25th Singapore International Film Festival Reeled in More Than 10,000 Audiences


The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) came to a close yesterday, reeling in more than 10,000 audiences.

The festival also saw a total of 23 sold out screenings out of the total 147 films screened over the 11-day festival. Out of the total sold out screenings, seven are local feature films and two are programmes for local short films.

Some of the star power that turned up for the festival’s 25th anniversary included worldrenowned auteur John Woo, actors Tong Dawei and Chen Bolin, actresses Zhang Ziyi, Juliette Binoche, Cheng Pei Pei, and Natassja Kinski.

John Woo (centre) with his wife Annie Woo (right) and daughter Angeles Woo - photo by Bonnie YapZhang Ziyi with Juliette Binoche - photo credit Bonnie YapCheng Pei Pei 1

More than 100 directors, producers, actors, and actresses from countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Egypt, China, Japan, South Korea also descended in Singapore for what was a vibrant and thrilling festival, filled with meaningful post-screening discussions, master classes, and a film lab.

Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF said: “SGIFF this year brought together some of the most exciting names in the new generation of Southeast Asian cinema where new friendships
have formed. We’ve had such wonderful feedback about the master classes, the Southeast Asian Film Lab and the screenings, allowing us to restart the festival on a very positive note.

03-Flats post-screening Q&A session - photo by Jean Paolo TySONY DSC

Several young filmmakers met their personal film heroes through SGIFF, and this is always a wonderful experience. It has also been very encouraging to have the SEA film community embrace SGIFF so warmly. The most meaningful part for me is personally meeting all the directors and producers, and welcoming them to Singapore.”

She added: “We have invested our resources into creating platforms that enable Southeast Asian voices to shine and these include the first ever Southeast Asian Film Lab, the Southeast Asian Short Film competition as well as the Youth Jury Programme, an initiative that culminated with participants giving out the Youth Jury Award for the Southeast Asian Short Film competition at the Silver Screen Awards.”

Red Amnesia director Wang Xiaoshuai (centre) with his producer Liu Xuan at the post-screening discussion - photo by Ho Choon HiongSONY DSC

The festival closed with In the Absence of the Sun by Indonesian director Lucky Kuswandi, who was joined by producer Sammaria Simanjuntak, actresses Adinia Wirasti, Ina Panggabean, Dayu Wijanto, Marissa Anita, and Dira Sugandi on the final red carpet on
Sunday evening.

Singaporean director Anthony Chen of Ilo Ilo fame said: “It’s a brilliant comeback for the Singapore International Film Festival and I’m so proud of what the team has achieved. It is the best edition of the festival I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see it grow in stature in years to come.”

Award-winning Chinese auteur Wang Xiaoshuai commented: “The films selected for the Singapore International Film Festival are of a very high standard, and the festival provides a platform for original, creative and independent-spirited young filmmakers to take flight.”

SGIFF focuses on groundbreaking Asian cinema and discovering new film talents from Southeast Asia, and is known for its dynamic film programming and commitment to the development of a vibrant local film culture.

Here are the 23 sold-out films at this year’s festival:
1. Unlucky Plaza *
2. The Crossing
3. Clouds of Sils Maria
4. Singapore Panorama Shorts 1 *
5. Lilting
6. Leviathan
7. Ms J Contemplates Her Choice *
8. Stray Dogs
9. Little People, Big Dreams *
10. Microphone
11. 03-FLATS *
12. Kabukicho Love Hotel
13. As You Were *
14. Southeast Asian Short Films Competition Programme 1*
15. We Were There
16. Lilting (second screening)
17. Rubbers *
18. The Monk
19. Meeting Dr Sun
20. Lang Tong *
21. Forma
22. Revivre
23. Winter Sleep
* Denotes local films