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These festivals prove now is a good time to be a film lover in Singapore

Take a break from Netflix

By Adam Kerr | Sep 29, 2017

  • These festivals prove now is a good time to be a film lover in Singapore
    "Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back", A Design Film Festival 2017

With all that Netflix and the digital world have to offer, it can seem very pointless to catch a film in theaters these days. But there’s a kind of romanticism and spectacle that cinemas have to offer that sitting in your PJs at home while eating takeout can never replicate. So why not give your laptop a break and head out, because there are so many festivals with great selections just waiting for you to discover.

Golden Village’s Love & Pride Film Festival (Now till Oct 8)

Besides the popular IndigNation Queer Films Festival that took place last Aug, Golden Village has also consistently been champions in giving LGBT community more visibility with this annual film fest. Now in its ninth year, the Love & Pride Film Festival sees 12 days of films that will hit close to home, warm hearts and open the floodgates over at their Suntec City and Great World City outlets. Tickets are $13 a pop.

Our pick: Being 17, an intense French drama film about a boy's mother taking in his son's bully under her care because his mother has fallen ill (obviously romance ensues after)

Cineda:ns – Dance Films at The Projector (Sep 30-Oct 8)

Esplanade's annual da:ns Festival returns on Oct 20-29, but prior to indulging in some powerful performances from around the world, The Projector has once again partnered with Esplanade to screen three dance-related films. If you've always wanted to catch a dance film that isn't Step Up, Grease or Dirty Dancing, then this festival is for you.

Our pick: Reset, a documentary that follows Benjamin MIllepied's journey in creating his first ballet as Artistic Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the oldest and most prestigious national ballet companies in the world (fun fact: he choreographed the dance segments for Darren Aronofsky's 2010 Black Swan)

Painting With Light (Oct 7-29)

The National Gallery Singapore is putting the art of film (very meta) in the spotlight with an international festival of over 30 films on art. Painting with Light will showcase award-winning feature-length and short films exploring the multi-sensory medium of art that's been divided into four sections to reaffirm the role of art in the human experience. Tickets are $10 for feature films, and free-of-charge for shorts.

Our pick: The Space In Between, a part-documentary, part-video installation following the intriguing experiments of performance artist Marina Abramovic, who tests the limits of her body in her art

Finnish Film Festival (Oct 12-15)

From the country that gave us Nokia (have you checked out the "new" iteration of the super classic, super hardy 3310 yet?) comes an inaugural film festival that will showcase the country's social and natural landscapes. Co-presented by the Embassy of Finland, the Finnish Film Foundation and the Findland 100 team, the Finnish Film Festival will be held at The Projector, and have promised some "culturally appropriate Finnish munchies" to go along with each screening. Tickets are $13.50 per film.

Our pick: Diving Into The Unknown (Takaisin Pintaan), a devastating film which follows a group of Finnish cave divers who embark on a seemingly impossible mission to retrieve their dead friends from a previous accident (real footages included)

Perspective Film Festival (Oct 20-22 & 26-29)

Apart from all the major film festivals that'll be happening in the months to come, another one that has always stood out is the annual Perspectives Film Festival, which is run by undergrads from Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. They’re back for a super-sized 10th edition showcasing a total of 11 films—three of which are Singapore debuts and another three are restored classics—across seven days with a special fringe event on Oct 15 where they'll be screening virtual reality short films to allow filmgoers a new way of experiencing stories. Each of the films explores the theme of rebellion; the kind that goes against social norms or defy institutional systems and go on to inspire the world with their ideas.

Our pick: The Lure, a bizarre yet immersive musical horror film inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's original The Little Mermaid

A Design Film Festival (Oct 20-29)

This is one of the more stylish (remember how sexy the tickets in past years were?) and highly anticipated film festivals in Singapore. Now in its seventh edition, the festival will be screening a total of 10 films at Capitol Theatre, all focusing on the current outlook of the design world and ranging from disciplines like acrchitecture and contemporary art to fashion and music. Tickets are $15 each.

Our pick: You're Soaking In It, a Black Mirror-esque eye-opener which blows the top off the advertising world, unveiling the information gathering techniques in the digital age and a disturbing side of it you never knew you were a part of

Objectifs Women in Film (Oct 19-28)

Initiatives like this are needed for to give women filmmakers the attention they deserve. Back for its third edition, the showcase continues to serve as a powerful hit back at the patriarchy, highlighting the career highlights of Kiki Sugino, as well as a selection of six feature-length and five short-films from Europe, the U.S. and Singapore.

Our pick: Snow Woman, a film based on an ancient spirit of the same name that's popular in Japanese folklore, which Kiki Sugino directs and stars in

Singapore International Film Festival (Nov 23-Dec 3)

Southeast Asia’s longest-running international film festival returns for the 28th time, acting as a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their work on a more regional level. Details on the films that'll be featured this year should be out anytime now. Look out for updates on their Facebook page and website.

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