Singapore International Film Festival returns for 26th edition

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns for its 26th edition from 26th November to 6th December 2015! Film submissions are now open till 21st August 2015 at www.sgiff.com/submissions. It will consider all feature films and Asian short films that are at least a Singapore premiere, and have not been broadcasted on TV nor been made available on the Internet. In addition, SGIFF also announced the call for applications for its Southeast Asian Film Lab and Youth Jury & Critics Programme.

In 2014, the 25th SGIFF had made a strong comeback to the regional film circuit, unveiling 147 movies from 50 countries, supported by strong ticket sales. Stellar film personalities that graced the festival included acclaimed film directors John Woo, Wang Xiaoshuai and Eric Khoo, actors Chen Bolin and Tong Dawei, and actresses Zhang Ziyi, Juliette Binoche, Cheng Pei Pei and Natassja Kinski. SGIFF’s competition section, the Silver Screen Awards, also presented a total of 9 prizes to emerging and talented filmmakers in Asian Feature Films and Southeast Asian Short Films. This year, the Silver Screen Awards takes place on 5th December 2015.

The SGIFF Southeast Asian (SEA) Film Lab in 2015 will be led by award-winning film producer Terence Chang (Broken Arrow, Face/Off, Red Cliff) with filmmakers Yong Mun Chee (Singapore) and Sherad Anthony Sanchez (Philippines) taking on mentor roles. Terence, Mun Chee and Sherad will share their filmmaking experiences and bring on board different perspectives because of the diversity of their backgrounds, pushing participants to reach their potential.

Terence Chang, Head of Southeast Asian Film Lab comments: “I am excited about meeting new filmmaking talents in Southeast Asia through SGIFF’s Film Lab. I look forward to being in Singapore this December!”

The 6-day SEA Film Lab focuses on story development for the successful applicants, who will be working on their first feature films, and includes access to the Festivalʼs visiting filmmakers. A Most Promising Project Award is presented at the end of the Lab at SGIFF’s Silver Screen Awards. Malaysian filmmaker Bradley Liew was recipient of the award last year with his film project Awit Ng Puntod and says, “SGIFF’s film lab was a fantastic opportunity to get feedback and needed advice in order for my film to evolve.” The film is slated to shoot at the end of the year. For 2015, 10 participants are expected to be selected for the Lab, and will compete for the Most Promising Project (cash prize of S$5,000) presented by high-flying Singapore director, Anthony Chen’s film company, Giraffe Pictures.

“SGIFFʼs SEA Film Lab champions the voice of young filmmakers, and aims to develop cross-cultural dialogue and meaningful collaboration that foster a sense of community. A strong Southeast Asian network is needed for successful partnerships and co-productions, and SGIFFʼs Lab plays that role as a connector,” says Yuni Hadi, SGIFF’s Executive Director.

SGIFF’s Youth Jury & Critics Programme seeks to nurture a new generation of critical writers on cinema from the region. The workshop will take place on Saturday each week from 31st October, as well as 28th and 29th November. Participants will be educated on the historical and cultural significance of past and present Southeast Asian works, how film theory and close readings of films greatly benefit film writing for a wider audience, as well as different interviewing approaches. The Programme will culminate in a live film journal created by the participants on the festival’s website, Youth Jury Coverage, extensively covering the works in competition in the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition. Finally, the Youth Jury will vote on the Youth Jury Prize-winning film during the Silver Screen Awards. It is open to post-secondary students based in Singapore and the programme is expected to take in 12 to 15 participants. This year’s Youth Jury & Critics Programme will be led by UK-based film academic and curator, May Adadol Ingawanij (Thailand).

“Critical thinking and writing about cinema had always played an important role in its development. Southeast Asian cinema experienced rapid growth in the recent years and it is crucial to document, examine and chart its progress. We started the Youth Jury & Critics Programme last year to nurture and encourage young writers from Singapore to discuss, think and write about the cinema of our region, and it had been absolutely inspiring to hear their voices. And this year, we can’t wait to meet the new cohort and to discover the stories they will tell us,” says Zhang Wenjie, SGIFF’s Festival Director.

Both the Southeast Asian Film Lab and the Youth Jury & Critics Programme were first launched in 2014. For more details, please visit the SGIFF website at http://sgiff.com.

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