4th Singapore Film Festival: A curtain-raiser     

The 4th edition of the Singapore Film Festival is set to take place from February 21 to 23, 2020 at the Siri Fort Auditorium-II in New Delhi

4th Singapore Film Festival: A curtain-raiser      

Murtaza Ali Khan

The film fest, organised by Singapore High Commission in New Delhi, has received tremendous response from Indian audiences in the past three editions. This time around, the festival will feature three feature-length films and three short films. Each screening will be followed by dialogue with filmmakers and film critics.

“In the spirit of cultural exchange, we wanted to share with our friends in India these films that are meaningful to Singaporeans. It is a matter of great pride for us to have seen these home-grown works screened at international festivals. It shows that Singapore has stories to tell that can resonate beyond our shores to international audiences. The films have been carefully curated to feature diverse aspects of life in Singapore. As such it is difficult to zoom in on any one particular highlight. But all of the films guarantee a fun and enriching experience for the Delhi audience,” promises Ong Chong Hui, First Secretary, Singapore High Commission.

The festival will open on February 21 with Chennai 2 Singapore directed by Abbas Akbar, a Singaporean filmmaker, screenwriter and actor who has worked in Tamil films and TV. The film is about an Indian filmmaker who makes his way to Singapore to look for investors to finance his film. Many Singaporean Indian filmmakers including Abbas Akbar have gained prominence in recent years, and screening such films in India helps to highlight the shared cultural heritage of India and Singapore.

The 2nd day will feature three short films: Melodi, BTO, and Life As It Is. The curated series shares tales from Singapore’s emerging creative talents. Melodi is an award winning short film about a lonely boy infatuated with his new neighbour. BTO – named after Singapore’s Build-To-Order public housing scheme popular with newly-married couples – is about a young couple breaking off their wedding and giving up their new apartment.

Life As It Is is set during the gathering of the family on the occasion of the grandmother’s funeral. Its director Victor Gan will be present for a post-screening dialogue session. Victor is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Film/Animation/Video programme who endeavours to tell stories close to his heart and his own culture. “I am really excited for Life As It Is to screen in India. As the film was inspired by my own experience, I hope that the specificity of the film can be relatable to the audience in India. I also look forward to showcasing a small part of Singapore’s culture through the rites and rituals that a part of the population partakes in. Finally, I hope that my film will allow the audience to think about their own relationship with their family,” says Victor.

The short films will be followed by a feature film Ramen The, directed by Eric Khoo, an award-winning filmmaker often credited with reviving the Singapore film industry in the 1990’s. Ramen Teh is about a chef in Japan who travels to Singapore to learn about his deceased mother’s past.

Cinedaarbar has been working with the Singapore High Commission on organising the festival. “It has been a great pleasure to be a part of the Singapore Film Festival for the last three years. We have been constantly working at promoting films which do not get theatrical releases. We hope the Delhiites will enjoy the films as much as they have done in the previous editions,” says Supriya Suri, Founder and President, Cinedarbaar.

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Published: 23 Feb 2020, 12:00 PM