Here are 9 of them

  • By Adam Kerr
  • | Oct 23, 2017

Apart from all the annual film festivals that happens in the second half of the year, one that we always look forward to is Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Singapore's longest-running and biggest international film event that has become a highly anticipated staple in our arts calendar.

Now in its 28th edition, SGIFF continues to be a shining platform for independent cinema in Asia for 11 days from Nov 23-Dec 3, screening 112 films across a multitude of genres and presentations that will showcase very different storytelling and outstanding cinematography.

It’ll probably take you a while to sieve through the various segments of the festival to decide what you want to watch, like the highly anticipated Singapore Panorama, which will celebrate the 15th anniversary of two iconic local films, Jack Neo's I Not Stupid and Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen's Talking Cock The Movie; Asian Vision, where works by acclaimed and upcoming filmmakers of Asian Cinema are presented, such as the 10th anniversary screening of Liew Seng Tat's Flower In The Pocket; and so much more.

We’ve gone through the entire smorgasbord of films and whittled it down to a selection of nine films that have caught our eye; just enough for you to weasel into your busy schedule. Tickets vary from $12-$25, and will be available from tomorrow (Oct 25) onwards. More info here.


Angels Wear White

SGIFF opens with this incredible work by independent Chinese filmmaker Vivian Qu. Nominated for three awards at the upcoming 54th Golden Horse Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Leading Actress, the film offers a perspective of marginalization and oppression of women in modern-day China. Two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged high-ranking district commissioner in a motel; and the only witness to the incident, Mia, keeps quiet in case she loses her job.

When: Nov 23, 8pm

Where: Marina Bay Sands

How much: $25


Dragonfly Eyes

It may on the surface seem like a typical film about finding and losing love when in reality, it's a conceptual film that has been pieced together using re-edited images and footages from surveillance cameras on cloud servers in China. The plot begins with Qing Ting's supposed training to become a nun. But that falls through and she meets and falls in love with Ke Fan, who ends up in jail. After being released, he becomes fixated on an Internet star whom he thinks is a newer, fresher version of Qing Ting.

When: Nov 29, 4:30pm / Nov 30, 7pm

Where: The Arts House / National Gallery Singapore

How much: $12


The Great Buddha+

This satirical comedy about class status and materialism, which has already received 10 Golden Horse Award nominations, tells the story of two working-class friends who hang out together at night during the late shift and chance upon questionable footages in their millionaire boss' dashboard camera.

When: Nov 27, 4:30pm / Dec 2, 2pm

Where: The Arts House / Filmgarde Bugis+

How much: $12


Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts

Mouly Surya's powerful tale of this female-driven journey of vengeance and justice was the only Southeast Asian feature film at Cannes this year. The main protagonist of the film, Marlina, is a young widow living in the hills of an Indonesian island. A group of gangsters invade her home and attempt to rob her cattle, but she ends up killing them instead, and goes on a journey to find justice—while carrying the heads of her victims.

When: Nov 24, 7pm / Nov 29, 9:30pm

Where: National Gallery Singapore

How much: $12


No Date, No Signature

This highly anticipated film, which is only the second by Iranian director and writer Vahid Jalilvand, has won two awards at the 74th Venice Film Festival. A pathologist finds himself in an ethical dilemma when the body of a child, who suffered bruises from an accident the doctor caused two nights before, arrives at the hospital.

When: Nov 26, 4:30pm / Dec 2, 11am

Where: National Gallery Singapore

How much: $12


Nyi Ma Lay


Photo credit: 28th SGIFF

SGIFF has commissioned Chiang Wei Liang, the recipient of last year's SGIFF Best Singapore Short Film, to produce a film that will make its world premiere at the festival, as part of an initiative that started last year to develop and showcase up-and-coming Singaporean filmmakers. Presented as the opening film of the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition segment of the festival, Chiang's short film chronicles the life of a troubled young domestic helper in Singapore.

When: Dec 1, 7pm

Where: National Gallery Singapore

How much: $12


Oh Lucy!

Josh Hartnett stars in this Japanese feature about a middle-aged Japanese woman who's charmed by the unorthodox methods of her English teacher, only to find that he has to leave for America a while later. Together with her sister, they fly to California to track him down. Oh and by the way, the filmmaker and cast will be there during the screening too.

When: Nov 30, 8pm

Where: Marina Bay Sands

How much: $25


Rotan


Photo credit: 28th SGIFF

Kicking things off at the Short Film Programme 1 of the Singapore Panorama segment is Rotan, a 14-minute thesis film by Hamzah Fansuri, a graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's esteemed School of Film & Media Studies, about a father who finds himself in a spot of bother when his son breaks a rule at the school where he’s also the discipline master.

When: Nov 28, 7pm

Where: National Museum of Singapore

How much: $12


The White Girl

Hong Kong newcomer Jenny Suen presents her debut feature film, where she teams up with renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (known for his work in Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love and many others) to tell the story about the last fishing village in Hong Kong. The filmmakers and cast will be there at the screening for a short Q&A session after.

When: Nov 28, 8pm

Where: Capitol Theatre

How much: $25