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PANEL DISCUSSION: The Curious Case of the Local English-Language Movie

November 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Proving to be an exception rather than the rule, the box-office success of 1996’s comedy Army Daze failed to result in further box-office achievements for subsequent English or Singlish-language Singapore films. In the landmark year of 1998, four local films – Money No Enough, The Teenage Textbook Movie, Tiger’s Whip and Forever Fever were released. Money No Enough, the only film in Mandarin-dialect-Singlish, became the all-time highest-grossing Singapore film till 2012, raking in more than the other three films put together.

Most of the more successful titles in recent Singapore film history, whether in terms of box office returns or film festival awards, all largely existed within a vernacular story. What is the reason for this dismal appeal for local English language films even with English as Singapore’s default lingua franca? More importantly, how has the market, media and linguistic patterns of society over time affected the reception and production of such local films?

This panel discussion will reflect on this phenomenon and consider any cinematic cultural turn for the reflection of the English or Singlish-language experience within the local film industry. It will be hosted by Glen Goei, who is one of Singapore’s leading film and theatre directors; Edna Lim, a senior lecturer with the Theatre Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore; and Professor C.J. Wee Wan-ling, who is a Professor of English at Nanyang Technological University and an expert in the Asian modernity.

This session is a part of the Singapore Classics Reignited programme, which marks the 20th anniversary of three beloved Singaporean classics – Forever Fever, Money No Enough and The Teenage Textbook Movie.

Event Details

Date: 10 November 2018

Time: 2:00 PM

National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre B1

Free admission with registration. Register here: https://singaporeclassicstalk.peatix.com/


November 10
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road, Gallery Theatre, Basement 1 178897 Singapore + Google Map