SGIFF Unveils New Festival Team

Singapore International Film Festival unveils its new Team and direction for the future.

March 24, 2014 – The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has unveiled its new Board and Executive Team as it returns for its 25th edition this year. The re-launch of SGIFF sees its new Executive Team investing in building and strengthening relationships within the film community and reinforcing the quality of film programming.

The new Executive Team is helmed by award-winning film producer, curator and arts manager Yuni Hadi as Executive Director. Hadi co-produced the film ‘Ilo Ilo’ directed by Anthony Chen (winner of the Camera d’Or award and Best Feature Film at Golden Horse Awards). Hadi was formerly the Festival Director for the 21st edition of the Festival and was Festival Manager for the 20th edition.

“Over the last 25 years, the Festival has helped develop not only a whole generation of film directors, but has also nurtured a new generation of audience that has a more sophisticated palette and appetite for films beyond the mainstream fare. Today, our local distributors are offering a more adventurous menu of films that offer diversity for the average movie-goer. We cannot deny the integral role Singapore International Film Festival has played in building the film industry we have today,” says Ms. Hadi.

Leading the film programming is Festival Director, Zhang Wenjie, who has headed the National Museum of Singapore Cinémathèque and The Substation Moving Images while initiating film programmes such as First Take and Singapore Short Cuts during his time. Zhang was also Festival Co-Director for the 22nd edition of the Festival.

“Through the years, the Festival has played a vital role in cultivating appreciation for film as an art form, and has been a pioneer in championing local and Asian independent cinema, with many of the now most revered filmmakers getting their first start at the festival. More than just a film festival, it is one of Singapore’s most venerable cultural institutions. A key mission of the festival has always been the nurturing and discovery of new filmmakers, and this year we are expanding the short film category of the Silver Screen Awards to include Southeast Asian short films to recognise the brightest new talents in short filmmaking from around the region,” Mr. Zhang says.

Heading its marketing is Marketing Manager, Karen Wai, co-founder of BooksActually and Math Paper Press. An advocate for the nurturing of emerging talents, Wai used to be educated as a film major and works across diverse creative fields. This is the first time she is involved with the Festival.

“The Festival has always been about its people – the filmmaking community and the filmgoers. This is deeply reflective of its art form that honours the spirit of empathy, inclusion and the value of individual points-of-view. As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, we are striving to bridge the gap between the filmmaker and the filmgoer in a series of campaigns that offers individuals to reflect and articulate values and lessons that film offers them. We are also extending our reach across the different platforms through collaborations with local creatives in design, music and writing. We will also be partnering ground-up initiatives who have been quietly supporting the film industry through the years,” says Ms. Wai.

The new Board is led by Chairman, Mr. Mike Wiluan, Chief Executive Officer of Infinite Studios. Other board members include Janice Koh, Actor and Nominated Member of Parliament; Ms. Shaw Soo Wei, the former Executive Director for the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society; Michael Lim, Assistant Director, Animation and Digital Arts, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia; Lee Chor Lin, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Festival Limited; Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive of Marketing at Singapore Tourism Board; Sebastian Tan, Group Managing Director of Shooting Gallery Asia; and Elim Chew, Founder and President of 77th Street.

A new SGIFF logo, designed by Bates Chi & Partners, the Festival’s Brand Partner, has also been unveiled. Paying tribute to the original logo, the new logo highlights Singapore “SG” as its focus and includes variations that can be used in unconventional ways.

“The new Logo’s design foundation is a respectful nod to the festival’s celebrated 25 year pedigree that became a synonymous platform for the best of emerging and historical Southeast Asian cinema. The additional edgy tweaks is a refreshing outlook that signifies the rejuvenation of our approach to engage with the new generation of film auteurs and cinephiles,” Mr. Wiluan says.

The Festival will take place in December, and will be held under the umbrella of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), and organized by Reed Exhibitions, Contineo Media and SGIFF Ltd. The SMF is set to become one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for Film and TV. SGIFF will be held in conjunction with three other complimentary events: the Asia Television Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS) and Asian Television Awards (ATA). 

The SGIFF will also bringing back the Silver Screen Awards, the competition section of the Film Festival to discover emerging talent and recognize the best films in the region. SGIFF opens its call for entries on 25 March. Its competition section will be for Asian feature films and Southeast Asian & Singapore short films. SGIFF will also be setting up an International Advisory Board led by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo.

“As a Festival, we value the role that film has played in telling the stories that need to be told. SGIFF has always been at the forefront of discovering film talents from this region. This has created a wider Southeast Asian film community that has allowed us to share resources and exchange ideas. We are deeply invested in continuing this tradition of SGIFF.” says Ms. Hadi.

The Singapore International Film Festival will run from 4th till 14th of December, 2014. Film submissions are now open till 15th September, 2014. Submissions may be made through the Festival website (www.sgiff.com). More information on the Festival and its schedules will be released at a later date. 

For Media Enquiries, please contact: press.office@sgiff.com

Resources

Annex A: Boilerplates

About the Singapore International Film Festival

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. Founded in 1987, the Festival has become an iconic event in the Singapore arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics, and recognized worldwide for its focus on Asian filmmakers and the promotion of Southeast Asian films. The SGIFF is committed to nurture and champion Singaporean talents in the art of filmmaking and brings to the city, the highest standard for the enrichment of cultural life in Singapore. The festival serves as a catalyst — igniting public interest in the arts and encouraging artistic dialogue and cultural exchange. The SGIFF is organized by the Singapore International Film Festival Ltd, a non-profit organization and holds the Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status. For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com.

Silver Screen Awards

The Silver Screen Awards Competition was introduced in 1991 to encourage advances in Asian film-making standards. Every year a select group of Asian feature films take part in the competition. Southeast Asian and Singapore short films also take part in a subcategory where a best film and best director are awarded. Films are selected by the festival for Official Competition

2014 Silver Screen Award Categories

Asian Feature Film Category

  • Best Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Performance
  • Special Jury Prize

Southeast Asian Short Film Category

  • Best Singapore Short Film
  • Best Southeast Asian Short Film
  • Best Director
  • Special Jury Prize

About the Singapore Media Festival

The Singapore Media Festival is set to become one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for Film and TV. It brings together four complementary events- Asia Television Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS), Asian Television Awards (ATA) and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), which will take place from 4-14 December 2014. The Singapore Media Festival is hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), and organized by Reed Exhibitions, Contineo Media and SGIFF Ltd.

About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (www.mci.gov.sg).

Annex B: Biographies

Festival Team

Yuni Hadi

Executive Director

Yuni Hadi is a film producer, author and curator specializing in the management of film and media projects. She has spent a large part of her career creating platforms to launch the works of emerging film talents and strongly believes in setting the foundation for film literacy at a young age and creating the bridge for artists and audiences. 

 In 2013, Yuni published and edited the book Behind the Camera and co-produced the film Ilo Ilo, winner of the Camera d’Or at the 66th Cannes Film Festival and Best Feature Film at 50th Golden Horse Awards. Yuni’s ties with the Festival and the Singapore arts scene go back a long way – in 2009, she was Festival Director of the 22nd instalment of SGIFF after serving as Festival Manager in 2008. She is also co-founder of the independent film distribution label Objectifs Films and was a senior programmer at The Substation, where she created milestone film programmes, and was Editor of its arts publication Substance. In 2003, she co-founded the Fly By Night Video Challenge with filmmaker Tan Pin Pin, and in 2009, initiated the Singapore Short Film Awards with filmmaker Chai Yeewei. From 2010 to 2012, she curated the dance film section of the Singapore Arts Festival, and was named one of Female Magazine’s “50 Most Inspiring Women” in 2010. In 2011, she was featured as one of the “Creative SHEroes, InsideOut” in Singapore, curated by Kelley Cheng with TEDxSingapore.

Yuni holds an M.A in Arts Management from LASALLE College of the Arts and is a Partner of Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking. She is currently Executive Director of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Zhang Wenjie

Festival Director

Zhang Wenjie is a film programmer. From 2003 – 2005, he headed The Substation Moving Images film programme where he initiated First Take and Singapore Short Cuts, two of the longest running and most established film series in Singapore. As head of the National Museum of Singapore Cinematheque (2005 – 2008, 2009 – 2014) Wenjie programmed and organised major retrospectives such as In His Time: The Films of Edward Yang and Majulah! The Film Music of Zubir Said and spearheaded the Cinematheque Quarterly film journal. In 2009, Wenjie was Festival Co-Director of the 22nd Singapore International Film Festival, and from 2010 – 2012, he was part of the project team that led the restoration of Usmar Ismail’s 1954 classic After the Curfew, which premiered at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. In 2013, he organised the first Film Restoration School Asia in Singapore in collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, Cineteca di Bologna and L’Immagine Ritrovata. He is currently Festival Director of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Karen Wai

Marketing Manager

Karen Wai is a filmmaker, curator, creative director and editor. She is also the co-founder of BooksActually, an establishment that has been setting the stage for independent literary voices since its inception in 2005. During her time with BooksActually, Karen co-founded the publishing house Math Paper Press, leading its publications in editorial and creative content and launching the works of emerging talents; and papetèrie Birds & Co., which features handbound bookmaking and experimental print traditions through original products. 

In 2006, she was named by The Straits Times as one of the “Top 10 Most Powerful People in the Arts” and has been mentioned in publications including Monocle and TIME. She has spearheaded and curated diverse exhibitions throughout her career including An Ode To Penguin in 2011; and co-directed the Festival Bookstore at the 2011 Singapore Writers’ Festival. In 2011, she was featured as one of the “Creative SHEroes, InsideOut” in Singapore, curated by Kelley Cheng with TEDxSingapore. Her personal writings have been published in Underscore magazine and her pencil illustrations have been featured in the Little Press Fair in Tokyo. Karen is a core member of the community empowerment arts collective, Diamonds On The Street, a social enterprise that works with marginalized communities to bring their stories to the forefront. She also makes documentaries with her husband, photographer Jean Paolo Ty, through their film studio, Parabole. She is currently the Marketing Manager of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Karen is a core member of the community empowerment arts collective, Diamonds On The Street, a social enterprise that works with marginalized communities to bring their stories to the forefront. She also makes documentaries with her husband, photographer Jean Paolo Ty, through their film studio, Parabole. She is currently the Marketing Manager of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Board Members

Mike Wiluan

Chairman
Chief Executive Officer of Infinite Studios

Mike Wiluan is the Chief Executive of Infinite Studios (formerly Infinite Frameworks), a multi- award winning media company well known for its production of films, television, visual effects and animation. In addition to driving the company’s business activities, Mike is an active Executive Producer and developer of television shows and feature films. Mike is currently producing a slate of genre features with long time collaborative partner, Eric Khoo, on a Joint Venture Label called ‘Gorylah Pictures’. His first feature film under this slate called ‘Darah’ was in cinemas in late 2009. Infinite Frameworks animation studio produced the animated Film ’Tatsumi’ of which Mike was Executive Producer. ‘Tatsumi’ which premiered in Cannes film festival in the ‘Un certain regard’ category. Mike is currently the Executive Producer of ‘Serangoon Road’- HBO ASIA’s first television series production with ABC Australia. In addition to the film business, Mike is the President of the TURI group which operates and owns boutique hotels, resorts and industrial estates in Indonesia.

Shaw Soo Wei

Vice Chairperson
Venture Partner, Gobi Partners

Over the past two years, she consulted for ScreenSingapore where she developed the production of 13 film premiere events. In 2008, she was Executive Director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. She was also a Board Member of the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association (HKAAA). In 2007, Soo Wei was the Marketing, Events and Brand Consultant for Disney – ABC International Television (Asia Pacific). SooWei started her career at Warner Bros Theatrical as a Publicist and Marketing Executive in 1997.

Michael Lim

Board Member
Assistant Director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Michael Lim is the Assistant Director in the Animation and Digital Arts Department of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Asia. He was on the pre-selection committee for the Sydney Film Festival in 2001-2 and the producer of the first SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival in 2008 held in Singapore. Michael also founded the Singapore Visual Effects and Animation Group. 

Janice Koh

Board Member
Actor and Nominated Member of Parliament

Nominated member of Parliament, Janice Koh is a stage and television actor. She has served on the Board of Directors of Wild Rice since 2012. Janice worked at the National Arts Council as Assistant Director (Grants) from 1999-2002 and an Arts Administrator (Strategic Planning) from 1997-1999. She holds a Masters in Theatre Administration from Goldsmith College.

Lee Chor Lin

Board Member
Chief Executive Officer of Singapore International Arts Festival

Chor Lin is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Arts Festival Limited after serving as Director of the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) since 2002. In 1986, she was appointed as Curator of the Southeast Asian Collection in the National Musuem of Singapore. Chor Lin was instrumental in the development of the Singapore Night Festival in 2008. Chor Lin is also recipient of the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France in 2009 and in 2012 Cavaliere, Ordine della Stella d’Italia.

Sebastian Tan

Board Member
Group Managing Director of Shooting Gallery Asia

Sebastian is currently the Group Managing Director of Shooting Gallery Asia, a company he co-founded since 1987. The Shooting Gallery has established itself as Singapore’s leading production hub. Sebastian recently was recognised with the Most Promising Entrepreneurship Award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneur Awards 2013.

Elim Chew

Board Member
Founder & President of 77th Street

Elim Chew is the Founder and President of 77th Street. Elim currently sits on over 20 boards and committees that includes the role of Board of Director of *SCAPE; Board of Director of School of The Arts; and a member of Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore. Among her many accolades, Elim was awarded the Most Promising Woman Entrepreneur in 2001 and Forbes Asia Hero of Philanthropy 2010. She was also the recipient of the Singapore Public Service Medal (PBM) in 2011.

Rena Lim

Board Member
Regional Director of CFO (HK)

Rena is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Australia Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Hong Kong Certified Public Accountant. She is also a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong). Rena is currently the Regional Director of CFO (HK) Limited.

Lynette Pang

Board Member 
Assistant Chief Executive of Marketing in Singapore Tourism Board

Lynette Pang is currently the Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing group at the Singapore Tourism Board. She was formerly Executive Director, Arts & Entertainment and Executive Director, F1 & Sports at STB. She joined the STB in 2003, first as Assistant Director, Entertainment, then subsequently as Assistant Director, Events & Entertainment Cluster Development. Before joining the STB, Lynette worked in major entertainment and new media companies such as Warner Bros. Theatrical, Yahoo! Asia, and the Singapore Repertory Theatre, as well as advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.

Chua Yong Heng

Board Member 

Yong Heng has more than 20 years of financial controllership experience in education, manufacturing and sales and distribution industries. Yong Heng has just left New York University Tisch School of the Arts, an IPC institution, as its Finance Director after a 4 years stint. Before that he was the Finance and Operations Director of East Asia Institute of Management, a private tertiary education institution he helped start up. He was also the Finance Director (Asia Pacific) for Global Knowledge Network; and the Regional Controller (ASEAN, India and Australia) for Raychem Corporation.

Annex C: Logo

The New Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) Logo

Designed by Festival Brand Partner, Bates Chi & Partners