The Singapore International Film Festival returns this year with over 20 local flicks and more

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has become one of the most prominent film festivals around, and this year, it continues to live up to its name with an incredible line-up that celebrates cinematography while pursuing Asian storytelling.

Part of the Singapore Media Festival, SGIFF (Nov 26-Dec 6) will present a series of over 70 movies by auteurs from 49 countries that speak for the times we live in.

First, discover 22 local films at the festival, including the debut feature of Tiong Bahru Social Club by Singaporean filmmaker Tan Bee Thiam which has been selected as the opening flick. The movie is a satirical comedy that delves into the life of a man named Ah Bee who leaves his dull office job to join the Tiong Bahru Social Club, a data-driven programme that aims to create the world’s happiest residents in the idyllic neighbourhood. A snapshot of the local housing community, the show questions the construct of happiness in Singapore in an amusing way. Tiong Bahru Social Club just premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in October and has also been nominated for SGIFF Silver Screen Awards’ Asian Feature Film competition.

Four Singaporean shorts have also been nominated for the Silver Screen Awards’ Southeast Asian Short Film competition. Not only is there The Smell of Coffee by Nishok Nishok that spotlights a journey of self-discovery, but also Binh which investigates alien and human encounters.

As the SGIFF spotlights a new generation of talent in Asia via the Asian Feature Competition too, be sure to check out The Wasteland by Ahmad Bahrami that received Venice’s Best Film in the Orizzonti section and Milestone by Ivan Ayr which sees Punjabi trucker in New Delhi at a crossroads.

Across the 11 days, festival-goers can look forward to enjoying the curated movies either at home or in cinemas. In addition to the flicks, talks and panel discussions will be available online to engage international audiences as well.

Minimising face-to-face interactions at theatres, the festival will provide Singapore audiences the opportunity to connect with filmmakers through online Q&As recorded by SGIFF after film screenings, using the questions received from audiences.

With all the new and riveting highlights, film buffs and locals alike should take the opportunity to explore Singaporean and Asian filmmaking at the SGIFF that’s excitedly in its 31st year.

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) runs from Nov 26-Dec 6. More information available here