We present the winners of the Singapore International Film Festival that took place from November 23rd – December 4th, in the city of Singapore.
Silver Screen Awards
Southeast Asian Short Film
Best Southeast Asian Short Film
In the year of monkey (Prenjak) by Wregas Bhanuteja – Indonesia | 2016 – 12 min.
Needing money urgently, Diah offers a match to Jarwo for 10,000 rupiahs. In return, he gets to see her genitals.
Best Singpore Short Film
Anchorage Prohibited by Chiang Wei Liang – Taiwan, Singapore | 2015 – 17 min.
Two migrant workers with no money and a child seek employment opportunities on an island where anchorage is prohibited.
The Mist by Liao Jiekai – Singapore | 2016 – 12 min.
Two women recollect the sounds and images from places in their collective memories in this evocative dance-inspired film.
On The Origin of Fear by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon – Indonesia | 2016 – 13 min.
Set entirely in an audio recording studio, a director pushes a soldier to the limit as he takes on the roles of both victim and aggressor in a scripted anti-communist propaganda campaign recording.
Asian Feature Film
White Sun (Seto Surya) by Deepak Rauniyar – Nepal | 2016 – 89 min.
Strife between supporters of the monarchy and the Maoist faction is explored as a microcosm within a village shortly after the civil war, when peace talks are being instituted for governmental reforms. Hearing of the death of his father, the chief of a Nepali village, Agni journeys back home to assist in the burial rights after many years away fighting with the Maoists. He strives to reconcile with Durga, his wife who is plotting to leave the village with her daughter Pooja, but is confronted with the anti-Maoist sentiments of the villagers and his estranged brother.
White Sun trots through the scars that remain from the civil war with dramatic tension and surprising moments of absurdist comedy, all the while churning the wheels towards reconciliation through the eyes of the young and innocent. (SGIFF Catalogue 2016)
Abdullah Mohammad Saad for Live From Dhaka – Bangladesh | 2016 – 94 min.
Within the pressure-cooker reality of living and surviving in Dhaka, physically handicapped Sazzad has just lost all his money in a recent stock market crash. Struggling to survive and hounded by loan sharks, he no longer knows how to deal with his girlfriend Rehana, and his drug-addicted brother, Michael. As the pressure mounts, Sazzad becomes increasingly desperate to find any means to escape from Dhaka and his troubles, sinking deeper into the darkness of his soul.
Shot in grainy black and white, and featuring a powerful performance by actor Mostafa Monwar in the role of Sazzad, first-time feature film director Abdullah Mohammad Saad paints a riveting and complex portrait of a man pushed to his very extreme and his struggle between morality and the instinct for self-preservation. (SGIFF Catalogue 2016)
Mostafa Monwar for Live From Dhaka – Bangladesh | 2016 – 94 min.
Turah by Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo – Indonesia | 2016 – 79 min.
The residents of Kampung Tirang live in dilapidated shacks, earning just enough for their next meal. The hardworking and reliable Turah has been appointed by the cooperative leader to tend to complaints or settle conflicts that arise in the village. Peace in the settlement is disrupted when the alcoholic Jadag starts questioning the governance of the village. His accusations towards the leaders soon land both Turah and the whole village into further trouble.
Director Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo’s debut is inspired by the lives of the inhabitants from the same village in Tegal, Central Java. Featuring a host of theatre and community actors, and in its native language, Turah paints an authentic picture of the struggles of the lower class amidst corruption and indifference from the privileged upper class. (SGIFF Catalogue 2016)
Audience Choice Award
Absent Without Leave by Lau Kek Huat – Taiwan, Malaysia | 2016 – 83 min.
The tracing of personal anecdotes becomes an act of mining collective history in Lau Kek-Huat’s debut feature documentary in which he attempts to reconnect with his absent father. What follows is the gradual unraveling of his grandfather’s forgotten story: an absent father to the filmmaker’s own absent father, but also a guerrilla Communist soldier, a protector, a martyr of Malaya during WWII.
Intensely heartfelt without being overly sentimental, Absent Without Leave navigates the murky waters of Malayan history that appears far removed from the present. It reminds us not only of Malaya’s tragic past, but also our collective amnesia, of how quickly and seamlessly these narratives are thrown into physical and psychological exile. In this journey into forgotten consciousness, we are offered a glimpse of reconciliation and a possible redemption for those who have been absent. (SGIFF Catalogue 2016)
Youth Jury & Critics Programme
Youth Jury Prize
Still by P.R. Patindol
Youth Critic Award
Southeast Asian Film Lab
Most Promising Project
Taste by Dong Phuong Thao
Rahula by Puangsoi Aksornsawang
Fruit Chan (Hong Kong screenwriter, filmmaker and producer)
Cinema Legend Award
Simon Yam (Hong Kong, Actor and producer)