THE Singapore Film Festival Melbourne kicks off this Saturday, and we’re putting the spotlight this week on days four and five. (Pppppst. We’ve still got one last pair of tickets to give away! Scroll down to find out how you can win.)
In addition to The Days by Boi Kwong (September 6), the second part of the festival’s Sinema Showoff series is definitely worth a watch.
For the uninitiated, Sinema Old School (a clever word play on “Singapore and cinema”) has become a mecca for Singapore’s emerging filmmakers and local film supporters since it moved into the former Methodist Girls’ School compound at Mount Sophia in 2007.
Its Sinema Showoff! program in particular, invites submissions from all genres by independent filmmakers, as long as you are local.
Raw and edgy, the confines of a modest budget have, instead of impeding, served to draw out the creative geniuses in professional and amateur filmmaker alike.
The Singapore Film Festival Melbourne will be bringing you some of Sinema Showoff’s best works, and the passion and heart that has gone into creating what you see on screen is palpable.
Day 4. Pickings on September 7 include the Sinema Short Films Special – a 54-minute collection of four short films with strong social themes; and Pin Pin Tan’s Invisible City which ran for a sold-out four week when it first opened at The Arts House in Singapore in July 2007.
Interestingly, Tan’s Invisible City is a documentary about documenteurs. She interviews photographers, journalists and archaeologists – people who have been driven by curiosity to seek out a city for themselves.
The documentary reveals how deeply personal their search has been, and how fragile histories are, pieced together through artefacts and memories.
Day 5. The festival closes with Yuan Bin Lei’s White Days and a collection of Junfeng Boo’s short films.
In his 92-minute feature, Lei uses an unsterilised black and white image and a documentary-like realism to set the stage for a series of conversations and situations that have as much everyday nihilism as religious theories bordering on the ridiculous.
The film begins with a young man, whose planned trip overseas is abruptly cancelled when his travelling companion dies. He reconnects with his friends back home – one a religious fanatic who has just returned from a pilgrimage to Israel, the other a translator who has always dreamed of living overseas. Their conversations are peppered with a mordant sense of humour, as they each come to grips with their personal crises, and the transient and impermanent nature of life.
And finally, you’ll have to watch Boo’s collection of short films to find out how the young filmmaker has managed to win so many accolades for his work in the past five years, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, the Special Jury Prize, Special Achievement Award and Best Film at the Singapore International Film Festival.
Most recently, he received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Trained both in Singapore and in Spain, Boo has a penchant for exploring themes such as alienation, kinship, love and sexuality. The five films featured at this festival are Changi Murals, Stranger, Katong Fugue, Keluar Baris (Homecoming) and Tanjong Rhu.
Meld Magazine still has one double pass to the festival to give away. For your chance to win, email your name, age, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “SFFM”.