Marina Bay Sands Strengthens Commitment To The Singapore International Film Festival

ArtScience Museum to host the 10th anniversary screening of  acclaimed local film Gone Shopping

Film Still from Gone Shopping 

Singapore (19 September 2017) – Marina Bay Sands is expanding its on-going collaboration with the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), taking its engagement with the non-profit organization beyond SGIFF’s landmark annual film event – the leading platform in Southeast Asia that champions the discovery of independent cinema.

The integrated resort has officially named SGIFF as one of its designated charities and is planning to host a series of year-round activities that aim to grow the film and art audience in Asia and beyond.

10th anniversary screening of local film Gone Shopping at ArtScience Museum

For a start, Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum will be hosting the 10th anniversary screening of Wee Li Lin’s whimsical tale about the malls of Singapore, Gone Shopping, from October 1 to 8. Released to critical acclaim in 2007, Gone Shopping is the first-full length directorial debut of female director Wee Li Lin.

The screening of the movie is part of ArtScience on Screen, which showcases the work of groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. ArtScience on Screen forms the backbone of the museum’s dedicated film programming, with the aim to inspire audiences to discover art and science through film and moving image. From October 1 to 8, the film will be screened twice daily to the public, at 3pm and 5pm respectively. Admission is free.

Beyond the screening, the integrated resort will also be hosting an In Conversations With dialogue session with the filmmaker and cast Sonya Nair of Gone Shopping and Professor Chua Beng Huat from the National University of Singapore on October 7 at ArtScience Museum. This dialogue session is part of an on-going series of talks with celebrities and prominent individuals from creative fields, who give insights into the world of film, television and art to young students interested in pursuing a career in a related discipline.

Inspiring young filmmakers with the launch of MBS x SGIFF Youth Film Project

Marina Bay Sands has been a Presenting Sponsor of the Singapore International Film Festival since 2014 and continues to look for new ways to inspire aspiring filmmakers and grow the art audience in Singapore. As a strong champion of youth and arts education, the integrated resort has also launched the MBS x SGIFF: Youth Film Project.

Open to current tertiary students, this new initiative will give young filmmakers a chance to experience and participate in a filmmaking project taking place across the integrated resort during its annual Sands for Singapore Festival.

The youth mentorship programme aims to encourage innovative and personal ways of storytelling that broadens the scope of corporate-driven film projects, and to offer budding filmmakers a chance to be exposed and mentored by industry practitioners as they gain handson work experience within a corporate environment.

Under the guidance of Marina Bay Sands’ in-house visual media team and SGIFF, participants will co-produce and co-direct a 5 to 10 minute documentary film shot at the integrated resort. The completed film will then be showcased on Marina Bay Sands’ website and across its social media platforms.

Co-shortlisted by the teams at SGIFF and Marina Bay Sands, the two participants this year are Nanyang Technological University students Lee Yi Jia and Martin Loh. Their documentary will capture the relationship between two people from seemingly different worlds and aims to challenge stereotypes against the Deaf Community and illustrate the strength and vibrancy of Deaf Culture.

Mr George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Bay Sands said, “After four successful years of working with the Singapore International Film Festival, we’re privileged to extend our support to the next level. As a designated charity, SGIFF will work collaboratively with Marina Bay Sands on a range of creative projects throughout the year. It marks a new chapter, and one that is aimed at providing more opportunities for established and aspiring filmmakers to present their works on an international platform.”

“As part of our commitment to growing film literacy, we are happy to have the opportunity to give independent films the exposure beyond our festival period. Having a like-minded partner in Marina Bay Sands helps us to continue our mission in championing and nurturing the voices and diversity in Asian cinema to new audiences. This includes the hosting of the 10th anniversary screening of Gone Shopping, the debut feature film of one of Singapore’s pioneering female filmmakers in the 2000s, and a past winner of SGIFF’s Singapore Short Film Competition. We look forward to deepening our engagement with both cinematic talents and audiences, and journeying with them to explore the vast possibilities in our region’s independent cinema,” said Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF.

For more information on the 10th anniversary screening of Gone Shopping and the MBS x SGIFF:

Youth Film Project, please refer to the annexes below. To register for the In Conversations With dialogue session, log on to http://mbsxsgiff-goneshopping.peatix.com/ .

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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: 10th anniversary screening of Gone Shopping, co-presented by ArtScience Museum and Singapore International Film Festival

Gone Shopping (2007)

Wee Li Lin

Singapore / 104 minutes / Mandarin, English, Tamil, Malay, Cantonese

Clara is a trophy wife ‘tai tai’ who one day forgets to take her medication and ends up lingering on for days in the welcoming walls of her favourite space – shopping centres. There, she crosses paths with a childhood flame, a latchkey kid and a cosplaying young man, and realizes that she is far from alone as a true creature of the mall. Gone Shopping is a tale of love, loss and liberation in the only heart Singapore has ever known.

Released to critical acclaim in 2007, Gone Shopping is the first full-length directorial debut of female director Wee Li Lin. Derek Elley from Variety described the film as a ‘quietly ironic feature debut, which goes to the empty heart of the Lion State’s culture more effectively than many artier pics repping the island on the fest circuit.’

Biography of Wee Li Lin

Wee Li Lin (b.1973) is one of the pioneer female filmmakers in Singapore with 14 short films, 2 feature films as well television and commercial work under her belt. She received her BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch Asia. Aside from her film passions, she is a part time lecturer at tertiary film schools in Singapore, something she is equally passionate about. 

Quote from Wee Li Lin on the 10th anniversary screening of Gone Shopping

“I am utterly delighted that SGIFF and ArtScience Museum have decided to screen Gone Shopping after 10 years from its release. The film was made as my bittersweet essay about life in Singapore being all about shopping centres. The release of the film was also bittersweet as not many people got to see it. I am so grateful for this opportunity now to be able to present the film to a new audience and showcase the wonderful actors and crew who made the story and its characters come to life so beautifully.”

Annex B: MBS x SGIFF: Youth Film Project 2017

MBS x SGIFF: Youth Film Project is a programme where two aspiring filmmakers will have the opportunity to try their hand at co-producing and co-directing a short documentary on the 2017 Sands for Singapore Charity Festival. Participants will be given close mentorship and guidance of the MBS Visual Media Department, and access to in-house film equipment and post-production facilities. The completed short project will be showcased on both Marina Bay Sands and SGIFF’s social media platforms.

For more details, please visit: http://sgiff.com/mbsxsgiff/youth-film-project  

Bio of Lee Yi Jia

Lee Yi Jia began chasing her filmmaking dream after embarking on her first self-driven film project, Closer Apart, in 2014. Since then, she has made a few short films while juggling her third-year undergraduate problems in Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Finding interest in the wider film industry, she volunteered as a Hospitality Officer at the Singapore International Film Festival from 2014 to 2016, and managed Perspectives Film Festival in the same recent year. Presently, she has been learning about and exploring documentary filmmaking, and wishes to turn that interest into a long term craft.

Bio of Martin Loh

Martin Loh is a student navigating through his third year in Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. After a lifetime of struggling with the sciences, he stumbled his way into the world of film and never looked back. Martin is an aspiring director, producer and actor, always quick to jump on friends’ projects just for the fun of it. Besides making (or dreaming of  making) films, Martin hosts Jump Queue, a food segment on Zyrup, an online news publication. In his free time, he also enjoys sipping on homemade cold brew coffee while developing film in the toilet. 

Quotes from both participants of MBS x SGIFF: Youth Film Project 2017

“When we think of meeting someone with a disability, the instinct would be to thread carefully and be sympathetic. However as filmmakers, we feel that our job here is not to just highlight and draw attention to the deaf community. Rather, we want to challenge preconceived notions some might have of them – that these people are fully capable of living their lives and engage in activities like anyone else. Ultimately through this collaboration, we hope that our viewers will be more conscious and recognise that we are not all that different.”