Founded in 1987, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. Bringing a vibrant film experience and deeper appreciation for cinematic culture, SGIFF aims to inspire the widest public interest in the arts, and to give thousands of film lovers around the region direct access to a wide range of World and Asian cinema.
Takumi Saitoh (Japan)
Takumi Saitoh is a prominent multitalented and multifaceted figure in the Japan entertainment industry. He is prolific as an actor in TV dramas, and a wide array of films including 13 Assassins (2010), Torakage (2015) and Shin Godzilla (2016). His personal wide-ranging interest in cinema led him to filmmaking. After completing two short films, he releases his debut feature Blank 13 (2017).
24 Nov & 2 Dec (9.30pm), National Gallery Singapore (70min)
A son’s longing for an absent father transfigures into a discovery of a life lived at his funeral. The film quietly evokes the enigma of discovering the private life of a loved one, whether dead or alive; and the elasticity of familial bonds.
Wang Bing (China)
Wang Bing is a prolific filmmaker from China working with both fiction and the documentary form. His films include his nine-hour long first feature West of the Tracks (2003), The Ditch (2010) and Ta’ang (2016).
MRS FANG / 方绣英
2 Dec (4.30pm), National Gallery Singapore (86min)
A dying woman’s otherly gaze becomes a focal point to the banality unfolding around her in this contemplative observation of death. Without access to her life and personality, we are confronted with a body devoid of content. Leaving only death, the chatter of her relatives, and what that fills – the mundane act of waiting – as possible subjects for contemplation.
Mouly Surya (Indonesia)
Mouly Surya is considered one of the most promising female filmmakers in Indonesia. Her debut film, FICTION (2008), won numerous awards including Best Director at JIFFEST 2008. It premiered internationally at the 13th Busan International Film Festival. What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love (2013) competed in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival.
MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS / MARLINA SI PEMBUNUH DALAM EMPAT BABAK
24 Nov (7pm) & 29 Nov (9.30pm), National Gallery Singapore (93min)
In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, young widow Marlina is attacked and robbed of her cattle. To defend herself, she kills the gangsters and embarks on a journey in search of justice. But the road is long especially when the ghost of her headless victim begins to haunt her. Dubbed the first “Satay Western”, Mouly Surya’s third film is a stunning masterwork that underscores her status as an undeniable talent.
Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)
Pen-ek Ratanaruang is one of the most prominent Thai filmmakers at work today. He rose to fame with his first feature Fun, Bar Karaoke (1995), and continued to garner international reputation with 6ixtynin9 (1997), Monrak Transistor (2001), Last Life in the Universe (2003), as well as Ploy (2007) and Headshot (2011).
SAMUI SONG / MAI MEE SAMUI SAMRAB TER
27 Nov (9.30pm), Shaw Theatres Lido – Hall 4 (108min)
An actress, fed up with her eccentric husband, decides to take drastic measures to free herself from his clutch. As she plunges deeper into chaos, the film stares straight into the lurid nature of revenge and becomes a study on how women carve out their places in a patriarchal world.
Kim Dae-hwan (South Korea)
Kim Dae-hwan studied Film and Digital Media Design at Hongik University, where he made two shorts, Picnic (2010) and Interview (2011). He completed his feature film After the Winter (2014) when he was Dankook University’s Graduate School of Cinematic Content.
THE FIRST LAP / CHO-HAENG
25 Nov (4.30pm), National Gallery Singapore (102min)
With a simple narrative and plain economical cinematography, The First Lap is deceptively unassuming on the surface, but it is this simplistic approach that allows a naturalism that effectively captures the unfolding of the couple’s lives through the simplest of gestures.
Liew Seng Tat (Malaysia)
Liew Seng Tat is a Malaysian filmmaker and a significant forerunner in independent Malaysian cinema. His works include Break Skin with Strawberry Jam (2003) and the award-winning Men Who Save the World (2014). Flower In The Pocket (2007), his first feature, first premiered at the Busan International Film Festival where it won the New Currents Award.
FLOWER IN THE POCKET / 口袋里的花
29 Nov (7pm), National Gallery Singapore (97min)
This 10th anniversary screening of award-winning filmmaker Liew Seng Tat’s quirky and heart-warming debut feature is a vital entry in the much lauded Malaysian New Wave film scene. Utilising a unique offbeat humour as a point of social satire, the film serves up a powerful yet light-hearted message on childhood innocence and the importance of familial affection.
Vahid Jalilvand (Iran)
Vahid Jalilvand is an award-winning Iranian director and writer best known for Wednesday, May 9 (2015). The film has won several awards including Best Film at the 2015 Reykjavik International Film Festival. His latest film, No Date, No Signature (2017), won Jalilvand and actor Navid Mohammadzadeh the Best Director and Best Actor Awards respectively at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE / BEDOUNE TARIKH, BEDOUNE EMZA
26 Nov (4.30pm) & 2 Dec (11am), National Gallery Singapore (104min)
The film centres on the conflict between the privileged and the poor in modern Iran, as seen through the helplessness and loss experienced by its characters. A riveting drama about a pathologist who finds himself in an ethical dilemma of choosing between accountability and selfish inaction.