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9 places to catch indie films in Singapore

Bored of blockbusters? Head to these independent film houses instead.

By SG Staff | Jun 16, 2016

  • 9 places to catch indie films in Singapore
    The Projector. Photo credit: Philipp Aldrup

[Updated Jan 24] If your Netflix subscription isn't cutting it, you might want to head out to one of these indie cinemas for special screenings of award-winning arthouse flicks, local thought-provoking films and overseas films. 

Alliance Francaise

The theater at this French center seats 236, making it one of the largest independent film houses around, and holds regular screenings of both classic and contemporary French, including titles like La Bataille De Solferino and Eden. Screenings are typically on film to ensure a high quality experience. On Tuesdays, they do a screening as part of their Cine Club, which has monthly themes, such as A French Road Movie and Belles & Rebels. 1 Sarkies Rd.

ArtScience Museum

You might not know this, but in addition to jaw-dropping exhibitions, Instagrammable digital installations and Thursday night multimedia shows, ArtScience Museum also has an exciting screening series. The ArtScience on Screen series on the fourth floor does free screenings of mostly documentaries touching on topics close to the museum's mission. In the past, it has shown Werner Herzog's Lo & Behold: Reveries of a Connected World and Water, a collection of seven, feature-length feature films by various Southeast Asian filmmakers, each meditating on the role of water in life, conflict and more. 6 Bayfront Ave.

National Museum of Singapore

Their wonderful Under the Banyan Tree outdoor movie series seems to have gone dormant, but fear not. There are still occasional screenings to check out at NMS. The museum's Cinémathèque Selects in the basement Gallery Theatre is a monthly double bill touching on Singapore's most notable productions. Expect titles like Jasmine Ng and Kelvin Tong's Eating Air and John Schlesinger's Billy Liar. The museum is also a regular venue for screenings by citywide festivals, such as the Voilah! French Festival and the Singapore International Film Festival. The Singapore premier of K. Rajagopal's A Yellow Bird happened here in 2016. 93 Stamford Rd.

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Located at Gillman Baracks, the CCA hosts artists from around the world through its residencies program, as well as hold regular seminars and research programs aimed at enhancing the local art scene and dialogue. They also do regular screenings of Singaporean films, overseas films that are picked or recommended by researchers and filmmakers; more recently they screened 03-FLATS as part of their Re-Thinking the City series, an award-winning documentary by filmmaker Lei Yuan Bin and NUS architecture researcher Lilian Chee, which explores the lives of three women in different life stages, living in separate units in Singapore’s HDBs. 9 Lock Rd. 

Objectifs 

Singapore's center for photography and film recently held an all-women photography exhibition and had a series of film screenings called Women in Film. They also organize an annual film series, Watch Local, where a selection of telemovies spanning the 1990s to 2016 are screened. On top of that, they are also a venue for SGIFF (Singapore International Film Festival) and curate film series like Asian Film Focus featuring films from South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong; Silver Films showing a selection of local short films that explore and engage with seniors. 155 Middle Rd.

Singapore Open Air Cinema Club

Riding on the wave of outdoor film screenings and coworking spaces, Singapore Open Air Cinema Club was only founded last year. The Hive's small scale rooftop cinema has monthly screenings of films, usually comedy. Some of the films they featured are Little Miss Sunshine, an American road trip dramedy; The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Grinch. They are having another one in February called Pulp Fiction, an American neo-noir black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. 59 New Bridge Rd.

Screening Room

This unusual bistro, rooftop bar and mini-movie lounge is where you can have wine, classy cocktails and tapas bites while you catch arthouse and classic films. Past screenings include a series of classic Italian films such as The Bicycle ThiefLa Strada and The Consequence of Love. It's not all arty-farty, though. They've been known to screen Home Alone over Christmas and other Hollywood biggies like Blue Jasmine and Pulp Fiction12 Ann Siang Rd. 

STPI 

Established in 2002, STPI is the largest print workshop in Asia and an art gallery. In recent years, besides featuring exhibitions from emerging artists and established artists, they have also hosted numerous film screenings like Paul Klee: The Silence of the Angel and Flying Paper under their Mid Week Film series, happening on Wednesdays (not every though). The admission is free with popcorn provided for you. 41 Robertson Quay.

The Projector

A big renovation effort and the result of a big crowdfunding drive, The Projector at Golden Mile Tower is now firmly established as the city's most exciting independent cinema, and a regular venue for film festivals big and small, not to mention indie screenings of all types. (Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi's wonderful Taxi Tehran has been the longest-running film here, and in the late months of 2016, they also screened Disney's 1960s classic The Jungle Book.) They're also known to do themed parties with movies like The Big Lebowski and the Star Wars Series. The concession stand is being taken over by the good folks of Red Baron, and let's not forget the parking lot bar The Great Escape, perfect for a pre- or post-movie drink. 5/F Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Rd.

 

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