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Singapore Film Classics Revisited at France's Centre Pompidou

Dated: 27 January 2010

Singapore film classics from as far back as the 1960s are being showcased alongside contemporary works in a first-ever film retrospective at the world-renown Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. Entitled "Singapour, Malaisie: le Cinema!" or Singapore, Malaysia: Cinema!, the two-and-a-half-month event which took off on 18 December 2009 and will run through to 1 March 2010, features 45 films spanning 55 years of film-making history in Singapore and Malaysia.

Jointly presented by Cathay Organization and Shaw Organization along with the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), an arm of the Media Development Authority (MDA), the retrospective aims to provide European audiences insights into Singapore’s unique and distinct heritage. It also highlights the evolution of Singapore filmmaking through the screening of 30 Singapore films - 15 from pre-independence Singapore and 15 contemporary and award-winning works including ‘Invisible City’ by Tan Pin Pin, ‘I Not Stupid’ by Jack Neo and ’Be With Me’ by Eric Khoo. Please refer to Annex A for the list of Singapore films.

Said Dr Christopher Chia, MDA's Chief Executive Officer: “The screenings will help to inform audiences about Singapore’s rich cinematic heritage, and the evolution of our filmmaking over the years. From Malay classics which played to packed houses in the 60s to more recent award-winning titles which have travelled the international film festival circuit, the films are a lens to the journey of a young country and its people experiencing tremendous change and progress over the years. That these films are being showcased in France also underscore a renewed interest in Asian stories, themes and history.”

Reiterating the value of the retrospective is Sylvie Pras, Head of Cinema at the Centre Pompidou, "the Cinemas of the Centre Pompidou deem it very important for the French audience to discover new cinematographic territories and Singaporean films, past and present, count as one of the most important discoveries in Asian cinema."

Singapore, Malaysia: Cinema! comes off the back of a cultural cooperation agreement signed in January 2009 by Singapore’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the French Republic, to promote and encourage the development of exchanges, artists in residency programmes and cooperative activities in the fields of art and culture. The retrospective, therefore, underscores the commitment and determination of both countries to intensify two-way cultural exchanges and cooperation.

Since the opening of the event a month ago, more than 30 films have been screened, half of which are from Singapore. These included ‘Mee Pok Man’ which was screened on 6 January 2010 to approximately 200 guests including Singapore’s Ambassador to Paris, H.E. Mr Burhan Gafoor, and his wife. Its director Eric Khoo of ‘My Magic’ fame also spoke at the screening. For details of the screenings, please visit

While many of the films are screened on celluloid, the Cathay and Shaw classics as well as several contemporary titles are being shown digitally. Working on the digitisation and restoration of the selected films were local companies, Alternative Content Distribution Network (ACDN) and BlackMagic Design.

ACDN worked on digitising more than 20 of the films using its patent pending 2K digital cinema server system (Media Server Generation3). Making its maiden European appearance at Centre Pompidou, the system aims to revolutionise film distribution through encoding and digitisation. In addition, the digital cinema system can support films in High Definition (HD) and subtitles of any language.

BlackMagic Design worked on restoring the 1965 classic ‘Jiran Sekampong’ by prolific filmmaker Hussain Hanif. As Singapore’s only Digital Intermediate facility, BlackMagic Design first scanned the film from its original 16mm format and then utilised the DaVinci Revival systems to remove dirt and dust, stabilize weave, repair splice jumps and de-warp damaged areas of the film. BlackMagic Design also performed a restoration grade on ‘Jiran Sekampong’ using the high performance DaVinci Resolve data grading system to seat the blacks and improve the overall contrast levels in order to return the film, as far as possible, to its original appearance. Moreover, the film was delivered in HD format.

Centre Pompidou is a renowned contemporary arts institution with a visitor attendance second only to the Musee du Louvre. For over 30 years, the Centre's cinema programmes have included retrospectives of celebrated filmmakers and artists such as Werner Herzog, Jean-Luc Godard, Martin Scorsese, Akira Kurosawa and others.


About the Media ​​Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA​​) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Trusted Global Capital for New Asia Media. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote industry growth in film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit and

Singapore Film Comm​​​ission (SFC)

The Singapore Film Commission (SFC) is an agency under the Medi​​a Development Authority (MDA) that facilitates and assists film development for Singapore. The SFC’s key areas of focus are: Funding, Facilitation and Promotion. Its mission is to nurture, support, and promote Singapore talent in film-making, the production of Singapore films, and a film industry in Singapore. For more information please visit,