32nd Singapore International Film Festival Celebrates the Cinema Again with New Perspectives

Over 100 films from 40 countries will be shown this year to satiate film enthusiasts and to continue recognising local filmmakers

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The 32nd Singapore International Film Festival promotional poster

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), continues to champion Southeast Asian independent cinema as it makes a grand return for its 32nd edition. The event would be theatres-only based, premiering from the 25th of November to the 5th of December 2021, promising no less of a diverse, inclusive range of over 100 films by global filmmakers as they celebrate the rejuvenation and continuity of film and storytelling in the cinematic community.

Programme Director, Thong Kay Wee’s goal for his inaugural Festival line-up was to build on the Festival’s legacy, while introducing fresh perspectives to excite existing and new audiences.

“As the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore, SGIFF has the greatest capacity to engage the widest local interest in cinema. We need to use this potential to cultivate a deeper and more diverse appreciation of film culture within our society,” says Thong.

32nd Singapore International Film Festival Celebrates the Cinema Again with New Perspectives
SAMSUNG CSC

The 32nd Festival line-up is presented across five new sections, expressed by different positionings, to better profile the films based on the nature of their content. The sections were Foreground, Milestone, Standpoint, Undercurrent and Domain. 

SGIFF has invited film curators Inge de Leeuw and Julian Ross to programme the inaugural edition with their chosen theme: artist and filmmaker collectives — who have come together to resist dominant structures through storytelling and documentary activism.

The beloved Singapore Panorama category, showcasing local filmmaking talent, has grown in numbers for SGIFF 2021, with 23 local films being featured, including ‘Scene UnSeen’ by the late Abdul Nizam and his friends, and ‘Mat Magic’ by Mat Sentol and John Calvert, a 1971 Cathay-Keris classic, newly restored by the Asian Film Archive for its 50th anniversary.

The Opening Film for this year’s festival, “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash’ is a riotous, black comedy-drama that explores the prevalence of toxic masculinity. Directed by Indonesian wunderkind Edwin, the film is an adaptation of Man Booker-nominated Eka Kurniawan’s best-selling book. The film won the Golden Leopard for ‘Best Film’ category in the 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival (2021). 

Presented alongside the opening film is this year’s festival-commissioned short “Dreaming” byNelson Yeo, who won Best Singapore Short Film at the 2020 Silver Screen Awards for his work “Here Is Not There”. 

For the very first time, SGIFF will be awarding the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to

Southeast Asian Cinema Award to Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), for their exceptional work in elevating regional cinema. 

“At SGIFF, we are reminded every day of the passionate individuals in the film community who work so hard together to bring you on a cinematic storytelling journey. For SGIFF 2021, we want to celebrate the necessary persistence of storytelling as a mobius strip that twists, curls and bends, carrying on as an infinite loop — represented through this year’s festival key visual,” shares Emily J. Hoe, Executive Director, SGIFF. 

The 32nd SGIFF will be hosted across multiple festival venues, with screenings, talks and panels held at various different venues in Singapore. 

Priority Sale tickets for SGIFFriends are available for purchase at www.SGIFF.com from the 8th of November, 12pm. Official Ticket Sales commences on the 9th of November, 12pm.