The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has announced Ken Kwek’s deut feature Unlucky Plaza as its opening film, a first for a Singaporean film.
Unlucky Plaza had its world premiere last month in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival. SGIFF’s opening with a local feature is a timely gesture as the city state prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence in 2015. The festival, which is returning after a two-year hiatus, will screen over 100 titles from 50 countries in sections.
Among the early announcements are some of this year’s usual suspects such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes winner (and Turkey’s Foreign Language Oscar submission) Winter Sleep and Filipino director Lav Diaz’s From What Is Before, also seen in Toronto and a four gong winner at the recent Locarno festival. Diaz’s Norte, the End of History is also a Foreign Language Oscar submission.
SGIFF looks to Egypt for its Filmmaker in Focus this year, bringing Ahmad Abdalla El Sayed Abdelkader and his black and white Décor to the festival. Abdalla’s Cairo-set psychological drama will have its Asian premiere at SGIFF.
SGIFF runs 4 – 14 December as part of the Singapore Media Festival. The SMF also includes the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS) and the Asian Television Awards (ATA).