This year’s recipients of SEA-DOC and SEA-SHORTS Film Grants are announced as the festival continues its support of Southeast Asian film and builds on past success.
Singapore – 26 May 2020: Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has announced the selected projects in two major film grants: The Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC) and the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS).
Once again, the two grants, collectively housed under the SGIFF Film Fund, proved popular, with submissions coming from right across the region, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. They are aimed at developing inspiring and thought-provoking films that can contribute to the growth of a distinctive and independent Southeast Asian filmmaking landscape.
Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC)
The four selected documentary films are each awarded a cash amount of S$25,000 from the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation. By giving to SEA-DOC, the Foundation hopes to encourage and support more local and SEA documentary filmmakers, especially those who are capturing and sharing the unique stories of Singapore and its region. “We believe that documentary films, told through the lens of local filmmakers, capture stories that would otherwise go untold. These stories are unique to our culture, and will be a gift for many generations to come,” said Tan Keng Leck, Vice Chairman, Tan Ean Kiam Foundation.
SGIFF is also proud to announce that one of the recipients of the inaugural SEA-DOC, Aswang, by Filipino director, Alyx Ayn Arumpac, premiered in 2019 at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and has continued its run through European and North American festivals.
In the documentary category, the selection jury stressed the desire to find strong cinematic films that demonstrated the filmmaker’s vision for the project and a clear understanding of their subject. They added that it is important to champion projects whose distinctiveness sets them apart from traditional factual films that may more easily find support within the broadcast sector. In line with this philosophy, the selected projects represent a commitment to the political and the experimental. The grants were awarded to two projects from Thailand, and two from Singapore.
Breaking the Cycle, from Thai directors, Aekaphong Saransate and Thanakrit Duangmaneeporn, confronts democracy in Thailand, while Worship, from director Uruphong Raksasad, whose previous film The Songs of Rice (2014) screened at IFFR, tackles the subject of spirituality in contemporary Thai culture. Singaporean director, Carin Leong’s Sandcastles, poignantly reflects on the city state’s urban development, while the final selection is director Daniel Hui Sui Fong’s, hybrid experimental and conceptual rumination on a key historical court case, Small Hours of the Night. Daniel’s previous film, Demons (2018), screened in Berlinale.
The jury felt that each of these projects represented clear cinematic voices from young and dynamic teams, each presenting powerful stories coupled with ambitious approaches to storytelling that would resonate across Southeast Asian countries.
SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Grant (SEA-Shorts)
Short films receive a cash amount of S$4,000 from C47 Investment, with a further S$4,000 available in-kind for post-production facilities at White Light Studio in Bangkok.
When selecting the Short Films, the jury sought projects from up and coming young talents that combined inspiring, meaningful stories with mature and feasible aims. It was felt that the winners, Further and Further Away, by Cambodian director Polen Ly, and Father’s Father, from Vietnam’s Cao Viet Hoai Son, both exemplified those aims, with Ly’s film tackling the subject of tradition and modernity, and Cao’s film approaching the provocative topic of toxic masculinity.
Tan Ean Kiam Foundation – SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC)
S$25,000 cash from Tan Ean Kiam Foundation
Breaking the Cycle
Dir. Aekaphong Saransate, Thanakrit Duangmaneeporn / Prod. Noorahaya Lahtee, Lee Chatametikool, Thailand
Following the attempts of a young politician to use internet communications to create a new form of politics free from the cycle of military coups.
Dir. Carin Leong / Prod. Martin Loh, Singapore
As Singapore reclaims land to expand urban development, a town bearing its name on the other side of the world lies buried under sand.
Dir. Uruphong Raksasad / Prod. Mai Meksawan, Thailand
Through documentary and recreation, the film explores the culture of spiritual worship in contemporary Thailand.
Small Hours of the Night
Dir. Daniel Hui Sui Fong / Prod. Tan Bee Thiam, Singapore
An experimental, hallucinatory exploration of a forgotten 1980s court case the sheds light on a host of key political figures of the era.
SGIFF Southeast Asian-Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS)
S$4,000 cash from C47 Investment and S$4,000 in post-production services from White Light Studio Co.,Ltd
Further and Further Away
Dir. Polen Ly Prod. Daniel Mattes, Davy Chou, Sophea Kim, Cambodia
A young couple leave their home and head for the capital city in search of their fortune.
Dir. Cao Viet Hoai Son, Vietnam
After accidentally killing his grandfather, a young boy must face the funeral and find the whereabouts of his father and uncle.
Film Fund Sponsors
Tan Ean Kiam Foundation
The Tan Ean Kiam Foundation was set up by Singapore pioneer, Tan Ean Kiam. For the last 64 years, it has dedicated its mission to the nurturing of local art and culture, and giving the gift of education, particularly for those in-need.
By giving to SEA-DOC, the Foundation hopes to encourage and support more local and SEA documentary filmmakers, especially those who are capturing and sharing the unique stories of Singapore and its region.
C47 Investment is a content investment company based in Singapore and South Korea. Established in 2017, C47 Investment has invested in the development and production of over a dozen Korean-language TV and Film projects. In 2020, C47 Investment began investing in content outside Korea, starting with an Indonesian feature film scheduled for release in late 2020.
C47 Investment also sponsored various creative contests in Korea to discover new talent and is a proud sponsor of the SGIFF Southeast Asian-Short Film Grant. C47 Investment plans to widen its presence as a valuable investment partner to talented creators all across Asia. For more information, please visit c47investment.com
White Light Post
Founded in 2010, White Light Post is Thailand’s first boutique digital film lab. As filmmakers ourselves, we treat every film as if it is our own. Our mission is to tailor post-production solutions for filmmakers across Asia. We believe the alchemy of art, color and science is the secret to amazing post-production.
White Light actively supports filmmakers and sponsors post-production awards at the Hong-Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), the Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), the Purin Pictures Film Fund, and the Singapore International Film Festival’s SEA-Shorts Grant. We have supported films from a wide range of countries, including Thailand, China, Vietnam, Singapore, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, which have screened in leading film festivals like Berlin, Busan, Toronto, Singapore and many more.
White Light’s founders include award-winning DoP, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (Call Me By Your Name, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), and award-winning Editor, Lee Chatametikool (Apprentice, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Shutter). For more information, please visit whitelightpost.com.
Follow White Light on Instagram @whitelightpost and on Facebook @whitelightpost.
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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/