Meet the Jury panel At The 29th Singapore International Film Festival

SGIFF announces panel of jury for Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

Singapore, 15 October 2018The 29th Singapore Film Festival (SGIFF) continues its commitment in paving the way to provide opportunities and nurture the growth of up-and coming regional talents in filmmaking through the Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition of the Silver Screen Awards. The Festival is pivotal in developing talents in filmmaking and to showcase their cinematic achievements to global audiences beyond their local markets; while the Silver Screen Awards is a strategic platform designed with the aim to broaden the discussions of Asian filmmaking and illuminate Asia’s creative content development. 

Asian Feature Film Competition Jury 

Stanley Kwan
Daniel Dae Kim
Akiko Ashizawa
Sylvain Corbeil  
Trần Nữ Yên Khê

This year, leading figure of the Hong Kong New Wave, director Stanley Kwan will head the Asian Feature Film Competition Jury. Joining him on the panel of jury are Hollywood actor, director, and producer, Daniel Dae Kim; legendary Japanese cinematographer, Akiko Ashizawa; acclaimed Canadian film producer, Sylvain Corbeil; and Vietnamese-born French actress, costume, and production designer, Trần Nữ Yên Khê. They will be judging the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance, and Special Mention.

Kwan shared his personal experience in discovering his passion for filmmaking, “I enjoyed being in a dark theatre by myself, admiring the gleaming lights projected on the silver screen. I could enjoy the sense of joy and security movies gave me, as if no one else was around,” revealing the warmth that filmmaking has given him. The Festival will also screen Kwan’s latest film, First Night Nerves, starring Sammi Cheng and Gigi Leung in its Asian Vision section.

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition 

Maike Mia Höhne
Shireen Seno
 Kirsten Tan

SGIFF 2018 features an all-women team for the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Jury, a nod to the progressive development in Asian cinema, and the celebration of diversity in filmmaking. Maike Mia Höhne, curator of the Berlinale Shorts programme since 2007, will be leading the panel this year. Joining her on the panel are Filipino filmmaker, Shireen Seno; and Singapore filmmaker Kirsten Tan. They will be judging the following categories – Best Southeast Asian Short Film, Best Singapore Short Film, Best Director, and Special Mention. 

Complementary to these awards, the Youth Jury Prize will be decided by participants of the SGIFF Youth Jury and Critics Programme; led by mentor, Victor Fan, who is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Film Studies, King’s College London, and Film Consultant of the Chinese Visual Festival.

The 29th SGIFF which runs from 28 November to 9 December 2018, will be hosted across multiple Festival venues, including Capitol Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Cathay, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs, and *SCAPE. 

SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (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.

The full Festival line-up and ticketing details will be announced in end October 2018. For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com.

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Please refer to 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/

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: Quote from Stanley Kwan

“After the passing of my father, my mother doted on me, the eldest child in the family, but she was also harsher on me than on my siblings. When she found out I was spending my pocket money on going to the cinemas alone, she disciplined me. But behind her back, I still bought the cheapest movie tickets. I enjoyed being in a dark theatre by myself, admiring the gleaming lights projected on the silver screen. I could enjoy the sense of joy and security movies gave me, as if no one else was around.  I look forward to be the head of jury at the Singapore International Film Festival, especially since it gives me yet another opportunity to enjoy watching movies, uninterrupted.”

“父亲的离去,让母亲对我这个长子,既宠爱得比弟妹多,但也管教甚严。当她知道我把零用钱花在买电影票,偷偷去看电影时,总会招来她的一番打骂,但我还偷偷背着她一个人买最便宜的票,自己一个人享受在漆黑的大戏院里,感觉安全地享受大屏幕的琉璃光影,记得小時候那些电影院很大,但不管同场的观众是多或少,我还是能旁若无人地享受那份看电影的喜悅和安全感,不受到任何的干扰。

年少時的经验,一直说的那份安全感,到我开始做导演后,也真切地感受到另一份安全感,就是导演是被主创、制作团队保护的动物,导演可以享受那份不被干扰,专心创作拍戏的穩妥。所以,我老愛说这两个情況是我感觉最最安全的。

期待新加坡国际电影节评审团主席的工作让我再次愉悅地享受到這份专心看电影的安全感。”

Annex B: Profiles of Asian Feature Film Competition Jury

A key figure of the Hong Kong New Wave, Stanley Kwan began his career at TVB. Rouge (1987), his third film, won him a substantial international audience. After that, Actress (1991) won the Best Actress prize at the Berlin International Film Festival for Maggie Cheung; and Hold You Tight (1997) won both the Alfred Bauer Prize for innovation and the Teddy Award for best LGBT feature, again in Berlin. In 2001, he was awarded Best Director at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards for Lanyu. Directing as well as producing, he is now one of the most prominent players within the Hong Kong film industry.

Born in Tokyo, Akiko Ashizawa is the most accomplished female cinematographer in Japanese film history. She is best known for her films with acclaimed director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, such as Loft (2005), Real (2013) and the Cannes award-winners Tokyo Sonata (2008) and Journey to the Shore (2015). In 2012, she won the award for Best Cinematography for Chronicle of My Mother (directed by Masato Harada) at the Mainichi Film Awards. This year, she was awarded the prestigious Medal with Purple Ribbon by the Japanese government.

Successfully wearing more than a hat as an actor, director and producer, Daniel Dae Kim, is best known for his stereotype-breaking roles on series such as Hawaii Five-O and Lost, and on films such as the Divergent series. He is also the leading voice for diversity in Hollywood and was part of the movement in 2016 to make the Academy Awards more diverse. Under his production company 3AD, Kim has produced projects such as The Good Doctor (ABC). He has also garnered multiple awards including a Korean Achievement Awards in Arts and Entertainment in 2009. 

Canadian producer Sylvain Corbeil founded Metafilms Inc. in 2003 and has produced 20 shorts and 18 features. His films with Denis Côté, including All That She Wants (2008) and Boris Without Béatrice (2016), have had award-winning festival runs. Other productions include Simon Lavoie’s Le Torrent (2012), Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (2014), Anne Émond’s Our Loved Ones (2015) and Karl Lemieux’s Shambles (2016). His second film with Dolan, It’s Only the End of the World, won Cannes’s Grand Jury Prize in 2016. His latest with Maxime Giroux, The Great Darkened Days, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2018.

Trần Nữ Yên Khê is a Vietnamese-born French actress, costume, and production designer.

She has starred in; and served as production designer on the critically acclaimed films of Trần Anh Hùng, such as The Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo, The Vertical Ray of the Sun, and I Come with the Rain. In 2010, in addition to creating the sets for the Haruki Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood, she was also the costume designer. Most recently, she starred in Ash Mayfair’s debut feature, The Third Wife, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2018.

Annex C: Profiles of Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Jury

Maike Mia Höhne is a filmmaker and curator; and has curated Berlinale Shorts, the short film section of the Berlin International Film Festival since 2007. As a curator, she has worked for various institutions and festivals worldwide.

A promising talent from the Filipino cinematic scene, Shireen Seno has won Best Film for her debut film, Big Boy (2012), that premiered at Rotterdam in 2013. Her second film, Nervous Translation (2018), premiered at Rotterdam in 2018 and won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film. The film has also won Best Script under the Asian New Talent Category at Shanghai International Film Festival 2018.

Singaporean filmmaker, Kirsten Tan, has created works that covered a range of genres, which is consistent in their humanity and off-beat humour. She has made a series of short films that have collectively received more than 10 international awards. Her debut feature, POP AYE (2017), received a Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting at Sundance Film Festival, the VPRO Big Screen Award at Rotterdam, and the Best International Film Award at Zurich Film Festival.

Annex D: Profile of Mentor, Youth Jury & Critics Programme

Victor Fan is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Film Studies, King’s College London, and Film Consultant of the Chinese Visual Festival. Fan graduated with a Ph.D. from the Film Studies Program and the Comparative Literature Department of Yale University, and an MFA in Film and Television Productions at School of Cinema-Television, University of Southern California. His new book, Extraterritoriality: Politics and Hong Kong Media will be published in 2019 by the Edinburgh University Press.

Annex E: About First Night Nerves (八个女人一台戏)(Stanley Kwan)

First Night Nerves

Two stars fight to take the spotlight in a play that features more drama behind the scenes than on the stage.

SOUTHEAST ASIA PREMIERE

HONG KONG, CHINA / 2018 / 100MIN / CANTONESE, MANDARIN

Yuan Xiuling, a star past her prime, plans a return to the spotlight a year after her philandering husband passes away. An opportunity arises when she is cast as the lead in a theatre production titled Two Sisters. However, her co-lead is her biggest rival, He Yuwen, a rising actress making her theatrical debut. In the week before opening night, tensions rise and tempers flare. The actresses struggle to cope with artistic expectations, jostle for media attention, and let past resentments and grievances rise to the surface.

A new film after a long hiatus from Hong Kong maestro Stanley Kwan, First Night Nerves stars two of Hong Kong′s most quintessential actresses, Sammi Cheng and Gigi Leung, alongside China’s Bai Baihe. 

Director: A key figure of the Hong Kong New Wave, Stanley Kwan began his career at TVB. Known for insightful portrayals of the female psyche, his films—such as Rouge, Centre Stage, Everlasting Regret and Full Moon in New York—have been celebrated by audiences and cinephiles alike, receiving success both commercially and artistically.

Producer: Katie Kwan, Zhang Qun, Wu Xinxin

Scriptwriter: Jimmy Ngai

Cast: Sammi Cheng, Gigi Leung, Bai Baihe