The festival team started planning SGIFF 2020 around the pandemic since the circuit breaker in Singapore.
The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is back for their 31st edition and will take place from Nov 26 to Dec 6, 2020.
First started in 1987, the event aims to nurture and champion local and regional talents.
The COVID-19 pandemic was not going to stop this event from happening, said the chairperson at the SGIFF, Boo Junfeng.
He highlighted how this was a festival that was meaningful to filmmakers and its audiences, saying that “films have offered us this window of escape to different places for us to imagine, for us to explore”.
This year’s SGIFF will feature over 70 films from 49 countries, with more than 20 Singaporean films.
The local films were selected as the festival team “wanted to create a local community feeling”, according to Kuo Ming-Jung, the artistic director of SGIFF.
The festival opens with a Singaporean film titled, Tiong Bahru Social Club, directed by Tan Bee Thiam. The local satirical comedy centers around an organisation that aims to turn Tiong Bahru into the happiest neighbourhood in the world.
“I grew up with the festival running from screening to screening, sometimes in the rain trying to catch as many films as possible because the programme is always so exciting, so for me it is really like a homecoming,” said Bee Thiam.
Silk is another Singaporean film that will be featured in the festival. Directed by Don Aravind, the film follows a conscientious son who struggles to reunite his fractured family amidst his father’s ailing state. It explores the human spirit and human conscience.
There will also be films like Nomadland, which won the Golden Lion for Best Film, as well as Wife Of A Spy, which was directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
The film festival will take on a hybrid model. This means that there will be a physical and online screening of the film selections.
Physical screenings will be held at Shaw Lido, Filmgarde Bugis+, The Projector and Oldham Theatre.
The festival will still have its special touch as they will have their usual question and answer segment with the filmmakers. Whether audiences tuned in online or in cinemas, they can still send in their questions.
“We are committed and we will push on. It will happen in some way, shape or form,” comment Emily J Hoe, executive director at SGIFF.
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