Singapore’s first alternative film festival returns for its fourth edition

While we’re all fawning over the new Marvel flick Black Panther and all the films that have earned a nom or won awards at this year’s Golden Globes, we sometimes need to take a step back and indulge in the occasional B-grade film or two. This weekend calls for that, with the annual Singapore Cult & Underground Film Festival (SCUFF) returning for its fourth run from Feb 23-25.

If you’re a true film buff in Singapore, you’re probably wondering what happened to the screenings that SCUFF organizers Society of Cult and Underground Movies (SCUM) Cinema used to hold. Well, they’re long gone now, and it’s all your fault. “The pay-as-you-wish concept […] is not sustainable in the long run, given hardly any patrons donate monies to the SCUM Cinema cause!”, Anthony Chiam, one of the three guys behind the interest group, said.

But that’s okay, because they’ve never been in it to make a quick buck, and neither are they elitist. They’re really just out to share with us the parallel universe of alternative films, which is why they’ve consolidated all their efforts to focus on SCUFF. They once told us (back when we were still known as I-S Magazine) that they exist “to fill in the void in the local cinema experience for those thirsting for alternative films”; and it’s cool that they’ve stuck to their guns all these years.

This year’s selection sees four films, including Liu Jian’s Have A Nice Day, which has earned a high score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes (and a 79% audience score) and a Golden Horse Award for Best Animation Feature last year. This dark comedy animated picture follows a bag of money and all the characters who get unfortunately tangled with it. There’s also a little something in the form of 2016 Australian horror flick Killing Ground and 2017 American thriller Super Dark Times. And to top it all off, SCUM Cinema has included a free screening of the original 1972 Yakuza cult classic Wandering Ginza Butterfly.

Tickets are going for $13 a pop ($33 for a three-film package) via Peatix. They’re also accepting donations—all proceeds will go to organizing the next edition—because they’re still fully independent and self-funded. Watch all trailers here.