The 10th Perspectives Film Festival puts a spotlight on women filmmakers

With so many film festivals happening around the same time, like the highly anticipated Design Film Festival in October and Golden Village’s Love & Pride Film Festival at the end of September, it can be hard to cut through the noise. That’s what we’re here for. One that stands every year without fail is the student-run Perspectives Film Festival, which is back for a super-sized 10th edition.

This year, they’re showcasing a total of 11 films—three of which are Singapore debuts and another three are restored classics—across seven days on Oct 20-22 & 26-29, with a special fringe event on Oct 15 where they’ll be screening virtual reality (VR) short films to allow filmgoers a new way of experiencing stories. Each of the films explores the theme of rebellion; the kind that goes against social norms or defy institutional systems and go on to inspire the world with their ideas.

While the line-up is no doubt exciting, we’re also stoked that the organizers have spotlighted three women-centric films, made by women filmmakers who have pushed boundaries for the industry. There’s even a special pass to catch these three films going for $30, apart from the usual individual ticket ($13) and festival pass ($99). 

The Apple (Oct 22, 4:30pm, National Museum Singapore)

37-year-old Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf made her mark in the Iranian film scene back when she was just 17 years of age, with the debut of this film (her first feature), which tells the story of two sisters who were released by social workers after being imprisoned by their own parents for 12 years. This film made Makhmalbaf the youngest director to have a film selected for the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

The Lure (Oct 28, 7:30pm, National Museum of Singapore)

This bizarre yet immersive musical horror film is Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska’s interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s original The Little Mermaid. It takes on the same framework as the story we’ve all grown up to know, but with a much darker turn. The unconventional film is about two mermaid sisters who have been taken in to join a cabaret club. While one of them falls in love, the other can’t help but give in to the temptation of feeding on the city’s human population.

I Am Not A Witch (Oct 29, 3pm, National Museum of Singapore)

This debut feature by Zambia-born, Welsh-raised director Rungano Nyoni goes beyond genres and takes on the themes of misogyny, superstition and exploitation. The arresting film follows a young orphan who is accused of witchcraft after an incident in her village. She’s then whisked away to a witch camp in the middle of nowhere, where she’s taught the ways and rules of being a “witch”. She’s tied to a white ribbon, which, if cut, will curse her and transform her into a goat.