The 28th Singapore International Film Festival Successfully Closes With More Than 14,000 Audiences And 31 Sold-Out Screenings

Crowd favourite Call Me By Your Name by Luca Guadagino was awarded the Audience Choice Award this year.

Singapore, 3 December 2017 – The 28th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) came to a close today, after 11 days of immersive festivities that celebrated and inspired the discovery of independent cinema. More than 14,000 festival goers from Singapore and across the region were drawn to its film screenings, panel discussions, talks and masterclasses.

Putting the spotlight on cinematic works from the region, the internationally-recognised film festival showcased 112 feature and short films from 42 countries, with 31 sold out screenings – the highest since the Festival returned in 2014. Festival-goers were also enthralled by the short film programmes this year, with four sold-out Southeast Asian Short Film and Singapore Panorama Short Film programmes. This is a testament to the growing support and interest towards independent cinema.

Today, the Festival also announced Call Me By Your Name by director Luca Guadagnino as the Audience Choice Award recipient this year, after the active voting by festival goers over the 11 days. The wonderfully sensual coming of age queer drama features a whirlwind love story between a 17-year-old youth and his father’s 24-year-old research assistant. It was also the first film to have both its screenings sell out at this year’s Festival. The film will be rescreened at the National Museum of Singapore today, alongside the winners of this year’s Best Southeast Asian Short Film, Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month by Carlo Francisco Manatad, Best Singapore Short Film Between Us Two by Tan Wei Keong, and Best Asian Feature Film Disappearance by Ali Asgari, which were revealed at the Silver Screen Awards last night.

Glitz and glamour descended on our shores as the Festival also saw a star-studded lineup of distinguished film personalities from all around the world who met with festival goers at the various red-carpet galas at the Marina Bay Sands and Capitol Theatre, and passionate sharing sessions by filmmakers and cast at masterclasses and talks. This included international icon David Beckham, Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran, Crazy Rich Asian actor Henry Golding, Academy Awards-nominated director Shekhar Kapur, esteemed cinematographer Christopher Doyle, veteran Indian actress Waheeda Rehman, Japanese personalities Joe Odagiri, Koji Yakusho, Takumi Saitoh, Shioli Kutsuna, Shinobu Terajima, and Indonesian actress Marsha Timothy.

The Festival also concluded its inaugural Southeast Asian Producers Network which brought together the movers and shakers of the regional producing industry, who shared their experiences and the art of their craft with an eager audience.

SGIFF Executive Director, Yuni Hadi, said, “Putting the Festival together has always been an inspiring journey as we delve deep into the creativity and bold artistry present in our regional cinema, while keeping an open mind to new developments that present opportunities to the industry. As a platform that aims to be a tastemaker in inspiring the discovery of independent cinema, we are heartened to see fruitful dialogues facilitated; achievements of our regional talents celebrated; and new friendships forged. We hope that this edition of the Festival has sparked new perspectives in our festival goers, and we look forward to more joining us in this journey to embrace the future of cinema.”

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). SGIFF’s Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Marina Bay Sands, Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen, Official International Realtor, List Sotheby’s, Official Automobile, BMW, and Official Airline, Singapore Airlines.

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Please refer to the appended annexes for more information.

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: Quotes from local and international filmmakers on the 28th SGIFF

Shekhar Kapur

Director of Oscar-winning film Elizabeth and Head Juror of the Asian Feature Film Competition

“Media is one of the largest growing businesses in the world because it encompasses not only film and television, but increasingly technology as well. Having the Singapore International Film Festival in a country where technology is very developed makes it the core to disseminate such knowledge and products. As more people will attend the festival, it will eventually become the prime Asian marketplace for festivals, and people will recognise that Asian films are becoming more important in the world. “

Jenny Suen and Christopher Doyle

Director and Co-Director of The White Girl

“This was our first time at SGIFF and we hope it won’t be our last. We ran into old friends and met new ones drinking beer, eating hawker food on the street, talking film. We screened our film in a palace. It was the perfect blend of high and low. What more do you want from a film festival?”

Mouly Surya

Director of Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, and mentor of Southeast Asian Film Lab

“Through this festival, I’ve learnt a lot about the Singaporean film industry and that of the neighbouring countries around. I think we really need these kinds of festivals as it is a very good hub for people out there to get to know about Southeast Asia, and that’s why I really encourage and support it. I was also one of the mentors in the Southeast Asian Film Lab and through that, I see these talents in Southeast Asia and such programmes are important as I believe Southeast Asia is the future.”

Ana Urushadze

Director of Scary Mother and recipient of Inspiring Woman in Film Award 

“It felt amazing! There’s so much good energy, and I’ve met many nice and interesting people. This is my first time in Singapore and I have made many fond memories during my time in the festival. Every festival is important because you meet people and learn about new things. You get inspired by others, and I hope I inspired others too.”

Shioli Kutsuna

Actress in Oh Lucy! and Deadpool 2

“The last time I came to Singapore was 10 years ago, and I’m surprised how the city has changed. Marina Bay Sands wasn’t even here when I came last time. It’s nice to see how Singapore has a film festival like this to celebrate all the special films out there.”

Inch Chua

Singaporean musician

“This year’s Festival has had an amazing curated line-up of films. As a woman, I think it’s very exciting that we are seeing several strong films by female filmmakers. Most of the films that I watched this year had very compelling storylines. From what I’ve heard, the local films also received roaring reception at the Festival. Congratulations to a successful28th Singapore International Film Festival. I’m so excited for next year, and many years to come because I know it’s going to grow even bigger.”

Joel Choo

MediaCorp actor

“I think the Singapore International Film Festival is a really good platform to showcase the talent we have in Asia. And it casts spotlight on these Asian movies and gives them exposure. It had been a fun experience to have everyone come along to the Festival, interact and talk about films together.”

Anthony Chen

Singaporean filmmaker

“SGIFF is the most important festival for the whole of Southeast Asia because this is where we discover the best young talent across the region. I grew up at the Festival and learnt about cinema here. I was a volunteer then at 17, 18 years old. I tore tickets; I sold T-shirts; and this was what got me so far.”

Philip Lee

Producer, and Head Mentor of Southeast Asian Film Lab

“I think it’s very exciting this year. I see a lot of talents here and I hope there will be more talents coming to the Singapore International Film Festival to showcase their works and share their experience next year.”

Anucha Boonyawatana

Director of Malila: The Farewell Flower and recipient of the Best Director of the Asian Feature Film Competition at Singapore International Film Festival

“The Singapore International Film Festival is the most important film festival in Southeast Asia, and this is my continent as well. Many Thai directors have shown their films at SGIFF, and I’m glad that I’m here. I’m also very happy that my film screening was wellreceived by the audiences here.”

Garin Nugroho

Indonesian filmmaker and recipient of the Honorary Award at the Singapore International Film Festival

“Singapore International Film Festival is like a small harbour in a big continent, as it connects Southeast Asia cinema to the world. The Festival today feels like a quantum leap from history, a jump from 25 years ago when my first feature film was screened! I’m so proud and happy for the new generation of filmmakers, and their films which are shown at the Festival. This event is a culmination of their level of enthusiasm, happiness and carries the weight of an emotional history in filmmaking. Having seen many of these new films at the Festival, such as Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, and The Seen andUnseen, they have reaffirmed my belief in the bright future of Southeast Asian cinema.”

Annex B: List of Sold Out Screenings at the 28th SGIFF

  1. Blank 13 (2 screenings)
  2. BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  3. Call Me By Your Name (2 screenings)
  4. Closeness
  5. Columbus
  6. Diamond Dogs
  7. Disappearance
  8. Dragonfly Eyes
  9. God’s Own Country
  10. Malila: The Farewell Flower
  11. Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts (2 screenings
  12. Mutafukaz
  13. No Date No Signature
  14. Shuttle Life (2 screenings)
  15. Singapore Panorama Short Film Programme 1
  16. Singapore Panorama Short Film Programme 2
  17. Nyi Ma Lay and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 1
  18. Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 2
  19. TalkingCock The Movie
  20. The Florida Project
  21. The Great Buddha+ (2 screenings)
  22. The Killing of A Sacred Deer (2 screenings)
  23. The Square
  24. The Talisman
  25.  Silver Screen Awards – Audience Choice Award Winner (Call Me By Your Name)

Annex C: Quotes by Official Sponsors – IMDA, IWC Schaffhausen, List Sotheby’s, BMW and Singapore Airlines

Mr Joachim Ng

Director of the Singapore Film Commission, IMDA

“The 2017 edition of SGIFF is testimony to its continued commitment to showcasing quality films that matter. SE Asia film makers are ascendant, and SGIFF, being an integral part of Singapore Media Festival, is an important platform to inspire and celebrate the next generation of storytellers from Singapore and the region. International audiences can look forward to more diverse and impactful stories arising from the festival in the years to come.”

Stanislas Rambaud

Managing Director of IWC Schaffhausen South East Asia

“IWC’s love and passion for cinema transcends time. And, for three years now, the brand is very proud to have been part of a vision that’s committed to celebrating not only the fascinating world of independent films but, more importantly, the rising stars behind the camera in South East Asia.”

Leong Boon Hoe

Chief Operating Officer of List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore  

“List Sotheby’s International Realty Singapore opened in March 2017 as the List Sotheby’s International Realty platform’s Southeast Asia Headquarters.  One of our key objectives is to promote and facilitate the synergies amongst our offices in Southeast Asia, tap on each other’s talents and experiences and collectively promote extraordinary properties and life style to our valued clients. In this aspect, we share the same belief of nurturing talents, curate the best content and luxury estate for our clients, and in so doing help in our small ways shape the luxury real estate agency industry. It is so timely that this year, SGIFF is complementing the Southeast Asia Film Lab and putting excellent producers and films within SEA Network together. While industry is different, we share the same philosophy.  List Sotheby’s International Realty Singapore is proud to be the sponsor and as the Official International Realtor for this year’s Singapore International Film Festival, supporting its efforts in showing the best productions from Singapore and Southeast Asia.”

Paul de Courtois

Managing Director, BMW Group Asia

“The BMW Group has supported the film industry for over 70 years and is honoured to have been a part of the Singapore International Film Festival for the very first time. In addition to witnessing numerous meaningful works of art, the display of togetherness, cultural diversity and commitment to the cause left a deep impression on everyone involved. We look forward to furthering our successful partnership with the Singapore International Film Festival to inspire creativity, passion and dedication.”

Campbell Wilson

Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing

“The Singapore International Film Festival is a prestigious platform for talented filmmakers to showcase their works to a global audience. Singapore Airlines is honoured to have been able to play a role as the Official Airline and bring the finest films and their creators from all across the world to take centrestage in Singapore.”