This year's SGIFF offers more opportunities for audience interaction through a series of talks, dialogues and masterclasses.
(Photo credit: SGIFF)
By Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop
Ever wondered how Jack Neo picks his cast for a quintessentially Singaporean story or how Simon Yam worked his way up the Hong Kong film industry throughout his 40-year career? The upcoming Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) offers even more opportunities for audience interaction this year including “SG Originals,” a new series of talks exploring a range of topics from virtual reality in short films to developing a screenplay.
As part of the Singapore Media Festival, this year’s SGIFF offers a cinematic feast of 161 feature and short films, which will surely sate the film lover’s appetite. But there’s more – this year, there will be multiple opportunities to meet and hear from key players in the film industry through a series of “In Conversation” talks with filmmakers and their cast in attendance for pre-show or post-show events, as well as “Masterclasses”.
Here are some sessions to look out for:
- Actor Unscripted with Jack Neo (Nov 27, 11am) — From I Not Stupid and Homerun to the highly successful Ah Boys to Men series, film director Jack Neo has produced many commercial and critical hits, cornering the comedy market in Singapore while touching on some significant local societal issues. If you’re a fan, this is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the industry veteran as he discusses his casting process, as well as writing and directing techniques.
- In Conversation with ’Mrs K’ (Nov 27, 3pm) — Malaysian New Wave director Ho Yuhang’s latest film Mrs. K, gives an Asian twist to the Spaghetti Western genre, which incorporates martial arts. The film features an international cast including iconic Hong Kong actors Kara Wai and Simon Yam, as well as Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai and Malaysian actor Faizal Hussein. Kara Wai, Wu Bai and actor Siow Li Xuan from Malaysia will be attending the talk with director Ho – join them in an exclusive dialogue to find out more behind-the-scenes.
- In Conversation with ‘The Road to Mandalay’ (Dec 1, 3pm) — This Special Presentation film premieres in Singapore at the Festival and will be attended by the director, Midi Z and members of the cast. The Myanmar-born Taiwanese film director’s third film, Ice Poison (2014) was named Best International Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival and represented Taiwan in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. Listen to one of the most exciting young directors from the region talk about his latest film, The Road to Mandalay, which garnered six Golden Horse Award nominations and was recently given the Fedeora Award for best film at Venice Day.
- In Conversation with Simon Yam (Dec 4, 11am) — The charismatic Hong Kong actor will be in town to receive the festival’s Cinema Legend Award. Yam became a household name with his TV role in Return of the Condor Heroes (1983) and has since appeared in more than 200 movies, including classics likes Full Contact and PTU. The versatile actor remains in demand and is appearing in two films showing at the festival, Mrs K. and The Midnight After by director Fruit Chan. He will be looking back over his career spanning four decades and sharing about his journey in cinema.
The 27th edition of SGIFF will run from 23 November to 4 December 2016 as part of the Singapore Media Festival.