Go forth and consume great cinema

And just like that, film festival season has returned, with a staggering number of films to keep you occupied for the rest of the year. Whether it's a foreign language film you're after, a critically acclaimed flick that's made its rounds at various international film festivals, or even just a good ol' horror movie to unwind with, you're sure to find it on this little island of ours. 

Love & Pride (Through Oct 16)

Returning in its 10th anniversary, the annual film festival by Golden Village seeks to spotlight stories of accepting oneself, beyond just the LGBT community. There’s the award-winning The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz, which won the grand jury prize at this year’s Sundance; Japanese film Of Love and Law, about two male partners who run Japan’s first and only LGBT law firm; and Hong Kong drama I Miss You When I See You, where protagonist Jamie must choose between his socially acceptable girlfriend and his reignited feelings for his high school best friend Kevin. Tickets are $13 per film, screening across Golden Village Grand, Great World City and VivoCity.

Finnish Film Festival (Oct 11-21)

It seems last year's inaugural edition was enough of a success; the Finnish Film Festival is back at The Projector for a second run, with 14 award-winning films to get you in the mood for Scandi mise-en-scene. There's honestly a lot of variety to select from—from violent summer noir Euthanizer about a 50-year-old mechanic who puts sick pets to sleep, to biographical drama of Finnish homoerotic artist Tom of Finland; and even one of the world's most beloved children's cartoons, making a full-length feature appearance in Moomins and the Winter Wonderland (yes, you read that right). In addition, a small selection of handpicked films pay tribute to Finnish film director Aki Kaurismaki: such as well-loved absurdist comedy Calamari Union; The Match Factory Girl, a 1990 tale of sweet revenge; and quirky comedy Lights in the Dusk, in the minimalist style Kaurismaki is so known for. Tickets are $13.50 per film.

Painting with Light (Through Oct 28)

The National Gallery Singapore’s film festival dedicated to art is back for its second edition with more than 30 thought-provoking films by Singaporean, regional and international filmmakers. This year’s Special Focus category draws attention to the reality of transition and displacement; a clear spotlight on the global refugee crisis. In that vein, catch films Glimpse and Central Airport THF, 2017 documentary releases by Polish and Berlin-based filmmakers respectively. Else, there’s the fantastically processed fever dream of a movie Arcadia, a commentary on the British’s relationship to the land. Also worth the time is the free-admission Southeast Asian Shorts section, featuring 12 poignant short films screened daily at selected timings. Tickets are $10 per film.

Scream Asia (Oct 19-28)

Get in the Halloween mood early with Singapore’s first horror film festival, co-curated by Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo and South Korean film programmer Jongsuk Thomas Nam. On the line-up is a bevy of regional hotshots like South Korea’s Yeong Sang-ho (Train to Busan) and Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves), alongside other international horror flicks. Catch Joko Anwar’s A Mother’s Love, a modern spin on the Indonesian myth of the Wewe Gombel; Lars Von Trier’s psychological horror The House that Jack Built; or the world premiere of Singapore’s very own Zombiepura (no prizes for guessing what the plot is about). Tickets are $13 per film, screening at Cathay Cineplexes at The Cathay.

Perspectives Film Festival (Oct 25-28)

It may be a student-organized film festival, but the annual Perspectives Film Festival is not one to be overlooked—particularly given its unfailing line-up of quality films year after year. For this year’s 11th edition, look forward to seven international films curated on the theme ‘Institutions’. Opening film 3 Faces, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes this year, examines the injustices and deep-rooted patriarchy governing the Iranian acting industry; while fellow Cannes pick Bamako spotlights systemic institutionalization of Western capitalism in Africa. Things getting a little heavy? There’s always Polish comedy drama Camera Buff that picks at artistic censorship, through the story of a bumbling factory worker who accidentally falls into the world of filmmaking. Tickets are from $11 per film, screening at National Museum of Singapore and Alliance Francaise.

Singapore Eco Film Festival (Nov 1-4)

Bringing together Singapore's eco organizations and storytellers, the Singapore Eco Film Festival returns in its third year with four days of films, panel discussions, workshops and more to ignite the passion for protecting our environment. While the full program is still in the works, look forward to picks like documentary Plastic China, where a young woman lives out her life in mountains of waste next to a recycling plant; The Last Animals, which follows the inspiring journey of a group of people who go to great lengths to battle poachers and save the planet's last animals; and Waterschool, a lyrical tale commissioned by Swarovski detailing the lives of young female students who live along the world's six major rivers. 

Singapore International Film Festival (Nov 28-Dec 9)

The island’s undisputed film event of the year returns with another 100 or so critically acclaimed films—including Singapore’s own A Land Imagined by local filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua, which won the top prize at Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival 2018. Aside from this hotly anticipated Singapore premiere, there’s an all-new Moonlight Cinema program hosting free outdoor film screenings at Gardens by the Bay; it kicks off with a double feature of My Girl (USA) and My Girl (Thailand). In line with spotlighting local and regional filmmakers, the Festival will also be showcasing a bumper line-up of Filipino flicks, to celebrate the Country Focus of Philippines. Full line-up to come.