Come November 23rd, moviegoers and film enthusiasts alike will be treated to a variety of cinematic treats brought to you by the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). In its 27th edition this year, the annual SGIFF is set to screen a total of 161 films from 52 countries across 13 sections. These will consist of 16 world premieres, 9 international premieres and 18 Asian premieres.

Making this one of the biggest festivals of the year for film, this year’s theme of Telling Our Stories brings us back to regional roots while focusing on the craft of film-making. Notably, plenty of films up for selection this year touch on topics such as womanhood, war and unconventionality.

Screengrab from "Interchange", Opening Film of the 27th SGIFF (Image: 27th SGIFF)

Screengrab from “Interchange”, Opening Film of the 27th SGIFF (Image: 27th SGIFF)

The SGIFF will screen its Opening Film at Marina Bay Sands with the Asian premiere of Interchange, a fantasy thriller by established Malaysian filmmaker Dain Iskandar. Accompanying the Opening Film will also be the first short film commissioned by SGIFF, The Pursuit of a Happy Human Life by SGIFF 2015 Best Singapore Short Film recipient Gladys Ng.

Locally, 4 Singaporean feature films and 5 short films will screen in the Singapore Panorama and Singapore Panorama Shorts sections respectively. Sam Loh, the man behind controversial film Lang Tong (2014), which also screened in SGIFF 2 years ago, returns this year with new revenge thriller Siew Lup.

On the low number of Singapore films represented in SGIFF, Festival Director Zhang Wenjie notes, “We look forward to the day when we don’t have a Singapore Panorama section because (it means) they already have distribution here.”

27th SGIFF

27th SGIFF

Fans of Hong Kong cinema in particular, take note: Veteran actor Simon Yam will be in town December 4th for an intimate session to share his journey of acting and dish out advice with festival goers. Introduced by Singapore International Film Festival last year, the Cinema Legend Award that recognises and celebrates the talent and outstanding achievements of Asian actors will be awarded to Yam.

Also in town will be well known Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan, who will give on December 3rd a masterclass that will touch on his own history and discuss his impressions of the filmmaking scene in Hong Kong and China.

Five of his feature films will also be shown in a section dedicated to Chan, such as recent horror comedy The Midnight After (2014) and controversial horror flick Dumplings (2004). Last but not least, Chan will also receive the SGIFF Honorary Award for his tenacity and dedication in filmmaking.

The SGIFF will take place across various cinemas such as The Arts House, Capitol Theatre, Shaw Theatres Lido, Filmgarde Bugis+ and the National Museum of Singapore. One of the latest venues to be added would be the National Gallery of Singapore.

Ticket sales for SGIFF begins 28 October 2016. More information is made available here

The Singapore International Film Festival is an event organised as part of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF).

Edited by: Teo Dawn

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