Asian Cinematic Talent Recognised At The 27th SGIFF’s Silver Screen Awards

  • White Sun (Seto Surya) by Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar emerged as the Best Film of the Asian Feature Film Competition.
  • In the Year of Monkey (Prenjak) by Indonesian director Wregas Bhanuteja was announced as the Best Short Film of the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition.

Singapore, 3 December 2016 – The 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) announced its winners of the Silver Screen Awards at Marina Bay Sands this evening, wrapping up an exciting year for the region’s filmmakers.

This year saw 14 awards being presented, with the crowd-favourites Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition awarding nine of them.

Asian Feature Film Competition

White Sun (Seto Surya) by Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar emerged as the Best Film of the Asian Feature Film Competition. Through the story of a Maoist who returns home to bury his father, the film trots through the scars that remain from Nepal’s civil war between supporters of the monarchy and the Maoist faction. The jury found it to be “an exceptional and incisive film about civil war and memory that encapsulates the neverending conflict that is the state of the world today, with a message of hope that a different future for all of us can be possible through our children”.

Turah, the debut feature film of Indonesian director Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, was given Special Mention by the jury for Legowo’s “exposure of the corruption and hypocrisy inherent in our society through the microcosm of a small village, showing how the strong oppresses the weak, while never losing sight of the inherent humanity in all his characters”. Inspired by the lives of the inhabitants from a village in Tegal, Central Java, the film paints an authentic picture of the struggles of the lower class amidst corruption and indifference from the privileged upper class.

Bangladeshi film Live from Dhaka also clinched the Best Director for Abdullah Mohammad Saad and Best Performance for cast Mostafa Monwar. This debut feature film by Saad tells the story of a partially handicapped man who lives his days in anguish as he tries to find a way to leave Dhaka. Shot in grainy black and white, it paints a riveting and complex portrait of a man pushed to his very extreme and his struggle between morality and the instinct for self-preservation.

The winners of the Asian Feature Film Competition were decided by a jury panel, headed by Naomi Kawase, one of the most respected and adroit filmmakers in contemporary Japanese cinema, and a Cannes Film Festival regular. At 28, she received the Camera d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, making her the youngest director to win the award. Other jury members include veteran Hong Kong director of the well-received film Ip Man, Herman Yau, Lebanese director Jocelyne Saab, and versatile Singapore actor Sunny Pang.

White Sun will be re-screened at the National Museum of Singapore tomorrow, the last day of SGIFF, together with the winning film of the Audience Choice Award that will be announced tomorrow.

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

In the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, Indonesian film In the Year of Monkey (Prenjak) by Wregas Bhanuteja was awarded Best Southeast Asian Short Film. The jury found it to be “inventive in its story and imagery” and “presents a dynamic new voice in Indonesian cinema that challenges social mores that is both eclectic and humanist”. Deemed to be “bold yet sensitive – sharp yet delicate” by the jury, the film tells the story of protagonist Diah who needs money desperately and seeks help from her friend, Jarwo by selling a matchstick for 10,000 rupiahs. In return for each matchstick bought, Jarwo also gets to see Diah’s genitals. The film also won the Leica Cine Discovery Prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Singapore’s Liao Jiekai won the Best Director for the film The Mist, which features two women who recollect the sounds and images from places in their collective memories in this evocative dance-inspired film. The jury shared that Liao “successfully translates collective memory in a poetic way” through sound and image, “without falling into experimental film pretension”. Liao was conferred the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2012.

Singaporean filmmaker Chiang Wei Liang received the Best Singapore Short Film for Anchorage Prohibited that features two migrant workers with no money and a child, and their search for employment opportunities. According to the jury, the film “shows the challenges of a day in the life of migrant workers without going into tropes of melodrama, with an observational style that makes the characters’ plight resonate”. The film also won Best Short Film at the Taipei Film Awards and the Audi Short Film Award at the 66th Berlinale.

Indonesian director Bayu Prihantoro Filemon’s directorial debut On the Origin of Fear was given Special Mention by the jury for its “existential exploration on the evils of humanity, brought to light in a surprising environment that makes this exploration even more chilling, with a gut-wrenching performance by Pritt Timothy. The short film is set entirely in an audio recording studio as the director pushes a soldier to the limit by taking on the roles of both victim and aggressor in a scripted anti-communist propaganda campaign recording.

The jury head for this year’s Southeast Asian Short Film Competition is Indonesian producer Mira Lesmana, who revitalised Indonesia’s film industry in the early 2000s and appealed the youths to local films. Other jury members include Programming Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival Anderson Le, and Singapore filmmaker Bertrand Lee.

Participants of the Youth Jury & Critics Programme, an SGIFF initiative to nurture critical cinema writers for the region, also selected this year’s Youth Jury Prize for the best Southeast Asian short film. It was presented to Filipino director PR Patindol’s first short film Still (Hilom), which was said to be “a delicate portrait that illuminates the strength of the kindred spirit” and “stands as a contemporary testament to the innocence of children and their resilience against the acerbity of adulthood.” The short film follows the journey of a pair of twin brothers as they find healing against the harsh landscapes of an island which is also trying to recover.

A Celebration of Two Industry Veterans in Asian Cinema

Two established Asian industry veterans were also celebrated at the Awards. Hong Kong film director Fruit Chan was presented with the Honorary Award this year, which recognises individuals who have made exceptional and enduring contributions to Asian cinema, especially within their own country. He received the award from SGIFF Executive Director Yuni Hadi, and Chinese actress Qin Hailu, who starred in Chan’s feature film Durian Durian and won both Best New Performer and Best Actress in the 38th Golden Horse Awards. With a career spanning nearly forty years, Simon Yam was also conferred the Cinema Legend Award, which recognises Asian actors and their outstanding achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on screen. The award was presented to Yam by SGIFF Chairman Mike Wiluan, and Hong Kong director Herman Yau.

A platform to nurture the next generation of regional filmmaking and film critics

One of the region’s emerging filmmakers, Dong Phuong Thao from Vietnam was also awarded the Most Promising Project of the Southeast Asian Film Lab, an SGIFF initiative to nurture the future of Southeast Asian filmmaking. The project, Taste, features a Nigerian immigrant in the Vietnamese football league who has to find an alternative means of survival after having his contract terminated after breaking his leg. This was awarded after a six-day story development lab attended by 10 young talents and a pitch in front of an industry jury including Film Lab head and the face of the new wave of Indian Cinema Anurag Kashyap, and mentors – Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong and Malaysian filmmaker Bernard Chauly. 

This year, the panel also awarded Special Mention to Thai project Rahula by Puangsoi Aksornsawang. It explores the parallel worlds of the filmmaker’s father and mother – one surrounded by a dream life in the countryside, another living a metropolitan searching dream.

SGIFF also presented its inaugural Young Critic Award to Eliza Ho, a student from Nanyang Technological University. The award was a commitment by the festival in acknowledging the contributions young writers make to the film landscape. Film writing is just as important as the films themselves to develop the industry.

Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF said, “The Silver Screen Awards is integral to the Singapore International Film Festival as we seek to inspire the discovery of independent cinema. Each year, we chart the depth of Asian cinema, and recognise our regional talents, including up-and-coming filmmakers, many of whom become prominent filmmakers of our time. Through the competition, we also pave the way for our region’s film industry and provide opportunities for its growth and sustenance. Congratulations to all award winners this year, and we are already looking forward to uncover more hidden gems of the Asian cinema next year.”

The Silver Screen Awards saw a total of 10 feature films and 16 short films, including a Singapore feature film and three Singapore short films vying for the awards. The glittering red carpet affair was also graced by Chinese actress and international film festival darling Huang Lu, Indian veteran actress known for her role in Bandit Queen, Seema Biswas, and Taiwanese singer-actress Yu Tai-Yan.

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). SGIFF’s Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Marina Bay Sands and Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen and Official Airline, Singapore Airlines.

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Please refer to the appended annexes for more information.

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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: Award winners at the Silver Screen Awards of the 27th Singapore International Film Festival

Asian Feature Film Category 亚洲长片

Best Film 最佳亚洲 剧情片

White Sun by Deepak Rauniyar

Strife between supporters of the monarchy and the Maoist faction is explored as a microcosm within a village shortly after the civil war, when peace talks are being instituted for governmental reforms. Hearing of the death of his father, the chief of a Nepali village, Agni journeys back home to assist in the burial rights after many years away fighting with the Maoists. He strives to reconcile with Durga, his wife who is plotting to leave the village with her daughter Pooja, but is confronted with the anti-Maoist sentiments of the villagers and his estranged brother.

White Sun trots through the scars that remain from the civil war with dramatic tension and surprising moments of absurdist comedy, all the while churning the wheels towards reconciliation through the eyes of the young and innocent.

Jury Citation

For an exceptional and incisive film about civil war and memory that encapsulates the never-ending conflict that is the state of the world today, with a message of hope that a different future for all of us can be possible through our children.  

Special Mention 特别表扬

Turah by Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo

The residents of Kampung Tirang live in dilapidated shacks, earning just enough for their next meal. The hardworking and reliable Turah has been appointed by the cooperative leader to tend to complaints or settle conflicts that arise in the village. Peace in the settlement is disrupted when the alcoholic Jadag starts questioning the governance of the village. His accusations towards the leaders soon land both Turah and the whole village into further trouble.

Director Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo’s debut is inspired by the lives of the inhabitants from the same village in Tegal, Central Java. Featuring a host of theatre and community actors, and in its native language, Turah paints an authentic picture of the struggles of the lower class amidst corruption and indifference from the privileged upper class.

Jury Citation

The filmmaker deftly exposes the corruption and hypocrisy inherent in our society through the microcosm of a small village, showing how the strong oppresses the weak, while never losing sight of the inherent humanity in all his characters. 

Best Director 最佳导演

Abdullah Mohammad Saad (Live from Dhaka)

Best Performance 最佳表演奖

Mostafa Monwar (Live From Dhaka)

Southeast Asian Short Film Category 东南亚短片

Best Southeast Asian Short Film 最佳东南亚短片

In The Year of Monkey (Prenjak) by Wregas Bhanuteja

Needing money urgently, Diah offers a match to Jarwo for 10,000 rupiahs. In return, he gets to see her genitals.

Jury Citation

Inventive in story and imagery, In The Year of Monkey (Prenjak) presents a dynamic new voice in Indonesian cinema that challenges social mores that is both eclectic and humanist. In The Year of Mokey (Prenjak) is bold yet sensitive – sharp yet delicate.

Best Singapore Short Film 最佳新加坡短片

Anchorage Prohibited (禁止下锚) by Chiang Wei Liang (曾威量)

Two migrant workers with no money and a child seek employment opportunities on an island where anchorage is prohibited.

Jury Citation

Anchorage Prohibited shows the challenges of a day in the life of migrant workers without going into tropes of melodrama with an observational style that makes the characters plight resonate after initial viewing. 

Special Mention 特别表扬奖

On the Origin of Fear by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon

Set entirely in an audio recording studio, a director pushes a soldier to the limit as he takes on the roles of both victim and aggressor in a scripted anti-communist propaganda campaign recording.

Jury Citation

On the Origin of Fear is an existential exploration on the evils of humanity, brought to light in a surprising environment that makes this exploration even more chilling with a gut-wrenching performance by Pritt Timothy. 

Best Director 最佳导演奖

Liao Jiekai (The Mist) 廖捷凯(雾)

Jury Citation

Liao Jiekai plays with sound and image to successfully translate collective memory in a poetic way without falling into experimental film pretension.

Youth Jury Prize 青年评审奖

Still (Hilom) by PR Patindol

Hilom follows the journey of a pair of twin brothers as they find healing against the harsh landscapes of an island which is also trying to recover.

Jury Citation

A delicate portrait that illuminates the strength of the kindred spirit, Still/Hilom stands as a contemporary testament to the innocence of children and their resilience against the acerbity of adulthood.

Honorary Award 荣誉成就奖

Fruit Chan (陈果)

Fruit Chan is a vital figure in Asian Cinema. Since the 90s, he has been ceaselessly pushing the boundaries and quality of the Hong Kong cinema while existing within and navigating the conditions of the country’s film industry. Following the tumulus progression of political and cultural changes in the country, Fruit Chan’s films have been reinventing genre traditions with a ceaseless enquiry into Hong Kong identity, tracking its anxieties, heritage and its ever shifting image.

Born in Guangzhou in 1959 and raised in Hong Kong, Fruit Chan was a regular at the Hong Kong Film Culture Centre, a film club that he worked at before his entrance into Hong Kong film industry in the 80s where he worked for many directors such as Jackie Chan, Ronny Yu and Shu Kei.

Emerging in the 90s with contemporaries such as Wong Kar Wai, Ann Hui and Johnnie To, Fruit Chan’s films hold a mirror to Hong Kong society. His films straddle the line between mainstream and independent cinema. While presented within the milieu of Hong Kong commercial cinema, his films often challenge its parameters, providing fresh takes on the industry’s common genres.

In 1991, he released his debut feature Finale in Blood as well as Five Lonely Hearts. He rose to prominence as an auteur with Made in Hong Kong (1997), a low-budget film made with leftover film stock from previous productions that is recognised as one of the most important films of Hong Kong cinema. While faced with mixed response from audience and critics, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, and Best Picture at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival. The film is part of his 1997 Trilogy – together with The Longest Summer (1998) and Little Cheung (1999) – which reflect upon the everyday life of the working class set within the period preceding the handover to China in 1997. 

After completing The 1997 Trilogy, he delved into the subject matter of prostitution and the socio-economic conditions leading to its prevalence in society, to make what is termed The Prostitution Trilogy that resulted in the production of his next two films Durian Durian (2000) and Hollywood Hong Kong (2001). 

His later works saw him venturing further into horror and mystery genres while keeping his keen observation on Hong Kong society. This is evident in his exquisitely shot masterpiece Dumplings (2004), an innovative leap in Hong Kong horror cinema, and The Midnight After (2014), a supernatural allegory of post-handover Hong Kong based on the web-novel Lost on a Red Minibus to Taipo.

Fruit Chan’s films form a strong thread that flows through the trajectory of Hong Kong cinema from the 90s to the present. He is a versatile filmmaker that has broken resistance from mixed receptions from audiences and critics to sustain his body of work that has always harboured a strong interest in the complexity of Hong Kong. His recent documentary My City (2015) explores the heritage of Hong Kong through the eyes of a poet. 

Besides filmmaking, he is also an actor, producer and scriptwriter. He is a regular at the Singapore International Film Festival where The Longest Summer was screened in its 12th edition and Hollywood Hong Kong in its 15th edition. He is also the scriptwriter for Bugis Street (Yon Fan, 1995), which was screened at the 26th SGIFF.

The 27th Singapore International Film Festival also presented a special showcase of Chan’s work as part of its Tribute segment, including the screening of Durian Durian (2000).

Cinema Legend Award 电影传奇人物奖

Simon Yam (任达华)

One of the most recognisable faces of Asian cinema, Simon Yam is an internationally acclaimed Hong Kong actor.Born in Hong Kong, Yam started from humble beginnings and worked his way up the industry. He started his career as a model before finding his calling as an actor in the 1970s when he signed with Hong Kong television network TVB. Yam became a household name with popular television series such as Return of the Condor Heroes (1983) and New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre (1986). He entered the film industry in 1987 and has since appeared in over 200 movies, becoming one of the most respected, charismatic and sought-after leading actors. From the late 80s till now, Yam’s career became synonymous with the best of Hong Kong cinema.

Together with his contemporaries such as Chow Yun Fat and Andy Lau, Simon Yam is a true icon of Hong Kong cinema whose work has an indelible impact on popular culture around the world. A meticulous and hardworking actor devoted to his craft, Yam proved to be one of Asia’s most versatile actors who participates in both blockbusters as well as independent arthouse cinema. He has a long working relationship with some of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed directors such as Ringo Lam, Johnnie To and Ann Hui. Some of his performances in films such as Bullet in the Head (1991), Full Contact (1993), The Mission (1999), PTU (2003), Election (2005), Exodus (2007) and Night and Fog (2009) have become classics of Hong Kong cinema. In 2012, he acted, produced and directed Stolen Things, a segment from the omnibus horror feature Tales from the Dark. Most recently he starred in Malaysian director Ho Yuhang’s Mrs K, opposite martial arts legend Kara Wai.Simon Yam is also an avid photographer and oil painter, and he actively participates in charity events and public services. Yam has received many awards and tributes for his work in cinema.

He was awarded Best Actor at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (organised by the Hong Kong Film Critics Association) in 2004 and 2006. He received the Best Actor award for his role in Echoesof the Rainbow (2010) at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards, and Best Actor at the 6th Macau International Movie Festival for his role in Herman Yau’s Sara (2015). In 2015, he was honoured with a retrospective at the Bucheon Fantastic Film Festival and received the Honorary Maria Award at the Sitges Film Festival. In 2016, a retrospective of his works was presented at the 3rd Dragon Film Festival in Florence, Italy, where he received a lifetime achievement award.

The Most Promising Project of The Southeast Asia Film Lab 最具潜力项目,东南亚电影编剧工作坊

Taste by Dong Phuong Thao

Bassley, a Nigerian immigrant plying his trade in the Vietnamese football league, has his contract terminated after breaking his leg and has to find an alternative means of survival.

Special Mention Project of the Southeast Asia Film Lab 特别表扬项目 东南亚电影编剧工作坊

Rahula by Puangsoi Aksornsawang

‘Rahula’ can be interpreted as a bond that ties people together, especially husband and wife. This documentary explores the parallel worlds of my father and mother. One is surrounded by a dream life in the countryside, another lives in a metropolitan searching dream.

Young Critic Award 青少年影评人奖

Eliza Ho (何显文)

Annex B: Prizes presented at the Silver Screen Awards

Southeast Asian Short Film Category

Youth Jury Prize

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$500

Special Mention

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$1,000

Best Director

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$2,000

Best Singapore Short Film

  • Certificate and Trophy
  • Cash Prize of S$4,000 by Filmgarde Cineplex
  • Production Services Package at Shooting Gallery Asia worth S$15,000
  • Soundstage Usage (1 day) and Offline Edit (3 days) Package at Infinite Studios worth S$10,000
  • Online & DCP Package at Mocha Chai Laboratories worth S$10,500

Best Southeast Asian Short Film

  • Certificate and Trophy
  • Cash Prize of S$5,000 by Filmgarde Cineplex

Asian Feature Film Category

Best Performance

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$2,000

Best Director

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$5,000

Special Mention

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$1,500

Best Film

  • Certificate, Trophy and Cash Prize of S$10,000
  • Online & DCP Package at Mocha Chai Laboratories worth S$45,500

Southeast Asian Film Lab

Most Promising Project

  • Certificate and Cash Prize S$5,000 by Giraffe Pictures

Special Mention

  • Certificate

Youth Jury & Critics Programme

Young Critic Award

  • Certificate and Cash Prize of S$500

Annex C: Jury Panel of the Silver Screen Awards

Asian Feature Film Competition

Naomi Kawase 河濑直美 – Jury Head

Herman Yau 邱礼涛

Jocelyne Saab

Sunny Pang 冯推守

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

Mira Lesmana – Jury Head

Anderson Le

Bertrand Lee 李晓明

Annex D: Quotes from winners of the Silver Screen Awards

Cinema Legend Award

Simon Yam, Cinema Legend Award recipient

“I am very thankful for this award. I’ve made more than 200 films but my heart and passion has never changed. I hope that we can share more movies with the people, to show them what it means to be in the art of filmmaking. Let’s all keep on moving. I think this award is not just for me. I would like to share this award to all the film crews that I’ve worked with before. This is for them. They are part of my performance. I love working with all the film crews. This is a great honour that I received this award. Thank you Singapore International Film Festival for giving this award to me. I would also like to say thank you to Dr Yong from Hong Kong and my other friends for supporting me in the film industry. I would also like to say thank you to my family, especially my daughter Ella and my wife QiQi. They’ve given me a lot of energy and inspiration. I love Singapore! Thank you so much.”

Honorary Award

Fruit Chan, Honorary Award recipient

“我要感谢新加坡国际电影节颁给我这个奖。非常感谢秦海露亲自颁这个奖给我。其实这个都是一个集体的活,就我们干电影是一个 team work 所以说无论怎么样都要积极拍下去。Thank you Singapore International Film Festival. Thank you Singapore.”

“I want to thank the Singapore International Film Festival for presenting this award to me. I am also thankful to receive this from Qin Hailu. This is actually a team effort, and filmmaking is team work. Hence, I would want to continue to make more films. Thank you Singapore International Film Festival. Thank you Singapore.”

Asian Feature Film Competition

Best Performance

Mostafa Monwar, Actor of Live from Dhaka

“It’s very hard to translate how I feel into words actually. First of all I must thank Singapore International Film Festival for inviting us, and the jury. And thank you to my director Saab and the whole production team. Thank you.”

Best Director

Abdullah Mohammad Saad, Director of Live from Dhaka

“Getting selected was like full marks for me and now Best Actor and Best Director – I really don’t know what to say. I’m really overwhelmed. I’m speechless. Thank you Singapore International Film Festival. I am so grateful. Thank you my family, thank you my friends, my producer, my cinematographer, my sound designer. I’m sure this award will inspire me to go on with my next project. I wasn’t very sure if my film was good. It is my first feature. When the SGIFF accepted my film, it confirmed that I was on the right track. It helped me to boost my confidence. My next work will probably an extension of this project – the ideas that I couldn’t explore or possibilities that I overlooked. I want to explore them at my next project.”

Special Mention

Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, Director of Turah

“There are only 10 to 15 filmmakers from Tegal, where I am from. To be able to bring this film to SGIFF is an honour, and I am very happy to represent my hometown and receive the award.”

Best Film

Deepak Rauniyar, Director of White Sun

“Winning this award means a lot to us. I just want to thank the team who helped make this possible.”

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

Best Singapore Short Film

Koo Chia Meng, Assistant Director of Anchorage Prohibited

“It is very heartening to know that the film has gotten an award at the Singapore International Film Festival. The festival’s support is very crucial to the film industry. The Singapore film industry has a lot of talents that deserve to be seen worldwide and the festival does an important job in that. The director, Chiang Wei Liang, has his own vision and personality in terms of how he wants to approach film. Anchorage Prohibited was made in the exact way that Wei Liang wanted it to be, and he is definitely someone to look out for in the film industry.”

Best Director

Abdullah Mohammad Saad, Director of Live from Dhaka

“Getting selected was like full marks for me and now Best Actor and Best Director – I really don’t know what to say. I’m really overwhelmed. I’m speechless. Thank you Singapore International Film Festival. I am so grateful. Thank you my family, thank you my friends, my producer, my cinematographer, my sound designer. I’m sure this award will inspire me to go on with my next project. I wasn’t very sure if my film was good. It is my first feature. When the SGIFF accepted my film, it confirmed that I was on the right track. It helped me to boost my confidence. My next work will probably an extension of this project – the ideas that I couldn’t explore or possibilities that I overlooked. I want to explore them at my next project.”

Youth Jury Prize

PR Patindol, Director of Still

“To be honoured with this youth jury prize is quite unexpected and important to me as a first time filmmaker. I hope this invites aspiring filmmakers, not just in the Philippines but all over the world to fight for their dreams, because it’s worth it. Through my brief time here at the SGIFF, I felt honoured to be among the other filmmakers, as each filmmaker had diverse films that were all personal – and I found that very refreshing.”

Best Director

Liao Jiekai, Director of The Mist

“This is my third time screening my film at the SGIFF but first time being nominated for the Silver Screen Awards. This is really an encouragement for me. I’ve received many awards from overseas but to receive one in my own country is significant. It is in your home country, where your film connects with the local audience the most. As a teacher, my students will one day become upcoming artists in the industry – and my peers in the industry. I am very happy to also see their films being showcased alongside mine.”

Special Mention

Bayu Prihantoro Filemon, Director of On the Origin of Fear

“It is my honour to receive the Special Mention Award with my short film. This means a lot to me as this is one of the festivals I’ve always dreamed of attending. It is also a good platform for the filmmakers of the region to come together. The energy is great and I feel the motivation from the people around me to continue directing films.”

Best Southeast Asian Short Film

Henricus Pria, Assistant Director of In the Year of Monkey

“We are very happy to be here in the competition because it means a lot to us. We have to continue to work towards our next best film. This festival has very good vibes – we can meet other filmmakers and we can hang out; it is a good festival to mingle with the others and have film collaborations.”

Southeast Asian Film Lab: Most Promising Project

Dong Phuong Thao, Director of Taste

“Everyone was very warm and friendly and this is the first time that I went out and learnt from everyone around me. The mentors were also very encouraging and tried to make the atmosphere less stressful, which was very important. We faced a lot of challenges creating our short film in Vietnam, and would continue to face more, should we choose to develop this into a feature film. However, participating in the Film Lab and winning this award has opened new doors. We are now looking forward to creating our first feature film.”

Southeast Asian Film Lab: Special Mention

Puangsoi Aksornsawang, Director of Rahula

“I think this award is a sign, a reflection of myself and a form of affirmation on my path of being a filmmaker. Coming here to Singapore is refreshing. I like how we can meet new people, make new friends like fellow filmmakers from the film lab. The SGIFF opens up opportunities for film collaborations. My mentors, Bernard Chauly and Anocha Suwichakornpong from the Southeast Asian Film Lab, have also invested a lot in us, and the head mentor, Anurag Kashyap, pushed us to think of our films in another way.”