29th SGIFF Up 12-Day Festival With Stellar Support From Local And Regional Filmmakers And Audiences

SGIFF 2018 saw attendance of over 17,000 audiences across 29 sold-out screenings and off-screen programmes dedicated to the discovery of independent cinema and nurturing of next-generation filmmaking talents in the region 

Singapore, 13 December 2018 – The 29th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) successfully wraps up 12 days of immersive festivities, bringing together some of the region’s most talented filmmakers and diverse audiences across 29 sold-out screenings and off-screen programmes, including Masterclasses and In Conversation sessions. With more than 17,000 festival-goers from Singapore and across the region participating in the Festival this year, a marked increase from last year’s Festival; SGIFF continues to cement its position as the film platform in Southeast Asia that showcases quality independent cinema, celebrating Asian storytellers, nurturing next-generation filmmakers and propelling their works to an international audience.

Casting the spotlight on a stellar body of cinematic work that emerged from the region, the internationally-recognised film festival showcased 103 feature and short films from 44 countries, across genres and presentations; and screening a mix of festival favourites and undiscovered gems. The inaugural Moonlight Cinema launched in partnership with Gardens by the Bay was a successful hit, which saw attendance of over 2,000 audiences across two free outdoor screenings at the iconic waterfront nature park. 

The diverse selection of coveted films from Asia and beyond this year further demonstrates the ascending future of Asian cinema, with SGIFF continuing to lead the charge for Asian filmmakers emerging onto the global stage. 

Crowd-Favourite One Cut Of The Dead Wins Audience Choice Award

This year, crowd-favourite One Cut of the Dead by Japanese director Shinichiro Ueda won the Audience Choice Award, following active voting by festival-goers over the 12-day Festival. The film was re-screened at the National Museum of Singapore on the last day of the Festival, alongside winner of Best Film in the Asian Feature Film Competition, A Land Imagined by Singaporean director, Yeo Siew Hua, which was a landmark achievement for Singapore as the first ever Singaporean feature film to win the coveted title in the Silver Screen Awards’ history. 

Stars Shine At The 29TH SGIFF Red Carpet Events

The 29th SGIFF received strong support from local film industry heavyweights who joined the stellar line-up of international filmmakers and stars to grace the various red-carpet events throughout the Festival at the historic Capitol Theatre; as well as participated in many immersive sharing sessions featuring visiting and local filmmakers and cast members at Masterclasses and In Conversation sessions. 

The star-studded and glitzy red carpet affairs saw international film personalities including the likes of Hollywood stars Joan Chen and Daniel Dae Kim, Hong Kong star Sammi Cheng, esteemed director Stanley Kwan, legendary cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa, acclaimed producer Sylvain Corbeil, Vietnamese-French actress and production designer Trần Nữ Yên Khê, Taiwanese stars Stone, Ding Ning, Hsieh Ying-xuan, Spark Chen, Filipino film personalities Bea Alonzo, Jake Cuenca, Charo Santos, Japanese actor Masahiro Higashide, local stars Nathan Hartono, Joanna Dong, Benjamin Kheng, cast of Crazy Rich Asians Pierre Png, Fiona Xie, Constance Lau, Amy J. Cheng; and not forgetting filmmakers Mikhail Red and Shireen Seno from the Philippines, Mag Hsu, Hsu-Chih-yen and Ho Wi Ding from Taiwan, Royston Tan, Boo Junfeng, Tan Pin Pin, and Kirsten Tan from Singapore, and Oscar-nominee Cambodian documentary director Rithy Panh, among many others. 

“The Singapore International Film Festival has always been envisioned to be a focal point where established and aspiring filmmaking talents, as well as audiences in the region can come together to engage in the discovery and dialogue of independent cinema, and push for greater collaborative efforts within the industry regionally,” says Yuni Hadi, Executive Director, SGIFF

“This year, we are heartened to witness a wide collection of high-quality content emerging from across the region, and wider interest among audiences for original content from Southeast Asia. The SGIFF team is humbled by the strong support from both local and regional filmmakers this year as we celebrate yet another successful edition of the Festival. We look excitedly to a major milestone next year as SGIFF marks its momentous 30th edition, and we invite audience across Southeast Asia and Asia to join us on this journey to continue discovering and celebrating Asian cinematic magic,” adds Hadi. 

SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). SGIFF 2018’s Official Sponsors include Official Red Carpet Venue Capitol Theatre; Official Hotels Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford Singapore; Official Automobile BMW; and Official Airline Singapore Airlines.

For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com.

Discover the magic of cinema, follow us on Instagram @SGIFFest and on Facebook @sginternationalfilmfestival

#SGIFF2018 #LetTheMagicIn

Please refer to the appended Annexes for more information. 

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

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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/

Annex A: Quotes from local and international filmmakers at the 29th SGIFF

Yeo Siew Hua

Singaporean Filmmaker, Director of A Land Imagined, Winner of Best Film in the Asian Feature Film Competition at the Singapore International Film Festival

Being a long-time follower of the Singapore International Film Festival, I am thrilled to premiere my film, A Land Imagined to a sell-out audience at the 29th SGIFF. As the first ever Singapore feature film to win Best Film at the Silver Screen Awards, it is truly rewarding for me to receive it from head juror Stanley Kwan, whom I have always admired greatly. Thank you so much SGIFF for making all this happen for me and for honouring me with the Lesley Ho Asian Film Talent Award, while giving us the perfect platform to introduce our film to the local audience here in Singapore.

Rithy Panh

Oscar-nominated Cambodian Filmmaker, and Recipient of the Honorary Award at the Singapore International Film Festival

The Singapore International Film Festival is a very special place. Personally, for me, I came here more than 20 years ago, at the beginning of the festival; I see the festival grows stronger year after year. The programme is wonderful, we need this kind of energy in the industry, in ASEAN countries especially. The diversity reflected in the programme and films at SGIFF is very encouraging as a strategic platform to showcase the diverse cinema across Southeast Asia, and Asia at large to a regional and world audience.

Joan Chen

Hollywood Actress and Director, Recipient of the Cinema Legend Award at the Singapore International Film Festival

I am touched to see so many young Asian filmmakers, and aspiring filmmakers, bringing in movies from these regions where the films are very seldom seen. I would love to see more films from this part of the world. This festival is crucial to the promotion of Asian films, and to encourage young filmmakers of the region to tell their stories, so the world will know us better.

Maike Mia Höhne

Head Juror, Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, and Curator of the Berlinale Shorts Programme since 2007

A film festival as big and important as the Singapore International Film Festival is a milestone for the film industry; for viewers and makers alike – to connect, to show, reconnect with each other and to develop. It’s such an important moment in the year for the industry to come together and inspire each other.

Anthony Chen

Singaporean Filmmaker

Singapore International Film Festival continues to stand out as the best gathering of Southeast Asian filmmakers, discovering and showcasing the freshest and brightest of cinema our region has on offer.

Victor Fan

Mentor, SGIFF Youth Jury & Critics Programme

What Singapore International Film Festival does is not only admirable, but also essential to the future of Singaporean, Southeast Asian, and global cinemas. It was an honour to work with such a group of talented, energetic, and fearless young individuals. And It was a pleasure to be surrounded by so many young cinephiles who knew so much about the cinema and who were so eager to learn, to think, and to make this world a better place! We need more programmes like this around the world to make sure that our new generation would have the opportunity to hone their skills of critical thinking, which would in turn encourage filmmakers to create a wider variety of entertaining and thoughtful works––films that would enable us to rethink and re-determine who we are and who we can be in the future.

Luna Kwok

Chinese Actress and Recipient of Inspiring Woman in Film Award Presented by Swarovski

Thank you so much SGIFF and Swarovski for picking me to be the recipient of this prestigious honour. I also want to thank the film A Land Imagined, for giving me a world to dream and jointly create a character like Mindy who is able to inspire other women. I hope to be able to create more dynamic and interesting characters with my career because only in diversity can we find the power to inspire, just as how it is with the Singapore International Film Festival.

Chiang Wei Liang

Singaporean Filmmaker, Director of Luzon, Winner of Best Singapore Short Film at the Singapore International Film Festival

The Singapore International Film Festival is a very significant landmark event that is great for the region. It acts as a focal point for films from our neighbours to come and showcased in one spot; and allows us to appreciate what each have done. The Festival provides access to a diverse collection of wonderful films that regional filmmakers have created. It allows stories they tell that are largely obscured by mainstream media – things that you don’t see often to be discovered. SGIFF is a great platform for regional audiences to know these films, to let us see each other’s countries and cultures in different way light; and forces more communication and understanding. It is an important platform for the filmmaking community in Southeast Asia.

Alvin Lee

Singaporean Filmmaker, Director of A Time For Us

This is my first Singapore International Film after being away in Beijing for four years for my studies. I’m incredibly happy to be able to premiere my thesis film back home at the 29th SGIFF, as this is the highest screening platform in Singapore. I’ve learnt a lot and made many new friends, I can’t wait for the 30th edition next year!

Annex B: List of sold-out screenings and programmes at the 29th SGIFF

  1. Opening Film: Cities of Last Things
  2. Ash is Purest White
  3. Singapore Panorama Shorts Programme 2
  4. Border
  5. One Cut of the Dead
  6. 15
  7. Memories of My Body
  8. An Elephant Sitting Still
  9. Girl
  10. Special Presentation: Dear Ex
  11. Sorry to Bother You (two screenings)
  12. Manta Ray
  13. The Third Wife
  14. Asako I & II
  15. Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  16. The Last Artisan (two screenings)
  17. Vox Lux
  18. The Iron Ladies
  19. First Night Nerves (two screenings)
  20. A Land Imagined
  21. The Guilty
  22. Love Me, Tease Me: Pillow Talk with the Directors
  23. In Conversation with Daniel Dae Kim
  24. In Conversation with Sammi Cheng
  25. In Conversation with Joan Chen
  26. Masterclass with Stanley Kwan

Annex C: Quotes by official sponsors – IMDA, Capitol Theatre, Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford Singapore, BMW, and Singapore Airlines

Howie Lau

Chief Industry Development Officer, Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA)

We believe that the time for Asia is now. Just look at the award-winning thriller A Land Imagined, horror anthology Folklore, and hit romcom Crazy Rich Asians, – they are recent excellent examples of how Asian talent can produce compelling stories that find audiences around the world through a collaborative approach. The SMF has been a world-class platform for such diverse content, and the SGIFF is an important anchor of the SMF in championing Asian storytelling. We are confident that the SGIFF will continue to be the choice platform for Southeast Asian filmmakers and Asian cinema development.

Ms Annie Lee

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Singapore) Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited

Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited is delighted to present Capitol Theatre as the Official Red Carpet Venue for the Singapore International Film Festival. As the owner and manager of the iconic heritage theatre right in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District, we are committed to nurturing and supporting local and regional cinematic talents. It is indeed an honour to be part of one of the most esteemed events in the local art calendar and for our dynamic venue to be a platform where creative minds are congregated at and successes are celebrated. Through this meaningful partnership, we also aspire to continue Capitol Theatre’s legacy of bringing quality arts and entertainment to the public.

Mr Marcus Hanna

General Manager, Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford Singapore

Creativity and artistic innovation in the world of filmmaking is increasingly gaining more voice and visibility within our community. It is indeed a meaningful privilege for both Fairmont Singapore & Swissôtel The Stamford to be able to lend our support to talent development among local and regional filmmakers; and show our appreciation for the arts as we do our part for the community through this wonderful partnership.

Mr Christopher Wehner

Managing Director, BMW Group Asia

BMW Asia is honoured to be the Official Automobile for the Singapore International Film Festival for the second year running. It is our shared goals of dynamism, joy and passion that makes this partnership both meaningful and fulfilling.

Mr Campbell Wilson

Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing

The Singapore International Film Festival is an important platform for showcasing some of the world’s finest films, and for talented film-makers to present their works to a global audience. Singapore Airlines, as Official Airline, is delighted to support the Festival as it affirms Singapore’s reputation as a flourishing centre for the arts and culture.