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Sinema Showoff! Curatorʼs Picks (Season Finale)

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Sinema Showoff! Curator’ Picks is a collection of some of the best films from the Sinema Showoff! season curated by Singapore Polytechnic this year.

All the directors will be coming back for an interactive Q&A session, which will be moderated by Rajesree Ramasamy, Guest Curator – Sinema Showoff! (Season 2010).

This monthʼs Sinema Showoff! will be on 21 December 2010, 7.00pm at Sinema Old School (11B Mount Sophia, B1-12, Singapore 228466). Admission is free!

This programme is hosted by Sinema Old School and curated by academic staff and students from Singapore Polytechnic, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (Diploma in Integrated Events & Project Management).

Programme Highlights
Total running time: 122 mins

1. SPECIAL PASS
Vicknesh Varan | Tamil | 24 mins | NC-16
Indian national Anthonysamy Charles and his colleagues were issued a special pass while investigations at their former workplace was being carried out. The Special Pass entitles them to stay in Singapore but work only in limited places.
The award-winning documentary follows Charles and his colleagues as they attempt to find food, shelter and work to support themselves under challenging circumstances.

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Winner – Best Documentary, Singapore Short Film Awards 2010
Official Selection, Migration Film Festival 2010, Singapore
Official Selection, Canadian Labour International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Toronto Singapore Film Festival 2010, Canada
Official Selection, Freedom FilmFest 2010, Malaysia

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Vicknesh Varan graduated with a Diploma in Mass Communication from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2005. After completing National Service, he has been freelancing as an assistant producer.

He recently attended a summer filmmaking course at the University of Melbourne, and hopes that ‘Special Pass’ will highlight the voice of foreign workers in Singapore.

2. IKAN LANGA (RARE FISH)
Basil Mironer | Bahasa Indonesia | 11 mins | PG
The measure of life in a small, remote fishing village is tested when a young boy strives to catch up to the adults. Filmed in Bintan, Indonesia.

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Sonje Award, Pusan International Film Festival 2009
First Prize – Tisch Asia Category, First Run Film Festival 2010
Nominee, Best Director, Singapore Short Film Awards 2010
Nominee, Best Fiction, Singapore Short Film Awards 2010
Winner, Best Art Direction, Singapore Short Film Awards 2010
Official Selection, Vancouver Singapore Film Festival 2010, Canada
Official Selection, Maskara Shorties Film Festival 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Born in Moscow, Russia, Basil Mironer immigrated to America in the late 1980s. After witnessing a fellow student’s seizure from a flickering screen, he redirected his passion to storytelling through film and video. Basil has lived worked and studied in Italy, Spain & the US. In 2007, Basil was invited to study at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia as one of thirty-three MFA students.

Since living in Singapore, he has honed his directing and cinematography skills on various global productions. From coastal Indonesian fishing villages, chaotic Indian streets, and cosmopolitan Southeast Asian cities; Basil continues to grow as an international filmmaker and hopes to set up base in Singapore.

3. DURAI & SARO
Prema Menon | Tamil, English & Tagalog | 28 mins | PG
Durai, a construction worker from India, faces pressure to remit more money back home. He takes on a part-time job by washing cars early in the morning. He meets Saro, a Filipino domestic maid, who washes her employer’s car in the same car park.

Supported by Singapore Film Commission (SFC).

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Official Selection, Migration Film Festival 2010, Singapore
Official Selection, Vancouver Singapore Film Festival 2010, Canada
Official Selection, Singapore Melbourne Film Festival 2010, Australia
Official Selection, San Diego Asian Film Festival 2010, USA
Official Selection, Anything Goes, Anything Shows Programme – Sinema Showoff! Masala Mix (A Deepavali Special) 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Prema graduated from Murdoch University in Western Australia.

Prema spent 18 months in India’s film industry working as an assistant director on a Tamil and Telugu film with noted filmmakers Selvaraghavan and Susi Ganesan. She credits her time in India as the most eye opening and experiential step in her career thus far- and one that she took many lessons from. Prema remains busy running her own video and event coverage company plus freelancing for other major production houses in Singapore.

4. KITCHEN QUARTET
Nicole Midori Woodford | Mandarin & English | 21 mins | PG
Food inexplicably intertwines two families in which a son and a daughter struggle to gain acceptance from their respective parents.

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Official Selection, Singapore Panorama Shorts, Singapore International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Singapore Melbourne Film Festival 2010, Australia

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Nicole Midori Woodford graduated from Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design & Media, and Kitchen Quartet is her fifith film.

Nicole who is of Eurasian descent believes that film has the the power to pull diverse cultures together and to make concrete the innate connection that exists between people of different ages and backgrounds.

Nicole’s films reflect her love for photography and music which beautifully capture parallel narratives and the spaces in-between.

5. THE FOREST SPIRITS
Ting Szu Kiong | Mandarin | 10mins | PG
THE FOREST SPIRITS is the first Singapore wuxia short film. A powerful clan leader (Sunny Pang) goes deep into the forest to hone his supernatural skills. To stop disturbance, he kills one of the forest spirits to warn them while they are having a celebration. Years later, the forest spirits lure a young man into the forest. This is their first step in their revenge against the tyrannical man who has taken away their territory.

Supported by Singapore Film Commission (SFC).

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Curator’s Pick, Maskara Shorties Film Festival 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Ting Szu Kiong originally from Sabah, Malaysia and now a Singapore Citizen came here in the early 1990s to pursue his studies in National University of Singapore.

Sze Kiong a science graduate is very much a self-trained filmmaker, and currently works full-time in a local publishing firm.
THE FOREST SPIRITS is Szu Kiong’s fourth short film.

6. THE NEW WORLD
K. Rajagopal | Tamil | 14 mins | PG
THE NEW WORLD is a personal story of a young boy’s coming of age within the movie halls of the iconic New World Amusement Park.

In the film, a boy and his father frequent the movie screenings at the New World Amusement Park. The boy is enthralled by the images he sees. In the darkness of the movie hall, he laughs and cries with the characters on the screen, and even falls in love with some of them. When his father unexpectedly passes away, the boy is forced to face reality.

Like Jacintha Abisheganaden’s evocative rendition of The Windmills of Your Mind that opens the film, THE NEW WORLD is a bittersweet and moving elegy to loss and the inevitable passing of childhood.

In 2008, the National Museum of Singapore commissioned Rajagopal as well as filmmakers Sanif Olek and Boo Junfeng to each create a short film for Digital Homelands, a nationwide project to encourage Singaporeans to tell their personal stories about spaces in Singapore with digital video. The film that Rajagopal made was THE NEW WORLD, a film about his memory of the New World Amusement Park.

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Official Selection, Singapore Short Cuts 2008
Official Selection – The Short Films of K. Rajagopal, Singapore Short Cuts 2010
Official Selection – Singapore Experimental Shorts, Experimental Film Forum 2010

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
K. Rajagopal is an accomplished actor who ventured into filmmaking after a decade in theatre.

Raja has the honour of being the only filmmaker to have won the Singapore International Film Festival Short Film Competition Special Jury Award for three consecutive years (1995 – 1997).

After an absence of more than ten years, Rajagopal returned to both filmmaking and theatre. He was one of the seven filmmakers on the Sun Koh led Lucky7. Raja also appeared in the role of King Lear in The King Lear Project in Brussels and at the Singapore Arts Festival in 2008.

Raja currently remains busy with television work in both English and Tamil.

7. AMEEN
Sanif Olek | Malay | 14mins | Drama | NC16
Johan is infatuated with Yati and Sharifa, two girls from the Islamic Madrasah school. What exactly does Johan have up his sleeves in order to get the girls’ attention?”

~~~ Previous Screenings ~~~
Official Selection, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2010 (World Premiere), USA
Official Selection, Hawaii International Film Festival 2010, USA
Official Selection, Montreal World Film Festival 2010, Canada

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Sanif Olek is one of the island’s finest TV director and independent filmmaker.

Sanif’s strenth lies with merging commercial expectations with arthouse sensibilities for a mainstream audience.
In a career spanning 15 years Sanif has produced numerous award-winning TV programmes, music videos and commercials. Sanif himself has won the ‘Best Director’ award twice at MediaCorp’s Pesta Perdana that honours the best in the Malay television industry in Singapore.

His LOVE trilogy comprising of the short films LOST SOLE, A LA FOLIE and AMEEN have won numerous awards and screened at numerous international film festivals.

After A-Levels Sanif completed his National Service, where he was enlisted as a Commando. He then went on to do a Diploma in Film & Media Studies from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and a Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) from Murdoch University.
Sanif currently juggles between full-time television work, completing his debut feature film, RAMUAN RAHASIA (THE MISSING INGREDIENT).

Moderator’s Bio
Ramasamy Rajesree is the Guest Curator for Sinema Showoff! Season 2010 and works with an ethnically diverse student team committed to bring Singapore Films to mainstream audiences here and film appreciative audiences overseas with the support of venue owners and festivals.

Rajesree is a full-time lecturer with Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment. She is also an associate faculty member at SIM University (UNISIM).

Prior to her academic appointment she was working at Singapore Sports Council (International Events) and in Indonesia for a Japanese consumer brand.

Notes
Curator’s Picks from the season not screened at this finale.
(a) RESPIRATOR by Michael Tay had been shown in November as part of Sinema Export! Boys on Both Sides of the Camera programme. Also, the film will be screening at The Substation on 11th December during the Short Circuit festival.

(b) MASALA MAMA by Michael Kam will be screened again in a separate programme at Sinema early next year. The film will also be screening at the Short Circuit festival.

(c) Directors out of town.
SUNRISE, Platon Theodoris is based in Australia.
RICE, Taj Jenkins Musco is based in USA.
NATIONAL DAY, He Shuming will be on vacation.
HOTEL 66, Anthony Chen has a project in UK.

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