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More on the Singapore Film Awards

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Just recently the Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) launched the Singapore Film Awards (SFA) as part of their annual Silver Screen Awards in a bid to give Singapore films a larger recognition.

Specially aimed at feature films (ie with a minimum of 60mins, or more than 60mins in running time), the SFA will include the following categories: best film, best director, best screenplay, best performance and best cinematography.

“The Singapore film industry has been getting more vibrant in the past few years, and feature film productions have increased to an average of ten or more a year. These include smaller independent films and documentaries,” said Jasmine Ng, Board Director of the SIFF. In an extended interview with Jasmine, the filmmaker added, “We feel that the time is right now to have a Singapore Film Awards that embraces the diversity of the different kinds of local feature films made today, regardless of genre or budget.

The awards will recognise and celebrate the year’s achievements in Singapore feature filmmaking, and we hope it will go a long way in encouraging our own local filmmakers, and also raise the profile of the Singapore film industry as a whole.”

Submissions are just around the corner on the 20th of December (click here to download the forms to submit yours), with nominations coming out sometime in February, and the award ceremony held in April during the SIFF period. The jury for the panel will also only be announced in February 2009, and will be decided upon by the SIFF Secretariat and Board of Directors. This jury will be the same panel that will judge the Asian Feature Film Competition and the Singapore Short Film Competition, said Jasmine, adding that the jury will comprise “an international panel of filmmakers, critics, programmers and film professionals.”

The SFA will be part of a newly launched section of the Silver Screen Awards, adding on to the two existing sections of Asian Feature Film Competition and Singapore Short Film Competition. One of the major criterion of entry is that the film must be ‘mostly Singaporean’ – with either a Singaporean or Singaporean PR holding a major creative role (director producer, writer or actor), and shot mostly in Singapore. If the film is shot outside of the country, most of the creative roles must be Singaporeans or PRs.

“Many of the more experienced filmmakers like Royston Tan, Kelvin Tong, Jack Neo etc, are supporting this, and they recognise that by sharing this spotlight and celebrating the range of films we have – this could be a great boost to younger filmmakers,” said Jasmine, who also pointed out that the nominated films would intrigue critics and festivals from around the world.

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