From the best of the European Union to the 20th birthday of a Singaporean classic and dialogue sessions with Southeast Asia’s brightest young talents, here are eight film events to get excited about.
Voilah! French Festival Singapore (Apr 15-May 31)
Voilah! is a celebration of all things French, and of course that means there’s plenty in store for fans of French cinema. Events in the festival’s line-up this year include a Gaumont restrospective (Apr 17-May 28), a screening of Edgar Morin, Chronicle of a Gaze (Apr 23), the “A Compelling Seduction” series at Alliance Française (May 3-31) and the 5th French Animation Film Festival (May 27-29).
Mee Pok Man: 20 Years (Apr 17 & 23)
It’s been over 20 years since the release of Eric Khoo’s Mee Pok Man (yes, you are old), and the Asian Film Archive is hosting a series of screenings and panel discussions at The Projector to mark the milestone. The session on Apr 17 will focus on the restoration of the film with the Apr 23 session examining the film’s impact and legacy.
Earth Film Festival (Apr 17-24)
If you’re concerned about the environment (and you should be), the inaugural Earth Film Festival is here to help you make a difference. Taking place from Apr 17-24, the festival is Singapore’s first with a focus on the environment and also the world’s first “crowd-based film festival”. Here’s how it works: Choose a film that interests you on the festival website, register and arrange to host a screening at a private venue (your home or a library media room for example). The organizers will send you a free digital download or streaming link for your chosen film.
The festival’s six films are all documentaries with highlights including Cowspiracy, an investigation into the environmental impact of meat production, Trashed, a look at the global waste problem and The Cotton Road, an examination of the true price we pay for cheap fashion.
Italian Film Festival (Apr 21-30)
From Apr 21-30, Golden Village cinemas, the National Museum of Singapore and The Projector will be screening critically-acclaimed contemporary and classic Italian films at the 14th edition of the Italian Film Festival. Highlights include popular Italian titles such as An Italian Name by award-winning director Francesca Archibugi, about what happens when a wealthy Roman couple announces the arrival of a baby to a dinner party, and Wondrous Boccaccio, which tells the tale of love, fate and hope through 10 young men and women who escaped the black plague in 14th-century Florence.
New Waves: Emerging Voices of Southeast Asian Cinema (From Apr 27)
Still from My Father After Dinner by Gladys Ng
The 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) takes place from Nov 23 to Dec 4 and the organizers have planned a series of dialogue sessions leading up to it. Starting on Apr 27 and continuing every last Wednesday of the month until Aug 31, New Waves: Emerging Voices of Southeast Asian Cinema will highlight the work of up and coming filmmakers from around the region.
Held at *SCAPE, the program is designed to shed light on the filmmakers’ entrances into cinema and their approaches to using film as a mode of expression. The first session will focus on Singaporean director Gladys Ng in dialogue with author Yu-Mei Balasingamchow. Ng’s 2015 short film My Father After Dinner will be screened during the session.
Singapore Chinese Film Festival (Apr 29-May 8)
Bringing together top films from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, the 2016 edition of the SCFF encompasses 62 features, documentaries and shorts. Golden Horse Award-winning films Blind Massage, A Fool and Thanatos, Drunk are among the highlights.
Food Cine.ma (Apr 29-May 14)
If you long for opportunities to combine your loves of film and food, you’re going to enjoy Food Cine.ma. The first edition of the festival takes place from Apr 29 to May 14 at Objectifs. Created by Anonymous (the same people behind the immensely successful A Design Film Festival), Food Cine.ma will see the world premiere of Tasteology – a film that shines the spotlight on the chefs who are advancing taste through science and experiential dining. The festival will also feature Asian premieres of Miso Hungry – comedian Craig Anderson’s healthy eating adventure in Japan – and The Birth of Saké, a documentary that charts the 2,000 years of tradition that go into crafting Japan’s national drink.
European Union Film Festival (May 10-22)
Singapore’s longest-running foreign film festival is back for its 26th edition with a program of 30 films from 30 countries across Europe. Highlights include the Dutch epic Admiral, award-winning Ukrainian silent film The Tribe and Latvian documentary Ruch and Norie.