A reincarnating ghost trapped with a Singaporean family. Filipino immigrants displayed as live exhibits. A quiet resistance of Iranian photographers. A romantic comedy about a rebellious Vietnamese tailor. — These are but a few plots to mention from the returning film-art festival Painting with Light.

In its second edition, the film festival takes a provocative turn, shedding light on the difficult conversations that the international art scene has been having.

Attendees can expect stories (both fictional and documented) from the streets of our own city to big-name European landmarks like the Louvre. With plenty of films and activities to choose from, here are some festival highlights you might not want to miss.

Festival opener Their Remaining Journey by Singaporean filmmaker John Clang takes an unconventional spin on our country’s typical heartlander stories through the meditative lenses of experimental art, weaving together three different stories about death, reincarnation, and transition.

Benjamin Duffield’s Megalodemocrat celebrates the life and work of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a Mexican-Canadian artist who is famed for his large-scale interactive installations in famous public city spaces. Shot over ten years across 30 cities, the film takes us deep into the artist’s processes of creating these urban interventions.

With a thematic focus on the realities and experiences of displacement, the lineup will include renowned works that have been showcased in the prestigious film festivals of Cannes, Busan, and Toronto. Premiering for the first time in Singapore are award-winning flicks Hashti Tehran, The Tailor, The Graduation, and Louvre City.

The festival will also be hosting Post-show dialogues, beginning this weekend with “Where Do We Belong?: Death and Spirituality in Southeast Asia,” a public forum that will feature directors John Clang and Kamila Andini.

There will also be running daily screenings (with free entry) of Southeast Asian shorts, featuring Nicole Midori Woodford’s Permanent Resident, Chiang Wei Liang’s Little Sister and Sundance winner Kirsten Tan’s Dahdi. All of which tell the unspoken tales of our island-nation.

Painting with Light 2018 will run from 5 – 28 October 2018 at the National Gallery Singapore. 

Tickets are now available for sale at both the gallery and its online website.

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