It’s a great time for Singaporean film buffs

International blockbusters like Suicide Squad, The Shallows and Nerve, and even Asian productions like Korean zombie flick Train to Busan and Hong Kong action drama Line Walker, are currently dominating the box office in Singapore. But if you’re pining for something a little closer to home, you don’t have to look far. Sure, local films here are usually laced with melancholia and have some sort of lesson to learn at the end (just like the stories that Tan Ah Teck used to tell in the 90s sitcom Under One Roof), but they’re always more hard-hitting because they’re relatable.

Classics like Army Daze, 12 Storeys, The Teenage Textbook Movie, Forever Fever and more recent ones like Apprentice, 7 Letters and Ilo Ilo, cover familiar themes that never fail to tug at our heart strings. From big budget films to documentaries about a conspiracy right here in Singapore, to even restored local classics, here are a few local films to look out for in the coming weeks.

Singapore Minstrel

You see them everywhere—the entertainers who tireless perform on the streets, not just to feed themselves but to express their individuality in creative ways. Singapore Minstrel is a documentary that captures an underrated art form often overlooked in Singapore. Following one of Singapore’s pioneer street performers, Singapore Minstrel unravels a discourse on the culture of busking and features prominent and familiar buskers in Singapore. Aug 20 & 28

Gado Gado

Part of the Asian Film Archive’s Asian Restored Classics, which will be held at the snazzy Capitol Theatre, Gado Gado is one of the 91 surviving Malay titles that were filmed during Singapore’s Golden Cinema era. This half-hour musical is the only one from the Cathay-Keris catalogue and tells the story of a man who’s on a journey to get employed in the city. Along the way, he meets a bunch of people who are full of zest and finds himself in over-the-top shenanigans and funny situations. Aug 27

1987: Untracing the Conspiracy

Twenty-two people were detained in 1987 for allegedly being involved in a Marxist conspiracy. The exercise, named Operation Spectrum, saw the detainees allegedly go through various physical and psychological abuse by the interrogators of Singapore’s Internal Security Department. This is their side of the story. 1987: Untracing the Conspiracy unravels the first 30 days of their ordeal, and discusses the indictment of the Internal Security Act. Aug 28

My Love Sinema

Set in Singapore’s golden age of filmmaking, My Love Sinema chronicles the story of Kheong (played by Tosh Zhang), a hopeless romantic who moves to Singapore from a village in Malaysia, in the hopes of becoming a film projectionist. He makes new friends, indulges in the lifestyle of that era and falls in love with a young teacher. It sounds like a typical romance story of courage, hope and resilience, but the cinema angle of the film has definitely piqued our interest. Debuts on Sep 8

Asian Film Focus 2016

If you’re a short films kind of person, the center for photography and film, Objectifs, is holding a series that will feature a selection from South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and of course, Singapore, based on the theme, “Youth Today”. On the line-up for the Singapore contingent is The Tiger of 142B, The Trams, The Mountains, The Family Photo, 3 Seconds and more. Sept 7-10