Multi-Genre Film Cities of Last Things To Open The 29th Singapore International Film Festival

Award-winning director Ho Wi Ding’s latest feature is a poignant and innovative existentialist opus 

Cities Of Last Things by Taiwan-based Malaysian director Ho Wi Ding 

Singapore, 17 October 2018 – Told in three vignettes, Cities Of Last Things, by Taiwan based Malaysian director Ho Wi Ding, is set to open the 29th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) on 28 November 2018, at Capitol Theatre. The film has been nominated for four awards at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, including Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best New Performer, and Best Original Screenplay. The film also won the Toronto Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018, and will screen at SGIFF 2018 for its Southeast Asian Premiere.

Shot on expired 35mm film stock, the film seamlessly blends genres, from sci-fi to noir to romance. Spanning decades, the story comprises three significant moments in an ordinary man’s life, told in reverse-chronological order and pivoting around three women. Ho guides viewers through one man’s fraught inner world and the circumstances that led him to a life altering decision. Ho commandingly employs cinematic language to discuss the root of our collective sadness—perhaps the very thing that makes us human.

Cities of Last Things marks Ho’s triumphant return after his successful debut feature, Pinoy Sunday. This moving film took eight years to make from conception to creation. He took on multiple roles for this film—as lead producer, writer, director, and even co-editor—braving two shoots and multiple typhoons over 13 months. 

Ho was inspired by non-linear storytelling – the fact that only film and literature afford a creator the freedom to reorganise a story’s order to express a unique perspective. He hopes that his viewers will reflect that whatever they do in the present will shape their futures.

Speaking on the selection of Cities of Last Things to open the 29th SGIFF, Director, Ho Wi Ding says, “I am humbled and deeply honoured to be invited by the Singapore International Film Festival to showcase my latest film. It takes courage to make a film like this; it takes a courageous film festival to show this film as an opening film—and this film takes a courageous audience to appreciate it. I look forward to the film finding resonance with the Singapore audience.”

Wahyuni Hadi, Executive Director of Singapore International Film Festival, says, “The dynamic film Cities of Last Things signifies the ascending future of Asian cinema, and leads the charge for Asian filmmakers emerging onto the global stage. Ho has woven his Western film training and Eastern inspirations together. The strong performance in the film is a perfect showcase of the quality of talents we have in Asia. This selection for opening film reaffirms our commitment to nurture and champion talents in filmmaking across Southeast Asia and Asia, and to provide a platform for them to showcase their work to the world.”

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 at the end of October 2018. 

For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com. Follow us on Instagram @SGIFFest and on Facebook @sginternationalfilmfestival.

#SGIFF2018 #LetTheMagicIn

Please refer to appended annex 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 Ho Wi Ding(何蔚庭)

“I am humbled and deeply honoured to be invited by the Singapore International Film festival to showcase my latest film, Cities of Last Things. It takes courage to make a film like this; it takes a courageous film festival to show this film as an opening film—and this film takes a courageous audience to appreciate it. I look forward to the film finding resonance with the Singapore audience.”


“非常荣幸及感谢新加坡国际电影节的邀请。《幸福城市》是一部需要勇气制作的电影,也需要一个果敢的电影节将它选为开幕片,亦需要一群有勇气的观众支持。衷心期待這部影片能得到新加坡观众的共鸣。”

Annex B: About Cities of Last Things (Ho Wi Ding)

Cities Of Last Things 《幸福城市》

Three extraordinary nights in the life of an ordinary man—each involving a different woman, each changing his existence for good.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN PREMIERE

TAIWAN, CHINA, USA, FRANCE / 2018 / 107MIN / MANDARIN, ENGLISH / R21 (SEXUAL SCENES)

Shot on expired 35mm film stock, this devastating portrait of a man unfolds—in reverse—via three women who each play a pivotal role in his identity.

In 2049, advancements in technology have left human interactions as cold as Taipei’s bitter winter weather. Retired security guard Zhang Dong-ling, angered by the continual indiscretions of his wife, decides to enact a form of revenge: on a high-ranking official who destroyed his life 30 years before.

2018: Upright young police officer Zhang accidentally witnesses his wife having an affair with his superior. Roaming the streets that night, he bumps into a foreign teenager named Ara, whom he’d arrested earlier in the day. The two spend the night in each other’s company, an unspoken desire blooming between them as they put off going home.

The tale concludes—or begins—with Big Sister Wang, a criminal ambushed by the police at a night market in an elaborately orchestrated raid. At the police station, she is handcuffed to a bench next to an 18-year-old Zhang, himself arrested for a petty crime. As they await sentencing, Wang and Zhang realise the surprising things they have in common.

For this opus, Ho Wi Ding took on multiple roles as lead producer, writer, director and even co-editor, braving two shoots (and multiple typhoons) over 13 months. A true labour of love spanning eight Herculean years from conception to creation, Cities of Last Things marks Ho’s triumphant return to the daring, audacious cinema of his debut, Pinoy Sunday (2009).

Director: Malaysia-born Ho Wi Ding graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His debut feature, Pinoy Sunday, won Best New Director at the Golden Horse Awards. Ho’s previous shorts Summer Afternoon and Respire premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and Cannes Critics’ Week respectively, the latter receiving two awards. Cities of Last Things took home the Toronto Platform Prize at Toronto International Film Festival 2018.

Producer: Ho Wi Ding, Hu Chih-Hsin, Winnie Lau, Alexis Perrin
Screenwriter: Ho Wi Ding
Casts: Jack Kao, Lee Hong Chi, Louise Grinberg, Ding Ning, Stone