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SGIFF Film Academy (SFA) is the region’s first holistic training initiative to support Southeast Asian film talents and nurture film appreciation among the audience. A launch pad for mentorship, exchange of ideas and strengthening film literary, the developmental programmes – Southeast Asian Producers Network, Southeast Asian Film Lab, Youth Jury & Critics Programme, SGIFF Film Fund, New Waves, Film Immersion Programme for Schools and Film Navigation Programme – will enhance the capabilities of the regional film scene collectively.

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The Southeast Asian Film Lab provides an intimate and collaborative setting for Southeast Asian filmmakers embarking on their first feature-length film. It’s as much about providing feedback as it is about forming a tight-knit community. Over the course of seven days, filmmakers will receive personal feedback from the three mentors, and also get to hear from established industry guests sharing their experiences and insights. The programme will end with a pitch in front of an industry panel for a development prize—the Most Promising Project—that will be awarded at the Silver Screen Awards.

The Southeast Asian Producers Network brings together producers from the region to share their wealth of knowledge and information with one another in an open exchange of ideas. Created as a platform for long-term lasting friendships and opportunities for collaboration, the two-day programme includes select dialogue sessions open to the public, talks between regional financiers and producers, case studies examining successful production models and strategies, discussions of pertinent issues relating to producing in Southeast Asia, and ample networking opportunities.

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The Youth Jury & Critics Programme aims to nurture and guide a generation of young writers on cinema from the region. In its lead-up and during the Festival, the young critics’ articles and video essays will be published in the festival’s film journal, Youth Meets Film. The programme will conclude with the young jurors awarding the Youth Jury Prize to one of the films competing in the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition during the Silver Screen Awards. One of the participants will also receive the Young Critic Award, awarded for originality of writing and for their contribution to cinematic discussions in the region.

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As part of the Festival’s ongoing efforts to champion the independent film industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia, SGIFF will be launching two new grants, the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant and the SGIFF SEA-SHORTS Grant, dedicated to supporting filmmakers with compelling stories to tell across both fiction and non-fiction genres. SEA-DOC will support four mid-length or feature projects annually, with a cash amount of S$25,000 each. SEA-SHORTS will support two short films annually, with a cash amount of S$4,000 and post-production support worth S$4,000 each. Applications are open for all genres including drama, animation and experimental short films.

New Waves shines a spotlight on young filmmakers making waves through the archipelago, forming an emerging community within Southeast Asia. Though film screenings and dialogue sessions with guest speakers from different disciplines, the programme centers on their unique and personal approaches in utilising film as a mode of expression. The fourth edition of New Waves will take place from 12-13 July 2019.

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To expand on on-going initiatives and to continue nurturing media literacy and appreciation of the film medium and the creative process among our youths, we have designed the Film Immersion Programme for Upper-Secondary, Post-Secondary, and Tertiary Institutions. It consists of 3 main components: Immerse, Volunteer & Experience.

A series of pre-festival public talks aimed to create conversations between our film curators and festival-goers. Each session is crafted thematically to shed light on hidden cinematic gems in the official selection. It is an open platform for our curators and guest speakers to discuss why the films in selection deserve an audience, how the films relate to our society and time, and to answer any pressing questions the audience may have in anticipation of the Festival.