore Short Film

“Previously as an audience member, I always thought the Festival is about attending and watching films. But this time round, I got to meet people from the film lab, youth jury and I realised that there are many more aspects of the Festival apart from watching films. It’s also about making films, appreciating films and I think it’s great to interact and share ideas with people from different aspects.”

Terence Chang

Hong Kong filmmaker

“Singapore International Film Festival is a very important festival for the Southeast Asian countries because it is truly the hub for the neighbouring countries to converge and exchange ideas and information.”

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Iranian filmmaker

“I’m very happy to be invited. I attended the Singapore International Film Festival 17 years ago with my younger daughter – she was just a few years old at that time. Despite my short and busy time here, I feel that the festival has been very warm and welcoming. I’m very happy and honoured to receive the honorary award at the Festival.”

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Thai filmmaker

“The Singapore International Film Festival has been amazing, of course. I always doubt myself, asking who my audience is, because everything I do is always personal. But when I see people who can relate to my films and have the same feelings, it just clears the doubt and it pushes me to continue my work knowing that it has touched some people.”

Michelle Yeoh

Actress and winner of the SGIFF Cinema Legend Award

“I’m here because I support the Singapore International Film Festival. We need this for the region – a platform for the directors, actors, filmmakers so that there’s an exchange, a communication between the international and our local.”

Zoe Tay

Actress

“This year’s Singapore International Film Festival has been very exciting. There are many films from different countries showcased and it is a great platform for people of different regions – behind and in front of camera, film lovers – to gather here in Singapore to meet and exchange ideas.”

Annex B: Sold Out Screenings

  1. A Young Patriot
  2. Bugis Street*
  3. Cemetery Of Splendour
  4. Cotton
  5. How To Win At Checkers (Every Time)
  6. In The Room*
  7. Mee Pok Man*
  8. Mountains May Depart 
  9. Mr Zhang Believes
  10. The Lobster
  11. The Man Who Knew Infinity
  12. The Return*
  13. The Songs We Sang*
  14. When The Bough Breaks

*Local films