Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns for its 32nd edition from 25 November to 5 December 2021, with tickets going on public sale today, 9 November 2021 at 12pm, via SISTIC. As announced previously, this year’s Festival will present a diverse, inclusive range of over 100 films by filmmakers from more than 40 countries and categorised under Films in Competition (Asian Feature Film and Southeast Asian Short Film), Singapore Panorama, as well as five new film sections that position cinema from different perspectives.
According to SGIFF’s Programme Director, Thong Kay Wee, “As we return to the cinemas this year, we also wish to encourage further discourse in-person, which includes Q&As with filmmakers as well as our Forum section, featuring leading industry voices in topical panel discussions. We are also especially thrilled to offer a special presentation of the feature film Scene UnSeen, on Singapore’s underground music scene, which will include a one-night-only showcase by two of Singapore’s beloved indie bands. I hope these accompanying experiences will continue to ignite our audience’s curiosity and bring different communities together at our festival.”
Part of the Singapore Panorama category, ‘Scene UnSeen’ (rated NC16) is an honest, heartfelt documentary about Singapore’s underground music scene that opens a rare window into a slice of Singapore that has largely eluded the public eye. Comprising interviews, archival footage, and animation, ‘Scene UnSeen’ captures the pleasures and pains of Singapore’s underground music scene, as shared by icons from the punk, hardcore, metal, and alternative genres. The diverse set of bands, artists, gig organisers, and fans featured in the film also candidly delves into issues of discrimination, disenfranchisement, and the disillusionment posed by making art in a hypercapitalist and highly surveilled city.
Lovingly stitched together by a passionate team of like-minded friends, this honest, heartfelt documentary proudly wears the DIY ethos celebrated by the community. SGIFF is proud to present a special presentation of ‘Scene UnSeen’ at the Esplanade Theatre. For one night only, watch the film, hear from members of the music community in exclusive Q&A sessions, and enjoy special performances by pioneering rock band The Oddfellows as well as Singapore’s first all-female hardcore band, Obstacle Upsurge.
Forum: A platform for discussions and an exchange of ideas For this year’s Forum, five distinct panel discussions will take place during the Festival; these are mostly in-person at The Projector and The Arts House. Distinguished speakers include Indonesian film director Edwin, who is behind this year’s opening film Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, and award-winning Singaporean director Yeo Siew Hua — both of whom are winners of the Locarno Film Festival’s Golden Leopard award. Established actors from the region, Angeli Bayani, Ladya Cheryl and Yeo Yann Yann will also feature, exploring their roots in independent filmmaking, and how they have navigated their careers domestically and internationally as actors from Southeast Asia. Full details below.
In Conversation: Edwin and Yeo Siew Hua
27 November 2021, Saturday, 11.30am | 90 Min | The Projector, Redrum | Tickets at $5
Indonesian director Edwin and Singaporean director Yeo Siew Hua are the last two Golden Leopard recipients out of only three Southeast Asian winners in the whole history of the Locarno Film Festival. Building on the momentum of their recent wins, they will be in conversation to reflect on Edwin’s career and to share their aspirations for our region’s cinema.
Singapore Panorama: A Cosmopolitan Perspective
27 November 2021, Saturday, 1.30pm | 90 Min | The Projector, Redrum | Tickets at $5
A panel of industry professionals with an international viewpoint share their impressions, contributions and prospects of the local film scene. What can we learn from these players who have an eye on the world and a hand in shaping Singapore cinema?
● Panuksmi Hardjowirogo — Co-founder of M’GO Films and producer of ‘Scene, UnSeen’ and ‘The Anatomy of Time’, both films showing at SGIFF 2021
● Fran Borgia — Founder of Akanga Film Asia and Programme Specialist for SGIFF 2021 ● Heo Chul — Filmmaker and Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
● Kuo Ming-Jung — Film programmer and former SGIFF Artistic Director
Cinemas in Crisis: Afghanistan and Myanmar
29 November 2021, Monday, 6.30pm | 90 Min | The Arts House, Chamber | Tickets at $5
Focusing on case studies of the past and present realities in Afghanistan and Myanmar, this talk will shed light on the developments of both national film industries in the 20th century, and discuss the various ways in which cinema and artists can continue to move forward despite the odds today.
● Maung Okkar — actor, filmmaker and founder of non-profit organisation Save Myanmar Film, which conducts film archiving workshops and leads digital restoration projects for classic Myanmar films
● Sahraa Karimi — Iranian film director and actor, and the first woman to become general director of the state-owned Afghan Film
In Conversation: Angeli Bayani, Ladya Cheryl and Yeo Yann Yann
30 November 2021, Tuesday, 8.00pm | 60 Min | Zoom | Free to attend
Angeli Bayani, Ladya Cheryl and Yeo Yann Yann are established actors of the same generation in their respective countries, involved in film productions with various auteurs. With roots in independent filmmaking, how have they navigated their careers domestically and internationally as actors from Southeast Asia?
Influencing the Changing Landscapes of Asian Cinema
1 December 2021, Wednesday, 7.30pm | 90 Min | The Arts House, Chamber | Tickets at $5
International film practitioners share their experiences in programming and supporting a diversity of Asian films on their platforms. What do they look out for in contemporary Asian cinema and how have they sought to present a more nuanced and inclusive picture of the region?
● Eddie Bertozzi — Head of Pardi di Domani for Locarno Film Festival
● Kim Young Woo — Film programmer at DMZ International Documentary Film Festival ● Raymond Phathanavirangoon — Executive Director, SEAFIC; film producer and film festival programmer
● Charles Tesson — Artistic director of Critics’ Week at Cannes
Tickets to the Singapore International Film Festival go live on 9 November 2021 at 12pm on SISTIC.