31st Singapore International Film Festival – Talks & Panels 2020

This year the Singapore International Film Festival will carry out several online talks and panels with filmmakers, producers and industry experts who will give their views and insights on the current situation of the industry.

About the festival:
The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest running film event in Singapore. Founded in 1987 by Geoffrey Malone and L. Leland Whitney, the Festival focuses on showcasing international films and providing a global platform for the best of Singapore cinema. Over the decades, it has grown to become an iconic date in the Singapore arts calendar. With its focus on groundbreaking Asian cinema, this prestigious event is known for its dynamic programming and commitment to the development of a vibrant local film culture.

All the talks and panels will take place online. To attend the meetings you will need to register here:

November 29th, 2020 – 7:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Shaping Southeast Asian Identities through Documentary
Speakers: Alyx Ayn Arumpac, Chew Chia Shao Min, Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn, Prapat Jiwarangsan, Tan Biyun, Joant Úbeda

This panel discussion brings together documentary filmmakers, some of whom have received the SEA-DOC Grant, to reflect on the role of documentaries in the region. Drawing on the combined themes and narratives of the films in the programme, it explores the notions of witnessing, testimony and archive.

Should documentaries observe or intervene in contemporary lives and culture? How do they reflect and express the diverse identities of the region? How do they record the present or narrate the past? How important are they as records of our contemporary world for the future?

November 30th, 2020 – 7:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Southeast Asian Producers Network

Accessing International Co-Production – Why and How?
: Bianca Balbuena, Fran Borgia, Anthony Chen,
Isabelle Glachant, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc.

How can the next generation of producers gain a foothold in coproduction? What knowledge should they acquire? What qualities must they possess? Is co-production suitable for everyone or every project?

November 30th, 2020 – 9:00 pm
In Conversation with: Ann Hui and Man Lim Chung
: Ann Hui, Man Lim Chung.

Keep Rolling profiles acclaimed Hong Kong director Ann Hui, charting her filmmaking career of over four decades. A key figure in the groundbreaking Hong Kong New Wave of the ’70s and ’80s, her diverse oeuvre ranges from martial arts films and thrillers to period melodramas and literary adaptations. Above all, she is best known for her nuanced and socially aware realist dramas that capture the most intimate anxieties of Hong Kong life.

What shines through her remarkable body of films—and is reflected in Man Lim Chung’s documentary Keep Rolling—is Hui’s fierce independence towards her work and her profound humanism towards the subjects of her stories, which carries over from her attitude to life.

Hui will be in conversation with Man to reflect on her extraordinary career and cinematic achievements, and share her inspirational approach to life.

December 1st, 2020 – 7:00 pm
In Conversation with: Shozo Ichiyama
: Shozo Ichiyama

Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama’s distinguished 30-year career has seen him enable some of the biggest names in international cinema: Takeshi Kitano, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Samira Makhmalbaf and, most notably, Jia Zhangke. Having begun his career at the Shochiku studio, he quickly sought ways to broaden his horizons and to champion independent and creative voices, working alongside international filmmakers and those in Japan.

He has long been an advocate of new talent, which he has increasingly sought to promote as his own career and reputation have expanded. His determination to encourage new voices led him to launch the Tokyo Filmex festival in 2000. He is currently collaborating on his first project from Singapore.

Ichiyama will be discussing aspects of his career, such as working with notable directors, international coproduction, finding new directors and selecting projects he believes in. What does he value in new directors? What areas should aspiring filmmakers focus on? And what is the future of independent production?

December 2nd, 2020 – 5:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Future of Cinema – Rethinking the Experience of Film
: Alemberg Ang, Carl Chavez, Anderson Le, Prashant Somosundram.

2020 has proved a dramatic and challenging year for cinema. Film exhibitors, filmmakers and film festivals have all been hit hard, confronted with dilemmas and decisions about survival, and the 120-year tradition of cinemaviewing experience faces an unprecedented existential threat.

While the major players have received much attention, SGIFF wants to zoom in on the grassroots, the independent filmmakers and organisations that are the lifeblood of cinema. How can they adapt? What are some new modes of working or networks they could consider? Are traditional methods and the cinematic experience still relevant—or even necessary? What has the independent sector achieved in terms of mitigating the situation, even if sometimes only temporarily? In short, what might the future hold?

December 3rd, 2020 – 7:00 pm
Panel Discussion: SG Originals – Funding Short Films
Thinking Outside the Box
: Fran Borgia, Kan Lume, Sangchul Lee, Tan Wei Ting.

Securing funds for making a short film is often a difficult and competitive process. However, besides the limited funds provided by cultural and film institutions, there are also opportunities to be found in other sectors. Increasingly, we see social, educational, charitable and other bodies funding short films with messages that are aligned with their aims or mission.

What are some of these projects that are available? What obligations do the filmmaker have to fulfil? What are the application procedures? How can the filmmaker balance the required messages with their own cinematic vision and use these projects to their advantage?

Aimed at young and emerging filmmakers, this panel offers ideas and practical advice for making the most of under-explored and unconventional funding opportunities for short films.

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