34th Singapore International Film Festival to run Nov 30 – Dec 10; features 20 world premiere films

Three Singapore debut films are nominated for the Asian Feature Film Competition, the highest number of Singaporean nominations since 1997.

Janella Ching

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Published: 10 October 2023, 3:05 PM

Over 100 films across 50 countries will be screened at the 34th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), happening from Nov 30 to Dec 10.

A total of 20 world premiere films from 13 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, China and Europe will also be featured, bringing together “filmmakers, cinephiles and audiences alike for an enriching and unforgettable cinematic journey”.

This year’s festival is record-breaking. Three Singaporean debut films, Tomorrow is a Long Time, Dreaming & Dying and Last Shadow at First Light have been nominated for the Asian Feature Film Competition. 

This is the highest number of Singaporean films selected in the competition since 1997.


SGIFF will kick off with Tiger Stripes, directed by Amanda Nell Eu. It made history as the first-ever Malaysian film to ever clinch the Grand Prix Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

The body horror film sets “an exhilarating tone” for the festival. It tells the story of an ostracised 12-year-old girl as she struggles with puberty. She suddenly discovers a terrifying secret about her body, and has to learn to stand up for herself and embrace the body she feared.


Starring Leon Dai, Tomorrow is a Long Time will explore “profound themes of urban loneliness, coming-of-age, and the intricate dynamics between a father and son in contemporary Singapore”.

It follows a middle-aged widower whose relationship with his sensitive teenage son slowly grows unbearable under social and economic pressures.

The film had its world premiere in competition at the Berlinale. It was the first time a Singaporean feature film had been selected.


The family drama is the feature debut of Singaporean filmmaker Jow Zhi Wei. PHOTO CREDIT: AKANGA FILM ASIA


Dreaming & Dying, directed by Nelson Yeo, follows three middle-aged individuals who are forced to confront their inner demons as a long-buried love triangle between them resurfaces. 

The film is expected to tug at viewers’ heartstrings as it explores magic realism, nostalgia, “repressed desires and entangled memories”.


‘Dreaming & Dying’ won the Golden Leopard – Filmmakers of the Present and Swatch First Feature Award at the Locarno International Film Festival. PHOTO CREDIT: MOMO FILM CO.


Last Shadow at First Light is a family mystery narrative featuring a Singaporean-Japanese girl haunted by visions and embarking on a journey to Japan in search of her missing mother.

Helmed by Nicole Midori Woodford, the film touches on themes of grief, clairvoyance and deep interpersonal relationships.


The film premiered in-competition at San Sebastian Film Festival’s New Directors section. PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLEMIDORI.COM

Newly-restored classics

In collaboration with the Asian Film Archive, this year’s SGIFF will introduce a new section, titled LANDMARK. It focuses on the curation of newly-restored classics from all around the world.

The highly-acclaimed film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) by David Lynch will be screened at the SGIFF, in line with its 30th anniversary restoration in 2022.

“This year’s selection of films consists of a range of diverse voices, perspectives, and storytelling styles, promising audiences an even higher level of inclusion in its cinematic offerings,” said Thong Kay Wee, Programme Director of SGIFF.


Cinephiles can look out for the pre-sale of the SGIFF Festival Pass, which will be on sale at $200 till Nov 20. The pass provides unlimited access to all screenings at this year’s SGIFF.

Single-film tickets range from $15 to $25. They will be available from Oct 26 for SGIFFriends Early Bird purchase; and 12pm on Oct 27 for the general public.

More information regarding the festival schedule and locations will be released by SGIFF soon on their website.

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