The Silver Screen Awards aims to create awareness of the rich filmmaking talents throughout Asia and Southeast Asia, and pave the way for a Singapore film industry.
First introduced by the Festival in 1991, the Silver Screen Awards was the first such international competition with a specific Asian film category; thus charting the rise of Asian Cinema and recognising the talents of new and upcoming filmmakers, many of whom were to become some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time. Another initiative was in 2014 with the expansion of the short film competition section from the Singapore Short Film category to the Southeast Asian Short Film category – opening up the competition to the short filmmaking talents in the region.
SGIFF is a qualifying festival for the Short Film Awards of the Academy Awards®. The recipient of SGIFF’s Best Southeast Asian Short Film will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
AWARD WINNERS 2016
YOUTH JURY & CRITICS PROGRAMME
YOUTH JURY PRIZE
by P.R. Patindol
YOUTH critic award
SOUTHEAST ASIAN FILM LAB
MOST PROMISING PROJECT
by Dong Phuong Thao
by Puangsoi Aksornsawang
SOUTHEAST ASIAN SHORT FILM
BEST SOUTHEAST ASIAN SHORT FILM
In The Year of Monkey (Prenjak)
by Wregas Bhanuteja
BEST SINGAPORE SHORT FILM
by Chiang Wei Liang
by Liao Jiekai
On The Origin of Fear
by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon
ASIAN FEATURE FILM
White Sun / Seto Surya
by Deepak Rauniyar
Abdullah Mohammad Saad
for Live From Dhaka
for Live From Dhaka
by Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo
CINEMA LEGEND AWARD
SILVER SCREEN AWARDS JURY PANEL
ASIAN FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Since her emergence in the 1990s, Naomi Kawase has cemented herself as one of the most respected and adroit filmmakers in contemporary Japanese cinema. Her films are a window into the inner worlds of nature and humanity, illuminating the quiet humanism that is present in all our lives. She has made more than 30 documentary and fiction works that have been lauded by critics, festivals and audiences all over.
Naomi Kawase was born in 1969 in Nara, Japan. She graduated in 1989 from the Osaka School of Photography, where she began experimenting with documentaries on Super 8mm and 16mm cameras. In 1992, Kawase made her documentary Embracing, shot in handheld experimental styles, chronicling her search for her father who had abandoned her. Her next documentary, Katatsumori, captured moments from her loving but fraught relationship with her adopted mother. Kawase’s autobiographical impulses were clear, as she drew from her family histories to craft intimate and affecting ruminations on familial love, sadness and reconnection. They caught the attention of wider audiences, both films winning prizes at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 1995.
While still making documentaries, Kawase began to turn her attention to fiction films. She gained international prominence with her debut narrative feature Suzaku in 1997. At 28, she garnered the Camera d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, making Kawase the youngest director to win the award. Since then, Kawase has continued to hone a documentary-realism style of filmmaking that combines poetic lyricism and quiet reflection with shrewd insight into the human condition. Through her documentaries such as The Weald (1997), Mangekyo-Kaleidoscope (1999) and Genpin (2010), she grapples with difficult realities and casts a careful gaze on the inner lives of her subjects, unveiling moments of tender humanity and stark honesty. Through these reflections, her fiction films are conceived. Her films also embrace the spiritual and physical landscape of her leafy hometown of Nara, using the incandescence of nature as a commentary on the ruthless and cyclical nature of life that her characters struggle to reconcile with.
Kawase’s legacy transcends her films. As a filmmaker with significant stature, she is intent on using her platforms to give back to the filmmaking world in Japan. She founded the Nara International Film Festival (NIFF) in 2010, determined on showcasing culture and talent in her hometown city with a rich historical past. Through the festival, she also champions young filmmakers through the NIFF NARA-wave section, where winning student films are passed on directly to the Cannes Cinefondation director. To her, teaching and nurturing the next generation of filmmakers is an imperative.
Kawase’s ties with the Singapore International Film Festival date back to her debut feature, Suzaku, which was in competition for Best Asian Feature Film at the 1997 edition. It garnered the Best Actress Award for first-time actress Machiko Ono, who went on to star in acclaimed films such as Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Koreeda). She also served as a jury member at the 16th edition of the Festival in 2003.
Herman Yau is a Hong Kong director, scriptwriter and cinematographer. He studied film at the Department of Communications, Hong Kong Baptist University from 1981 to 1984. To date, he has written, shot and directed over 100 films, which include Ebola Syndrome, From the Queen to the Chief Executive, Master Q 2001, The Legend is Born: Ip Man and Ip Man: The Final Fight.
His films have been shown at various festivals in Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome were praised as “cult classics”, while From the Queen to the Chief Executive was awarded the Golden Torch Award by the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual.
Born on 30th April 1948 in Beirut, Jocelyne Saab began exploring the world of the moving image during the 1970s. Starting out as a journalist and war reporter, she moved into film fiction during the ‘80s and has completed four feature films. Over 30 of her documentaries are inscribed in the literary tradition of Albert Londres and Ernest Hemingway, and inspired by the poets of cinema such as Peter Whitehead and Dick Fontaine.
The emotional strength of her films not only comes from her use of memory but also from the formal elegance of her work: an original perspective and documentary information combine and compete in intensity. While the presence of the subjective can sometimes undermine the analysis of a situation, in Jocelyne Saab’s work both are perfectly balanced, making her oeuvre a reference point in the history of cinematographic form.
Most of her 30 documentaries are screened in Europe, on Canadian and Japanese television, and her first feature-length fiction film, A Suspended Life, was selected at the Cannes Quinzainnes des Réalisateurs. Dunia was also selected at Sundance in the international section. She is currently working on a musical.
Aside from her work in film, she has dedicated a significant amount of time to photography and her first large-scale exhibition was a mix-media installation at the National Museum of Singapore in 2007. Jocelyne Saab’s art enters into a profound relationship with the image, seeking to better understand those images that make up our collective history.
She established the Cultural Resistance Association and has, since 2013, been the organiser and curator of the Cultural Resistance International Film Festival – the first film festival in Lebanon to be focused on cinema from Asia and the Mediterranean – a striking example of how the terms of art and culture are no longer synonymous with a “cultural obligation” but rather with understanding and engagement. She is working on an art series of video postcards shot in six different countries now.
Sunny Pang is an accomplished actor and fight choreographer based in Singapore. He worked as a bodyguard and a bouncer before entering the film industry. Sunny has appeared in numerous short films, TV serials and films, becoming one of the most versatile and recognised actors in Singapore and Southeast Asian cinema. He is a main player of the Ronin Action Group, a collective of stunt actors that aims to improve the quality of action films within the region.
Pang has an impressive list of movie credits and has worked with many directors within the region. He has appeared in films such as The Maid (2005), One Last Dance (2006), Call If You Need Me (2009), Perth (2004), Petaling Street Warrior (2012), The Collector (2012), Hantu Di Vietnam (2013), Ranh Giới Trắng Đen (Black & White) (2014), Pukulan Maut (2014), Re:solve (2014), Siew Lup (2016) and Headshot (2016). He was nominated for Best Performance at the 2009 Singapore Film Awards for his leading role in the omnibus feature film Lucky 7 (2009).
Pang will collaborate once again with directors Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel for an action crime drama Night Comes for Us, and another crime drama project by Malaysian Director Zahir Omar entitled Four.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Mira Lesmana was born in Jakarta in 1964. She studied at the Jakarta Art Institute majoring in Film Directing, but graduated in Film Producing. She was the first student to graduate as a producer, and in her thesis she laid down the important role of a producer in a film production.
Mira’s love for Indonesian Cinema is undeniable. Her spirit to revive the local film industry has been noted when together with her filmmaker colleagues, Riri Riza, Nan Achnas and Rizal Mantovani, she wrote, directed and produced KULDESAK. It was released in 1998, in the midst of Indonesian film industry crisis. KULDESAK gave its own mark, not only because of its success, but also because of the story behind the making of the film. It took three years to finish the film and was made in guerilla style, breaking rules under the New Order regime. The spirit behind the filmmaking surprised everyone since there was a very pessimistic view towards Indonesian films at the time.
Mira continued to break the pessimism towards Indonesian films, when she produced Sherina’s Adventure (2000) and What’s With Love (2002). Both films became a huge box office and brought back the youth to the cinemas to watch local films.
Her passion for creative freedom and artistic integrity is apparent, as she refused to make her company, Miles Films, to be driven by the industry despite her ability in making box office films. Miles Films remained as a small company producing only 1 to 2 films at the most every two years.
Film critics has labeled her as ‘unpredictable’, producing films ranging from a big box office success to critically acclaimed films, from small budget features to big epic productions. Her films such as Eliana, GIE, 3 Days To Forever and Atambua 39”Celcius, which were all directed by her partner Riri Riza, have received many awards internationally.
In 2008 and 2009, she produced The Rainbow Troops and The Dreamers, which achieved big commercial successes though the films featured non-actors. The Rainbow Troops became the highest box office success in Indonesia until today. The film was also selected in the panorama section of Berlinale 2009.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of audience dropped sharply in Indonesia. After 2012, even commercial films could no longer reach over 2 million viewers. Most filmmakers blamed the distribution system and also the audience for no longer appreciating local films. Mira once again proved them wrong as she released the sequel of What’s With Love? (What’s With Love 2) in 2016, 14 years after, and it brought back a long queue of audience again in the cinemas to watch the film all across Indonesia. The film is now sitting at the No. 1 Box Office list of 2016 with over 3.6 million audience.
Splitting his time between Los Angeles and Honolulu, Anderson Le has worked diligently in the global promotion of independent and world cinema as director of programming for the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), which is now heading into its 36th year. In addition to his duties at HIFF, Le also serves as artistic director for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and a program consultant for the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. He is a co-founder with Hollywood director Justin Lin of YOMYOMF.com, an Asian American pop culture blog and digital media company, where he has curated short films and is in development of several digital projects for various SVOD and OTT platforms.
Having studied film directing at the prestigious Escolar Superior de Cinema I Audiovisuales de Catalunya (ESCAC) in Barcelona, Span, Bertrand’s work typically displays compelling storytelling and strong characters. His visual style is diverse, preferring to take guidance from the script to determine the imagery. Nevertheless, there is a preference for cinematic wide frames and handheld spontaneous movement, exhibited in an array of work from narrative films for Breadtalk, Singtel, MCI, promotional films for the Youth and Paralympic Games, and brand campaigns for Coca Cola, Canon, Dumex, Mandom, Rexona, Samsung, Suntory, Philips, amongst many others.
His most recent work include a stylised single-take promotional film for ciNE65 featuring a hyper-realistic war scenario, a dreamy brand campaign for Gardens by the Bay shot from the perspective of two best girlfriends, and an energetic campaign for New Balance centred around track running.
Early this year, he also directed a highly successful social experiment campaign for Prudential, which has already garnered 12 million viewership hits and counting.
HONORARY AWARD: FRUIT CHAN
Fruit Chan is a vital figure in Asian Cinema. Since the 90s, he has been ceaselessly pushing the boundaries and quality of the Hong Kong cinema while existing within and navigating the conditions of the country’s film industry. Following the tumulus progression of political and cultural changes in the country, Fruit Chan’s films have been reinventing genre traditions with a ceaseless enquiry into Hong Kong identity, tracking its anxieties, heritage and its ever shifting image.
Born in Guangzhou in 1959 and raised in Hong Kong, Fruit Chan was a regular at the Hong Kong Film Culture Centre, a film club that he worked at before his entrance into Hong Kong film industry in the 80s where he worked for many directors such as Jackie Chan, Ronny Yu and Shu Kei.
Emerging in the 90s with contemporaries such as Wong Kar Wai, Ann Hui and Johnnie To, Fruit Chan’s films hold a mirror to Hong Kong society. His films straddle the line between mainstream and independent cinema. While presented within the milieu of Hong Kong commercial cinema, his films often challenge its parameters, providing fresh takes on the industry’s common genres.
In 1991, he released his debut feature Finale in Blood as well as Five Lonely Hearts. He rose to prominence as an auteur with Made in Hong Kong (1997), a low-budget film made with leftover film stock from previous productions that is recognised as one of the most important films of Hong Kong cinema. While faced with mixed response from audience and critics, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, Best Picture at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival. The film is part of his 1997 Trilogy – together with The Longest Summer (1998) and Little Cheung (1999) – which reflect upon the everyday life of the working class set within the period preceding the handover to China in 1997.
After completing the 1997 Trilogy, he delved into the subject matter of prostitution and the socio-economic conditions leading to its prevalence in society, to make what is termed The Prostitution Trilogy that resulted in the production of his next two films Durian Durian (2000) and Hollywood Hong Kong (2001).
His later works saw him venturing further into horror and mystery genres while keeping his keen observation on Hong Kong society. This is evident in his exquisitely shot masterpiece Dumplings (2004), an innovative leap in Hong Kong horror cinema, and The Midnight After (2014) an supernatural allegory of post-handover Hong Kong based on the web-novel Lost on a Red Minibus to Taipo.
Fruit Chan’s films form a strong thread that flows through the trajectory of Hong Kong cinema from the 90s to the present. He is a versatile filmmaker that has broken resistance from mixed receptions from audiences and critics to sustain his body of work that has always harbored a strong interest in the complexity of Hong Kong. His recent documentary My City (2015) explores the heritage of Hong Kong through the eyes of a poet.
Besides filmmaking, he also an actor, producer and scriptwriter. He is a regular at the Singapore International Film Festival where The Longest Summer was screened in its 12th edition and Hollywood Hong Kong in its 15th edition. He is also the scriptwriter for Bugis Street (Yon Fan, 1995), which was screened at the festival’s 26th edition last year.
CINEMA LEGEND AWARD: SIMON YAM
CINEMA LEGEND AWARD
In recognition of Simon Yam’s lifelong dedication to acting and the arts, and his vital contribution to Asian cinema, the Singapore International Film Festival is proud to confer this year’s Cinema Legend Award to Simon Yam.
One of the most recognisable faces of Asian cinema, Simon Yam is an internationally acclaimed Hong Kong actor.
Born in Hong Kong, Yam started from humble beginnings and worked his way up the industry. He started his career as a model before finding his calling as an actor in the 1970s when he signed with Hong Kong television network TVB. Yam became a household name with popular television series such as Return of the Condor Heroes (1983) and New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre (1986). He entered the film industry in 1987 and has since appeared
in over 200 movies, becoming one of the most respected, charismatic and sought-after leading actors. From the late 80s till now, Yam’s career became synonymous with the best of Hong Kong cinema.
Together with his contemporaries such as Chow Yun Fat and Andy Lau, Simon Yam is a true icon of Hong Kong cinema whose work has an indelible impact on popular culture around the world. A meticulous and hardworking actor devoted to his craft, Yam proved to be one of Asia’s most versatile actors who participates in both blockbusters as well as independent arthouse cinema. He has a long working relationship with some of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed directors such as Ringo Lam, Johnnie To and Ann Hui. Some of his performances in films such as Bullet in the Head (1991), Full Contact (1993), The Mission (1999), PTU (2003), Election (2005), Exodus (2007) and Night and Fog (2009) have become classics of Hong Kong cinema. In 2012, he acted, produced and directed Stolen Things, a segment from the omnibus horror feature Tales from the Dark. Most recently he starred in Malaysian director Ho Yuhang’s Mrs K, opposite martial arts legend Kara Wai.
Simon Yam is also an avid photographer and oil painter, and he actively participates in charity events and public services. Yam has received many awards and tributes for his work in cinema. He was awarded Best Actor at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (organised by the Hong Kong Film Critics Association) in 2004 and 2006. He received the Best Actor award for his role in Echoes of the Rainbow (2010) at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards, and Best Actor at the 6th Macau International Movie Festival for his role in Herman Yau’s Sara (2015). In 2015, he was honoured with a retrospective at the Bucheon Fantastic Film Festival and received the Honorary Maria Award at the Sitges Film Festival. In 2016, a retrospective of his works was presented at the 3rd Dragon Film Festival in Florence, Italy, where he received a lifetime achievement award.