Not a single Infinity Gauntlet in sight

In the event that your cinema consumption extends beyond just Avengers and Game of Thrones, you’ll be pleased to know that the coming months are packed with film events and festivals. From critically acclaimed foreign films fresh off the festival circuit, to Asian horror flicks and local shorts, you’re bound to find something to feast your eyes on next.
 

European Union Film Festival (May 10-19)


One of the island’s longest-running film festivals returns, with a bumper pack of 27 films from Europe screening at the National Gallery Singapore. Don’t knock it as scratching the surface; the festival celebrates Europe’s diversity, and acts as a comprehensive platform even for country-specific film festivals here to come together as one. This year’s unofficial theme looks at connectivity and the human connection, manifested in films spanning the genres of drama (A Fortunate Man) to thriller (Omnipresent) and even musical comedy (Sing Street). Also don’t miss Norway’s contribution The Wave, fondly nicknamed “the first Scandinavian disaster movie”.
 

Singular Screens (May 16-Jun 2)



Demons by Daniel Hui

Curated by the Asian Film Archive (AFA), the now-annual film programme happening during the Singapore International Festival of the Arts brings together an international selection of exceptional new works. And when we say exceptional, we mean it. It’s the best place to pounce on an award-winning film—most have just finished their rounds at prestigious film festivals like Cannes and Berlinale, and will be making their Southeast Asia or Singapore premiere at Singular Screens. If you have a thirst for the East, check out our recommendations for the Asian films showing here.
 

State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters (Jun 7-Jul 21)



Sumpah Pontianak

As a follow-up to the epic exhibition on Asian horror that happened as part of Singapore Art Week this January, AFA’s State of Motion 2019 will showcase a constellation of Asian-based monster films in June. Catch classics like the 1954 original Godzilla, beautifully restored for the occasion, and Thailand’s Nang Nak; OG Malay horror films Sumpah Orang Minyak and Sumpah Pontianak from Shaw Malay Productions; Oily Maniac that featured prominently in the exhibition; Singapore’s own Medium Rare about the Adrian Lim ritual murders of the ‘80s; and even newer flicks like HBO Asia’s horror anthology series Folklore. And like with the exhibition, you can expect the film programme to transcend beyond just explicit scares—and into the far more terrifying realm of socio-cultural critique.
 

Reframe: Migratory Times (Jul 26-28)


Keeping it short and sweet is Migratory Times, a series of Chinese-language fictional films shedding light on transitional times in Southeast and East Asia. While the five films are purely fictional, they span the settings of the Ming dynasty, the Sino-Japanese war, and colonial and postcolonial modernity in Taiwan—themselves critical times in cinema history. Definitely don’t miss the world premiere of the newly restored Blood and Tears of the Chinese Immigrants, a 1946 local film documenting the urban landscape of post-war Singapore and Malaya, through the central Yang family’s clashes during the Japanese Occupation. All the films will be screened at Oldham Theatre.
 

Singapore Shorts ’19 (Aug)


Bring along your mini National Day flag; the annual showcase of the year’s best and most promising Singapore short films will return aptly in the month of National Day. While the selection hasn’t been released yet, the little festival serves as a platform for diverse thought in moving images, with the opportunity to hear from up-and-coming local filmmakers in post-screening discussions. This year’s guest programme of older titles from AFA’s collection is local playwright Alfian Sa’at—so that should be fun.