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Aric Hidir Amin

SINGAPORE. Actor/Performer. The Arts House.

As a filmmaker, what does it mean for your film to be shown at foreign film festivals?
It means the world to me. Sinema, one of the 7 Letters short films which I was in, was screened here in Singapore and in Busan, garnering much attention. Film festivals provide such a great platform for me to share my passion for acting.

As an Asian actor, my lifelong goal has always been to partake in internationally distributed films. My opportunities arise when producers and directors of such content spot me and feel that I’m the right man for a specific role. All in all, I feel a tremendous amount of pride when my work gets out there.

Have you had the chance to attend a film festival?
So far I have only attended local film festivals, but I’m planning to attend a foreign one sometime this year. And yes, I have spoken to a few directors and what I’ve learnt from most of them is that to keep working on my craft as it stimulates better work on the next job. There’s a saying: you are only as good as your last film, so keep at it!

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Rizman Putra

SINGAPORE. Artist/Performer. The former Golden Theatre.

What advice would you give to someone attending their first film festival?
Watch something new, something that you haven’t heard of, and perhaps your life will change.

Photo credit: Throbbingpixels

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Andrea Peterson

SINGAPORE. Executive Director, Destination Marketing at Marina Bay Sands. MasterCard Theatres.

Have you ever met a filmmaker at a film festival/Q&A session?
In my days with Disney I had the honor of meeting Kenny Ortega. He shared his experience as a dancer/choreographer and love for design, stage, theatre & music. It’s amazing to see how he combined all his strengths to tell a sweet love story musical – ”High School Musical”.

Follow your passion: I’m proud to join another organization that supports the growth of the local independent film community. I’m excited to be part of SGIFF, to experience and also be awed by Singapore’s local talents.

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Lily Khin Vivipem

CHENNAI, India. Content & Communications. Casino Theatre.

What’s your favorite conversation about an independent film?
I chanced upon my first film festival when I was a teenager in Chennai, looking for ways to go on dates with my boyfriend under the radar. There was a Turkish film festival being hosted in Chennai at the Alliance Francaise. It was the first movie we watched that week that stands out. I don’t remember the name of the film, but it chronicled the misadventures of a family of clumsy, charming performing artists travelling across Turkey in a torn-down car.

I remember us laughing a great deal, but with mounting discomfort as the filmmaker revealed depth and darkness with each frame. We left in silence, feeling disoriented, and on a summer night two young lovers were devoid of sweet words through the ride home. It is the absence of conversation that stands out, as if we’d experienced something momentous that left us no space for the banal.

About Casino Theatre
Casino Theatre has long shut down, and it certainly wasn’t a place for indie films in its day. However, it is an iconic cinema hall in Chennai. In its prime, Casino Theatre represented the larger-than-life, glamorous, alien, familiar and altogether visceral allure of cinema – an escape for the masses who saw entertainment as a respite from difficult lives. I’d like to think that even if it has shut its gates, the spirit of the cinema lives on.

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William Chan

SINGAPORE. Designer/Director/Artist. The Projector.

What do you tell a friend to convince them to watch an independent film?
I’ll say, ‘This film is supposed to be banned.’

Photo credit: Angela Ognev (http://happinessisbeautiful.com/)

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Camille Dizon

LOS ANGELES. Content Strategist. Regal Cinemas, L.A. Live.

What’s special about watching a film at a film festival?
There’s a different kind of excitement in the air at a film festival, as opposed to a big Hollywood premiere. There’s a real sense of community — one that supports new talent, local talent, and even the surrounding local businesses. It’s not just about one director or one cast of superstar actors. It’s about the movies themselves: Which ones will touch us? Which ones will surprise us? What will be the next Juno or Dallas Buyers Club? And what are the inspirations behind these amazing stories?

Now, I do not have anything against big Hollywood blockbusters. I love Tony Stark, James Bond, and Harry Potter as much as the next movie-goer. However, the prospect of showing your independent movie at a film festival gives old and new filmmakers a platform to tell the stories that they want to tell. It can help actors/actresses find their big break or, if they’re more seasoned, challenge their craft in new and different roles. That’s what makes it special.

What’s the best conversation you’ve had about an independent film?One of the best conversations I’ve had about an independent film was actually about 500 Days of Summer. It was with some close friends from college, and it sparked a pretty deep but mostly upbeat conversation about the nuances of sexual attraction and the follies of love. As young adults in our mid-20s, this was an interesting, exciting, and important conversation! We shared stories of our own dating fails and triumphs and had a laugh about the weird quirks of our ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. Needless to say, after that conversation, it was easy to point out who the cynics and hopeless romantics were in our group of friends!

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Mr & Mrs Tan

SINGAPORE. Actors. Capitol Theatre.

What is your favorite film memory?
I was 19 when he started to court me; we would watch Chinese operas or go to the movies on our dates. One of our first movies at the Capitol Theatre was the beautiful Li Xianglan’s The Lady of Mystery (1957). Back in those days, there were few cinemas in Singapore. We would meet at a common destination, then take a bus to the theatre together.

Photo credit: Angela Ognev (http://happinessisbeautiful.com/)