The 31st Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is here, this time in a hybrid format with cinema and online film screenings.
Happening from 26 November to 6 December 2020, this year’s lineup includes 70 films by auteurs from 49 countries. These films are tied together by the themes of our search for identity, community, existence and desire for change.
“We are pleased to bring the best, most impactful, moving and thought-provoking films to the festival, to engage with audiences and the communities at large, because we believe a film festival can play a revitalising role in this unprecedented time.”SGIFF’s Artistic Director, Kuo Ming-Jung
Of the lineup, 22 are Singapore films. Here is a list of programmes that caught our eye:
Tiong Bahru Social Club (2020), a debut feature film directed by Singaporean filmmaker Tan Bee Thiam, will be opening the festival. Satirical in nature but deep in meaning, this film is about a micro-managed housing community, serving an amusing take on the ways we live today. With his film, Tan aims to ‘bring [viewers] joy, as [they] reflect on the absurdities and priorities of life’.
The Smell of Coffee (2020) by Nishok Nishok, which premiered at the 2020 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, is also slated to make an appearance in the festival. The story revolves around Raga’s journey of self-discovery in the wake of his grandfather’s passing. Nominated for the Silver Screen Awards’ Southeast Asian Short film competition, this film is a bittersweet commentary of the love and grief in one’s life.
Lastly, distinguished Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama and acclaimed Hong Kong director Ann Hui will be giving talks on the journey of their careers as part of the In Conversation series. For aspiring filmmakers or curious film lovers, this is definitely a segment to look out for.
Of course, there are many other programmes to look forward to, such as SGIFF’S Asian Feature Competition and Singapore Panorama. While face-to-face interactions will be minimised in cinemas, the Festival will still provide festival-goers with opportunities to connect with filmmakers. Through online Q&As and online talks and panel discussions, you won’t have to worry about losing out because of the restrictions.
If you’d like to see what SGIFF has done previously, check out our coverage here!
Visuals courtesy of Singapore International Film Festival.