Max Currie’s much-travelled Everything We Loved books a ticket for Singapore, flying the NZ flag as the only local selection in the Singapore International Film Festival’s (SGIFF).
Also selected is Aaron Wilson’s Australia-Singapore co-production Canopy, which earlier this month played alongside Everything We Loved in St Tropez at the Festival des Antipodes. Canopy took the festival’s Best Feature gong; EWL’s Brett Stewart took the Best Actor gong. In Singpaore, both titles play in the non-competitive Cinema Today programme strand.
The festival will screen 147 feature and short films from 50 countries, selected from over 1,000 entries. The films will be screened across 11 sections, one of which is the Singapore Panorama. Including Canopy 12 Singaporean features are selected, alongside two programmes of Singaporean short films. Local short films also play in three other shorts programmes, including the Southeast Asian Short Film competition.
Among the local features are the previously announced opening film for the festival, Ken Kwek’s Toronto-premiered black comedy Unlucky Plaza and Han Yew Kuang’s Rubbers. The sex comedy stars Yeo Yann Yann, who was much awarded for her performance in Anthony Chen’s Cannes Camera d’Or winner Ilo Ilo, which SGIFF Executive Director Yuni Hadi produced.
Speaking at the festival launch on Tuesday, Hadi said, “The festival’s focus has always been to have a strong emphasis on Asia and Southeast Asia. What’s different this year is having a brand new team to look at Asian cinema from a fresh perspective.”
A look through the programme suggests that’s been the case, and a number of the titles selected – both local and international – challenge Singapore’s reputation of being (by Western standards) strict on censorship.
This year’s SGIFF will run under the umbrella of the Singapore Media Festival, 4 – 14 December. The other SMF events are the Asia TV Forum, Asian Television Awards and ScreenSingapore.