This year’s Singapore International Film Festival puts the spotlight on three prominent local filmmakers

This year has been a particularly great one for our film scene, with local films being screened at a number of big international film festivals, the announcement of Singapore’s entry for the Oscars and a film that was picked to rep Singapore at this year’s UN Association Film Festival. And now, there’s the annual Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) to look forward to on Nov 23-Dec 4. 

Now in its 27th edition, Singapore’s longest and largest running film event continues to showcase some of the region’s best films. This year, they’re shining the spotlight on three Singaporean filmmakers who have made huge contributions to the local film scene. 

On the line-up this year is K. Rajagopal‘s first feature film, A Yellow Bird. It’s been a big year for him, seeing how his first film after 11 years has already chalked up some great accolades. After making its round on the international film circuit, the film finally gets its first public screening in Singapore before screening at theatres on Dec 8. A Yellow Bird sees a Singaporean ex-con who struggles readjusting to life outside of jail, depicts Singapore’s “jungle brothels“, the Little India Riots of 2013 and the poor living conditions of many of the characters in the film. 

Also on the bill is SGIFF’s tribute to the late Abdul Nizam, whose efforts to revive Singapore’s film scene during the late 90s were instrumental. He was responsible for Haura, which was part of Singapore’s first digital-video feature film, Stories About Love, and won the Best Singapore Film award at SGIFF in 1999 for his film, Datura. SGIFF will be screening three of his signature works, as well as other notable productions like Keronchong for Pak Bakar and Breaking the Ice.  

SGIFF has also commissioned Gladys Ng, who was the recipient of last year’s SGIFF Best Singapore Short Film Award, to produce a film that will make its world premiere at the festival as part of a new initiative to develop and showcase up-and-coming Singaporean filmmakers. Gladys’ film, The Pursuit of a Happy Human Life, which chronicles the life of two best friends spending time together before going their own their own adventures, has been picked for the festival’s opening film.

The full line-up will be released on Oct 27. More info here.