22nd Singapore International Film Festival, 14th-25th April 2009
By Charmaine Yap
The annual Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF), is back with it’s 22nd Edition from 14th April to 25th April 2009. This year’s SIFF kicked off with the Opening Film, “Sincerely Yours” by Taiwanese feature film director, Rich Lee, and ends with the Closing Film, “Milk” from Turkey.
193 films, which has been selected from over a thousand entries, from 34 countries will be screened over the 12 days with 29 of them being Award and Festival-Winning Films. One can expect to see films dated as far back as the twenties and anticipate the newly introduced open-air screenings and late night weekend screenings.
Some of this year’s venues for the showcase is held at Lido 1 and 3, National Museum of Singapore, Sinema and The Arts House.
The 22ND SIFF includes special programmes such as the ‘Macquarie Group Australian Film Focus’ as well as tributes to the ‘Amos Gitai Retrospective’ and ’25 Years of the Thai National Film Archive’.Other highlights of the festival are “Still Walking” which is a new film from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda; “Dada’s Dance” by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yuan who will be here to screen and talk about his film; “How to Be” by British filmmaker Oliver Irving with Twilight actor, Robert Pattinson in the show and “Fireflies in the Garden” which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, and features a homegrown Singaporean as producer Ã¢â‚¬” Sukee Chew.
Local highlights will include “Invisible Children”, the first feature film by multimedia artist, Brian Gothong Tan and highly anticipated fresh films from Boo Junfeng, Sun Koh and Jason Lai.
With the aim to honour and recognise our home-grown talents, the 22nd SIFF is introducing the inaugural Singapore Film Awards (SFA) under the Silver Screen Awards with 10 Singapore feature films nominated for various categories such as Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay.
In addition, the team of the 22ND SIFF invites Ms Elim Chew, a fashion entrepreneur and founder of 77th Street (S) Pte Ltd, to this year’s SIFF as a Festival Patron. She is helping the team in championing the SIFF mission and this shows that every one, and anyone is enabled easy access in appreciating our arts and film industry.
During the opening of the 22ND SIFF on 14th April 2009, festival directors, Yuni Hadi and Zhang Wenjie appealed to the audience in the theatre to be part of their viral campaign, requesting each film enthusiast to bring a friend who has never been the Singapore International Film Festival to this year’s edition in order to spread the love for films.
For more information on the festival, do visit the official website at http://www.filmfest.org.sg.