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Films from the past to be screened at “Spotlight on Singapore Cinema”

3 August 2015 - Singaporeans can soon catch a glimpse of life in early Singapore through five screenings of films made in the 1950s to 70s, which is set to open for free to the public at Capitol Theatre this month.

Singaporeans can soon catch a glimpse of life in early Singapore through five screenings of films made in the 1950s to 70s, which is set to open for free to the public at Capitol Theatre this month.

In celebration of SG50, the Media Development Authority (MDA) announced that tickets to Spotlight on Singapore Cinema will be available to the public from SISTIC starting today.

Mr Gabriel Lim, Chief Executive Officer of MDA, said, "Singapore's media industry has played an important role in capturing and telling our stories, through films, books, the arts, etc. By screening these early films, we hope to keep Singapore's unique heritage alive, and enable audiences to appreciate how far Singapore and our media industry has developed over the past 50 years."

The four-day event to be held at Capitol Theatre from 20- 23 Aug will kick off with a special opening screening of Malay period drama, Chuchu Datok Merah. Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, will grace the opening event.  The opening event will also have a special 1950s theme to recreate the nostalgia and movie-going experience in that era.

The four other films to be screened at Spotlight on Singapore Cinema include Cathay-Keris' first post-war Chinese film, The Lion City (狮子城) (1960), early P. Ramlee drama Patah Hati (1952), Hokkien opera Taming of the Princess (醉打金枝) (1958) and Tamil romantic drama Ninaithale Inikkum (1979).

Mr Joachim Ng, Director of the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), part of MDA, said, "Films often offer rich perspectives into what a culture and society may deem as significant at that point in time. We are thus excited to share these films with the public to allow Singaporeans to glean interesting insights into some of the practices, values and landscape in Singapore then."

"The changing landscapes of Singapore have been documented and remembered through many 'on-location' scenes from these old films including places that have undergone urban redevelopment. Through this initiative, Singaporean of all ages can appreciate and celebrate the developments that have taken place in Singapore," said Toh Hun Ping, a video artist and film researcher.

Four of the films, The Lion City, Chuchu Datok Merah, Patah Hati and Taming of the Princess, were restored by the Asian Film Archive (AFA)- a subsidiary of the National Library Board- where possible, to bring back their original glory. This required the films to go through a highly specialised and complex restoration process. The films have also been subtitled so a wider audience can understand and appreciate these films.

Karen Chan, Executive Director of the Asian Film Archive, said, "We believe it is important to restore these films as part of our efforts to preserve our unique cinematic and cultural heritage. These films have been restored from the sole surviving reels of the films, and they capture important moments of Singapore's socio-political, economic, cultural and historical scenes. We hope that through Spotlight on Singapore Cinema, Singaporeans will be able to enjoy and appreciate these films."

Spotlight on Singapore Cinema is an initiative led by the Media Development Authority (MDA) in collaboration with the National Library Board, National Archives of Singapore, Asian Film Archive, and the National Museum of Singapore Cinematheque.

With the screenings held at the historic Capitol Theatre, today's audiences will be able to experience going to the same cinema that their parents and grandparents visited in the 1950s, which makes the screening even more meaningful. Hand-painted film posters similar to movie posters in the past were recreated for each of the five films and will also be on display at the venue.

Tickets to the event are free-of-charge. Members of the public can book tickets at all SISTIC outlets or via SISTIC's website and hotline.

More information on the screening details can be found in theAnnex (278.67KB).

More information on the five films can be found in the factsheet (865.28KB), as well as the SG50 portal at on Singapore Cinema.aspx

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About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

The Media Development Authority of Singapore ( promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (


A bout Singapore Film Commission

SFC was formed in 1998 and is part of the Media Development Authority (MDA) since 2003. The SFC is made up of an advisory committee comprising 15 members from the film, arts and cultural community, and is supported by a Secretariat within the MDA. The SFC has, over the years, supported more than 600 short films, scripts, feature films, as well as film-related events in Singapore that showcase homegrown talent and works. Some notable films by Singapore filmmakers include Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen), Ah Boys to Men (Jack Neo), Sandcastle (Boo Junfeng) and 881 (Royston Tan).