24th Singapore International Film Festival 15th – 25th Sep5 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
The Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF), the longest-running and most renowned film festival in Singapore, is back again this year from the 15th – 25th of September with a very impressive and exciting programme line-up.
Films range from quirky experimental films to heart-pumping action flicks, award-winning animations, mind-boggling thrillers, 3D documentaries, vampires, comedies, musicals and even the Muppets!
With 144 feature films categorized under 16 segments now as compared to last year’s 87 films and 11 segments, the SIFF is taking bigger steps in realizing their goal; to encourage filmgoers to “˜watch different’. “After 23 years, it only seemed right that the 24th edition of the SIFF takes on a more impactful meaning to the local film industry”, Geoffrey Malone, Chairman and Founder of SIFF said at a press conference.
The SIFF also provides viewers with the chance to be more involved and to learn about the films with multiple talks and workshops that will go on throughout the duration of the festival. There is even a special segment this year titled “Everybody’s Gotta Start Somewhere” featuring famous and local filmmaker’s first works.
Special crew and cast members will also be present after certain film screenings, including more famous names such as Josh Radnor (or better known as Ted Mosby from the popular TV series How I Met Your Mother) and Ryan Kwanten (or Jason Stackhouse from popular TV series True Blood).
Other highly anticipated components of the SIFF include the inaugural Animation Symposium, “Beyond Limits: Expanding The Digital Horizon” happening on 24th Sep, where professionals from leading animation companies will engage in a discussion about the trends of adapting to increasing audience sophistication and demands in animation, and the impact of technology on creative choices.
Local production company 13 Little Pictures will also be holding an intensive hands-on filmmaking workshop from the 19th to 23rd Sep, where participants will complete a short film in 5 days, which will then be screened at SIFF.
And of course lastly, The Silver Screen Awards will be held on 23 Sep at Shaw Lido and will pay homage to Asian Filmmaking in two categories, the Asian Feature Film Competition and Singapore Short Film Competition.
With such a diverse and huge selection of films to choose from, surely it would be difficult to decide which ones to watch. So to aid in your decision process, here is a list of the top 10 films recommended by SIFF director Hamish Brown, organizers Siew Ling and Janice Tang, and well, me:
1. Ignore All Detour Signs, a documentary about the troubles and challenges local band I Am David Sparkle faced when they were invited to world-famous South by Southwest Festival in March 2009. Described by Janice as “a MUST see for any local film and music enthusiast”.
2. HappyThankYouMorePlease is Josh Radnor’s (or better known as Ted Mosby from Emmy award-winning TV series How I Met Your Mother) directorial debut about an aspiring novelist Sam who makes the questionable move of taking in a lost little boy.
3. The Troll Hunter, a mockumentary style film about a group of students investigating a series of bear killings in Norway, and soon learn that trolls are behind the grisly deeds. Hamish Brown, director of the SIFF described the film as “really interesting, nothing like I have seen before”.
4. Island, a modern patchwork fairytale of abandonment and dark enchantment about Nikki Black, a girl abandoned at birth who grows up incapable of love and hungry for revenge on her biological family. But her quest strays as she spends more time on the enchanting island where her family resides. Director Elizabeth Mitchell will also be present for a Q&A session.
5. Little Treasures of Lombok tells the tale of two boys, 11-year old Man and 10-year old Sugeng as they eke a harsh living on the streets of Lombok, Indonesia. Despite their innocence, the streets do not spare them as they encounter child molesters and prostituition rings. Sugeng will also be present after the screening for a Q&A session.
6. Rabies, Israel’s first horror flick produced by first-time directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, manages to subvert genre conventions while still delivering the scares with the right ingredients for terror – a sibling pair with something to hide, errant cops roaming the forest and as the crowd start to dwindle, the characters turn on each other in a bid to kill the killer. SIFF director Hamish Brown described the film as “another really interesting film in the line-up, in this film the victims were not killed by the killers”.
7. Taliya.Date.Com is a tale about TaliyaFinkel whom filmed herself on her search for love on the disaffected World Wide Web. In this tragic-comic documentation of love in cyberspace, Taliya stumbles from naive hope to plain disappointment. Director Taliya will also be present after the screening for a Q&A session.
8. Rubber opens with a small town sheriff delivering a monologue, paying homage to the “no reason” factor in all great movies. “Why? Because life has no reasons”. A rubber tire on a killing spree? Movies can bring anything to life… Anything
9. Spotlight On Platige Image, for the first time in Singapore, watch animated shorts and be amazed by the works of Platige Image, an award-winning post-production company nicknamed to be the Pixar of Poland.
10. Pina, the first documentary shot in 3D, explores the groundbreaking dance choreographer, the late Pina Bausch It follows the journey of the dancers at Tanztheatre Wuppertal, Bausch’s ensemble, as they move from inside the theatre to the streets of Wuppertal, where Bausch found inspiration.
(Bonus! How could I ever limit 144 amazing films to just a list of 10? Check out Le Nom Des Gens, Bunny And The Bull, Buddha Mountain, The Journals of Musan, Tree of Life, I Have Loved and The Forbidden Door too!)
Tickets will not be handled by Sinema, but by Sistic. Book your tickets online through Sistic (safer) now or grab your tickets on screening day at the Sistic booths outside Sinema!