Singapore International Film Festival announces line-up for 2021 edition

The festival will revert back to regular in-person events this year

This year’s edition of Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has revealed its line-up of feature and short film screenings.

In a virtual press announcement yesterday (October 26), it was revealed that SGIFF will feature over 100 films from over 40 countries this year. The festival will take place from November 25 to December 5.

It will also mark a return to strictly in-person screenings, after last year’s hybrid model that included virtual screenings.

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The opening film for this year’s edition of SGIFF will be Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, an Indonesian black comedy directed by Edwin.

The film is an adaptation of writer Eka Kurniawan’s successful 2014 novel. Kurniawan is credited as co-writer for the feature film, which is an Indonesia-Singapore-Germany co-production.

The line-up also includes Memoria – the Tilda Swinton-starring film by Thai arthouse director Apichatpong Weerasethakul – and A Hero, directed by Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi. The latter film also won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year.

In the conference, SGIFF executive director Emily J. Hoe explained the reason why virtual screenings have been dropped this year.

“Watching a film in a cinema is very different from how we watch online,” she said via The Straits Times, “so we are thrilled to bring films back to the silver screen.”

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The festival’s programme director Thong Kay Wee cited the festival’s ability to “engage the widest local interest in cinema” in reviving the collective experience of theatre screenings in hopes of a “more diverse appreciation of film culture within our society.”

Tilda Swinton in ‘Memoria’. Credit: Sandro Kopp©Kick the Machine Films.

“I wish to foster more curiosities, encourage more audiences to embrace different positionalities,” he added, “and express a principle that humanity vis-à-vis cinema can always be open-ended when we choose to think beyond the lines of regionality and boundaries. We gather in the theatres again simply to enjoy and understand one another better.”

Among other selections include the new Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch, Japanese animated film Inu-Oh, an in-depth look into Singapore’s underground music scene titled Scene UnSeen – directed by the late musician Abdul Nazeem – and Some Women, a documentary about the transgender community in Singapore by filmmaker Quen Wong.

There will also be new restorations of the 1971 Singaporean comedy Mat Magic and the 1991 Hong Kong drama Center Stage, the latter starring Maggie Cheung as silent film icon Ruan Lingyu. View the full line-up of films here.

The venues hosting SGIFF screenings are Filmgarde Bugis+, Carnival Cinema at Golden Mile Tower, Golden Village Grand, Oldham Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, and Shaw Lido.

Tickets will be made available to the public on November 9 via SGIFF’s official website.

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