ATTENDANCE AT THE 11-DAY EVENT INCREASED BY 20 PER CENT OVER 2014’S EDITION

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), which ended its 11-day run on 6 December, drew over 12,000 visitors from Singapore and across the region. This was 20 per cent more than the previous year’s attendance of 10,000 festival-goers. The festival showcased a total of 146 feature and short films from 51 countries. The various post-screening talks and masterclasses with acclaimed filmmakers were well-attended by festival-goers. Above all, the festival saw a total of 14 sold-out screenings, with five being local productions.

With the Silver Screen Awards as an awards component, the Festival also recognizes excellence in Asian cinema in two main categories – the Asian Feature Film Competition, and the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition. Unlike previous editions of the festival, SGIFF celebrated the closing of the Festival by screening The Fourth Direction, the 2015 Silver Screen Awards’ Best Asian Feature Film and Sinking A Sailing Sea, the winning film of the Audience Choice Award.

The SGIFF is the 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 recognised worldwide for its focus on Asian filmmakers and the promotion of Southeast Asian films. Committed to nurturing and championing local and regional talents in the art of filmmaking, the SGIFF serves as a catalyst in igniting public interest in the arts, and encouraging artistic dialogue and cultural exchanges. Audiences can enjoy many activities including film screenings, masterclasses, fringe events, industry discussions and awards ceremonies

HIGHLIGHTS IN 2015


OPENING FILM

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PANAY, by Cheng Yu-chieh, Lekal Sumi

Set against the idyllic rolling rice fields and the sapphire Pacific Ocean – with the ongoing threat of bulldozers signaling a change in the landscape and the peoples’ livelihood, Panay follows the ebb and flow of a indigenous community’s struggles, and in a wider sense, a reality that many of us face today with urban development and the gentrification of tradition.

Besides being nominated for 3 awards in the recent Golden Horse, Panay won the Audience Choice Award at Taipei Film Festival 2015 and makes its International premiere at SGIFF Opening night.

The screening on 26 November will be accompanied by director and cast in attendance.

Watch the trailer here.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION

The Special Presentation segment is a gala showcase of some of the most talked about and highly anticipated new films from today’s leading and up-and-coming filmmakers! The screenings will be accompanied by director and cast in attendance.

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THE LAUNDRYMAN, by Lee Chung

Casts: Chang Hsiao-Chuan, Sui Tang, Wan Qian, Yeo Yann Yann

A laundry shop isn’t quite what it seems. Beneath its veneer, the beautiful proprietor A-Gu (Sonia Sui) manages a group of contract killers for hire, and the chemicals and facilities present in the shop comes in quite handy to "wash" out the evidence. The Laundryman is a high-octane and vividly lensed genre-blender, utilising a riot of styles and references all at once.

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THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY, by Matthew Brown

Casts: Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Stephen Fry, Toby Jones, Devika Bhise

Based on a true story and aided by stunning performances by Patel and Irons, Matthew Brown’s directorial debut brings to life the brilliance of a man whose magical mind and pivotal theories brought him from obscurity to greatness redefined.

SINGAPORE CLASSICS

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This year, the Festival celebrate the resurgence of local cinema with two newly-restored iconic Singapore films - Eric Khoo’s Mee Pok Man and Yonfan’s Bugis Street Redux, both marking their 20th anniversaries with special cast reunions.

SILVER SCREEN AWARDS

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The Silver Screen Awards is the most awaited segment of the Singapore International Film Festival. This year’s festival edition will expand with two new awards – the Cinema Legend Award which will be presented to internationally acclaimed actress and producer Michelle Yeoh in recognition of her outstanding achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on screen; and the Audience Choice Award , which is open to all feature films of the Festival by audience vote.

Asian Feature Film Categories

Best Film

Special Mention

Best Director

Best Performance

Southeast Asian Short Film Categories

Best Southeast Asian Short Film

Special Mention

Best Director

Best Singapore Short Film

Youth Jury Prize

AWARD WINNERS


Cinema Legend Award_ Michelle Yeoh

Cinema Legend Award

Head of the Southeast Asian Film Lab, Terence Chang (left) together with veteran MediaCorp actress Zoe Tay (right), presented Actress Michelle Yeoh with the inaugural Cinema Legend Award!

Honarary Award - Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Honorary Award

Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf was conferred the Honorary Award in recognition of his lifelong dedication and contribution to the art of cinema as a form of social activism.

Best Asian Film - Fourth Direction

Best Asian Feature Film

Guvinder Singh's "Fourth Direction" was named Best Film in the Asian Feature Film Competition.

Best SEA Short FilmThe Fox Exploits The Tigers Might

Best Southeast Asian Short Film

Head of the jury for the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition and homegrown director, Boo Jun Feng (left), and jury member, actress and director Sharifah Amani (right), with Indonesian director Lucky Kuswandi. Kuswandi received the Best Director and Best Film awards for his film "The Fox Exploits the Tiger's Might".

Best Singapore short Film_Gladys Ng_2

Best Singapore Short Film Award

Gladys Ng took home the Best Singapore Short Film Award for her short film "My Father After Dinner". With her are Joachim Ng, Director of Singapore Film Commission (left), and director Eric Khoo (right).

Audience Choice Award_Sailing A Sinking SEA

Audience Choice Awards

The audience chose Sailing A Sinking Sea (2015) by Olivia Wyatt as their favourite feature film in the inaugural Audience Choice Awards.

Sailing A Sinking Sea expresses the Moken way of life - one which is seamlessly woven into the sea. With a name meaning Sinking (Mo) and Water (Ken), the Moken is a stateless, seafaring community situated between Thailand and Myanmar. Their whole social fabric rests precariously on water today; slowly dissipating due to the effect of modernisation.

Browse the winners for 2015 Silver Screen Awards here.

If you have missed the Red Carpet event at the Silver Screen Awards, check out some of the best moments here.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN FILM LAB

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Following a successful inaugural year in 2014, the SGIFF Southeast Asian Film Lab — a 6-day story development lab for emerging filmmakers returns in 2015. Led by award-winning film producer Terence Chang (Broken Arrow, Face/Off, Red Cliff) together with Southeast Asian filmmakers Yong Mun Chee (Singapore) and Sherad Anthony Sanchez (Philippines) as mentors, the film lab will end with a pitch in front of an industry jury which will award $5,000 to the most promising project at the Silver Screen Award.

Click here for more information on the participants and updates.

YOUTH JURY & CRITICS PROGRAMME

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SGIFF’s Youth Jury & Critics Programme seeks to nurture a new generation of critical writers on cinema from the region. 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. This year’s Youth Jury & Critics Programme will be led by UK-based film academic and curator, May Adadol Ingawanij (Thailand).

Click here for more information on the participants and updates.