August 25, 2021

Singapore International Film Festival Reveals Its 2021 SGIFF Film Academy Mentors

25 August 2021, Singapore  – The Singapore International Film Festival is proud to announce a trio of well-respected industry experts who will mentor in its series of Film Academy developmental programmes with the festival. Part of SGIFF’s Call for Entry submissions include applications to these programmes. Beyond film screenings, the Film Academy programmes are part of the Festival’s ambition is to nurture film talent in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Introducing the prolific filmmaker, Tan Chui Mui who will take on the role as Mentor for the 2021 Southeast Asian Film Lab. Tan Chui Mui is a Malaysian filmmaker who has won prestigious awards in international film festivals such as Busan International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Oberhausen Short Film Festival. She has also served as Jury and Mentor in many international and regional film festivals. 

Veteran producer, Fran Borgia will head this year’s Southeast Asian Producers Network as Programme Specialist as the Festival opens its doors for the first time to welcome interested applicants for selection to diversify and widen the network and to further encourage the potential for collaboration, idea exchange and inspiration across countries.  

Last but not least, the ever-insightful Youth Jury & Critics Programme will be led by esteemed local playwright and poet, Alfian Sa’at. Alfian Sa’at is the Resident Playwright of Wild Rice, and has won the Golden Point Award for Poetry as well as the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature in 2001. 

The SGIFF Film Academy 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 literacy, the developmental programmes aim to enhance the capabilities of the regional film scene collectively.

In addition, SGIFF is glad to announce an extension for its Call for Entry submissions deadlines due to appeals to 3 September 2021 for Asian and Southeast Asian Feature Films and Short Films, and to 10 September 2021 for applicants to participate in SGIFF Film Academy programmes – Southeast Asian Film Lab,  Southeast Asian Producers Network and Youth Jury & Critics Programme.

For more information on Call for Entry, please visit

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Annex A: 2021 SGIFF Film Academy Mentors

Southeast Asian Film Lab

TAN Chui Mui

Mentor, Southeast Asian Film Lab

Born 1978 in Kuantan, Tan Chui Mui is a Malaysian filmmaker who has won prestigious awards in international film festivals such as Busan International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Oberhausen Short Film Festival.

In 2005, she set up Da Huang Pictures and started the Malaysian New Wave. In 2015, she initiated Next New Wave, a brand under NNW Films and organised filmmaking related workshops that aim to provide young and growing film talents in Malaysia a platform to learn directly from renowned filmmakers in the region. In 2017, she started SeaShorts, a film festival focused on showing Southeast Asian short films.

Chui Mui has also served as jury for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Busan Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival, Beijing Independent Film Festival, Hong Kong IFVA Award, Vladivostok International Film Festival and more. She was also a mentor at regional filmmaking workshops such as Asian Film Academy, Asean-ROK FLY, Makassar SEA Skrin Academy as well as the 2014 SGIFF Southeast Asian Film Lab.


Programme Specialist, Southeast Asian Producers Network

Born in southern Spain and based in Singapore since 2003, Fran Borgia has produced several critically acclaimed films such as Ho Tzu Nyenʼs Here (Cannes Directorʼs Fortnight 2009), Boo Junfengʼs Sandcastle (Cannes Criticsʼ Week 2010), Lav Diazʼs A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery (Berlinale 2016 – Silver Bear Winner), Boo Junfengʼs Apprentice (Cannes Un Certain Regard 2016), K. Rajagopalʼs A Yellow Bird (Cannes Criticsʼ Week 2016), Yeo Siew Huaʼs A Land Imagined (Locarno 2018 – Golden Leopard Winner) and Kamila Andiniʼs Yuni (Toronto Platform Competition 2021). He has also worked as Line Producer for Warner Brosʼ Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and HBOʼs Westworld Season 3 (2020).

Alfian SA’AT

Head Mentor, Youth Jury & Critics Programme

Alfian Sa’at is the Resident Playwright of Wild Rice. His published works include three collections of poetry, One Fierce HourA History of Amnesia and The Invisible Manuscript, a collection of short stories, Corridor, a collection of flash fiction, Malay Sketches, three collections of plays as well as the published play Cooling Off Day.

In 2001, Alfian won the Golden Point Award for Poetry as well as the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature. He has also been nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize three times, for Corridor (1999, Commendation Prize), A History of Amnesia (2004) and his translation of the novel The Widower (2016).

Alfian has won Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards four times, for Landmarks (2004), Nadirah (2010), Kakak Kau Punya Laki (2013) and Hotel (with Marcia Vanderstraaten, 2016). He is also the co-artistic director of the biennial Singapore Theatre Festival.

Annex B: 32nd SGIFF Call for Entry

Feature Film & Short Film Submissions

Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) welcomes Asian and Southeast Asian films to be part of its Official Selection and Competition section. The Festival will consider films that are at least a Singapore premiere, have not been broadcast on TV nor made available on the Internet, nor premiered earlier than 1 September 2020.

Only Southeast Asian short films, Asian feature-length and mid-length films may be submitted for Festival consideration.

Films in competition will be previewed by an international jury and screened to the public throughout the Festival period, which culminates in the Silver Screen Awards presentation. First introduced 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 have become some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time.

Submission deadline is now extended to 3 September 2021, 6pm (GMT+8).

For more information on the film submission, please visit:

Southeast Asian Film Lab

Open to first-time feature filmmakers from Southeast Asia, the six-day Southeast Asian Film Lab explores Southeast Asian stories for development into feature length screenplays. It includes masterclasses, networking opportunities, individual consultations, and an industry pitch for the most promising project prize that will be awarded at the Silver Screen Awards.

Previous Film Lab Head Mentors include Terence Chang (Hong Kong, USA), Anurag Kashyap (India), Philip Lee (Hong Kong, USA), Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (Thailand), Michel Reilhac (France) and Shozo Ichiyama (Japan). Southeast Asian Film Lab projects have gone on to thrive in other prestigious workshops and markets, such as SEAFIC, TorinoFilmLab, Cannes L’Atelier and the Asian Project Market.
Submission deadline is now extended to10 September 2021, 6pm (GMT+8).

Southeast Asian Producer’s Network

Open to producers from Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Producer’s Network is a platform for the  exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration. In an intimate closed-door setting, invited Southeast Asian producers with projects in development will share the process of developing their works – the unknowns, shortfalls, and possibilities of stretching the potential of their work.

Previous years’ guests include speakers from SEAFIC, Director, Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, Locarno Open Doors, IMDA and Film Development Council of the Philippines.
Submission deadline is now extended to10 September 2021, 6pm (GMT+8).

Youth Jury & Critics Programme

Open to youths in Singapore, the Youth Jury & Critics Programme aims to nurture a new generation of critical writers on Asian cinema. Participants will learn the significance of Southeast Asian works, the benefits of film theory and close readings of films, different interview approaches; as well as write for the Festival’s Live online film journal, Stories. The Youth Jury will also vote for the Youth Jury Prize-winning film. 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.

Previous years’ mentors include film critic Kong Rithdee (Thailand), film academic Dr. Victor Fan (UK), film academic and curator Dr. May Adadol Ingawanij (Thailand), filmmaker and critic Kevin B. Lee (Germany), and film critic Chris Fujiwara (Japan). 
Submission deadline is now extended to10 September 2021, 6pm (GMT+8).

About the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)

Founded in 1987, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. It has become an iconic event in the local arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics; and known for its dynamic programming and focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema for Singapore and the region. Committed to nurturing and championing local and regional talent, its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards, brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legends. With its mentorship programmes, masterclasses and dialogues with attending filmmakers, the Festival also serves as a catalyst for igniting public interest, artistic dialogue, and cultural exchanges in the art of filmmaking. The SGIFF is organised by the Singapore International Film Festival Ltd, a non-profit organisation with Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status. For more information, please visit

The 32nd edition of SGIFF will return from 25 Nov – 5 Dec 2021.