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30th SGIFF launches quality-curated film programme and celebrates female thespians

By Say Peng  /  22 Oct 2019 (Tuesday)

The Singapore International Film Festival has unveiled its full programme lineup for its upcoming 30th edition, scheduled to run from 21 November to 1 December.

The programme features more than 90 films from over 40 countries, most of which are Asian and have been screened and recognized at other festivals. As a year-end film festival, SGIFF is poised to screen the best-of of the year. 

SGIFF’s Programme Director, Kuo Ming-Jung said, “In the past year, captivating stories told by brilliant filmmakers have unfolded in varying styles and genres across the global cinematic landscape. As with our line-up each year, we hope to bring distinctive films from around the world to the audience, while staying committed to the strong belief in giving a voice to our own stories that reveal the texture of life in Singapore and the region.”

As announced last week, SGIFF will open with Anthony Chen's Golden Horse-nominated Wet Season, his follow-up film after 2013's award-winning Ilo Ilo. The film stars Ilo Ilo's actors Yeo Yann Yann and Koh Jia Ler.

Yeo Yann Yann will be feted by SGIFF, in partnership with Swarovski, as the Inspiring Woman in Film Award, which aims to support emerging talent and championing women’s empowerment. 

Female talent is further celebrated with the Cinema Icon Award being conferred to influential Chinese actress Yao Chen for her outstanding achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on screen. 

Also a recipient of the Best Actress Award at the Asia Contents Awards by the Busan International Film Festival, Yao will present her latest film Send Me to the Clouds, in which she both stars and produces, under the new Filmmakers Present section.

The Honorary Award will go to prolific Japanese cult director Takashi Miike, who is known for his innovative, uncompromising and genre-bending aesthetics.

With over 100 films and counting under his belt, including notable works such as Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins, and Yakuza Apocalypse, he will also present his latest film, First Love, which was screened at Cannes’ Directors' Fortnight earlier this year.

17 Singapore films have been selected for screening at the Festival, with four shorts nominated for the Silver Screen Awards’ Southeast Asian Short Film competition, including Adam by Shoki Lin as well as Jerrold Chong and Huang Junxiang’s Piece of Meat, which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

The Singapore Panorama section will feature five features and five shorts, including the Southeast Asian premiere of the first two episodes of Invisible Stories (2019) by Ler Jiyuan for HBO Asia on the untold stories from the heartlands in Singapore, and the world premiere of Unteachable (2019) by Yong Shu Ling who spotlights the country’s results-oriented education system. 

And finally, to commemorate the Festival’s landmark edition, it will also close with a 30th Anniversary Special Presentation screening of The Truth by Palme d’Or Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Kore-eda's first film out of Japan, this latest feature presents a unique taste of France as it tells the story of prima donna actress Fabienne (played by screen legend Catherine Deneuve) whose newly published memoirs are challenged by her daughter, Lumir (played by Juliette Binoche). 

For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com. Tickets are on sale now.
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