June 3, 2019

Singapore International Film Festival Makes Waves In Southeast Asia Ahead Of Its 30th Edition

The inaugural edition of Travelling Waves takes five short films by emerging filmmakers on a multi-city Southeast Asian tour to facilitate regional filmic dialogue

Presenting an all-new format of New Waves, the fourth edition gathers veteran and emerging filmmakers for an intimate weekend of screenings and a panel discussion

Singapore, 3 June 2019 – The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is making waves by bringing noteworthy films with distinct voices closer to audiences in Singapore and Southeast Asia, with the launch of its inaugural edition of ​Travelling Waves ​and an all-new format of ​New Waves​. With these refreshed programmes ahead of its 30th edition, the Festival continues to grow the level of appreciation among film-lovers, strengthen the independent film ecosystem in the region, while championing its talents and stories.

SGIFF traverses the region with ​Travelling Waves

Travelling Waves ​is a multi-city programme that brings Southeast Asian cinematic voices to independent screening venues around the region. The inaugural edition will see SGIFF present five short films by emerging regional filmmakers in Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. The sessions, comprising film screenings followed by discussions with filmmakers, are rare opportunities for the film community to mingle, exchange ideas and perspectives.

Executive Director Yuni Hadi shared, “Even though SGIFF is based in Singapore, we want to better connect with our neighbouring film communities through this regional programme and the initiatives of the SGIFF Film Academy. Partnering with independent film spaces such as the Bangkok Screening Room, Kinosaurus and TDSC allows us to work closely with film organisations who champion the independent spirit we see in short films. Our upcoming 30th edition provides a timely opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on Southeast Asian filmmakers with these original stories that resonate with us. Through these programmes, we see the strength of the region coming together to further develop and nurture the potential of storytelling in Southeast Asia.”

The first session at Bangkok Screening Room on 20 April 2019 received a full-house reception. A testament of the curiosity towards Southeast Asian films, the audience participated actively in the post-screening dialogue with filmmakers Pathompon Mont Tesprateep (​Song X) and Danech San (​A Million Years)​. The session was moderated by esteemed Thai film critic Kong Rithdee, who will also return to SGIFF as Head Mentor of the Youth Jury and Critics Programme this year. Travelling Waves will be hosted next at Jakarta on 15 June 2019 and Kuala Lumpur on 20 July 2019 where attendees can also look forward to engaging screenings and discussions with filmmakers. Interested parties can visit ​https://sgiff.com/travelling-waves/ for ticketing details.

Creating a springboard for film lovers with an all-new format at ​New Waves
Returning for its fourth edition, this year’s ​New Waves ​will take place over an intimate weekend on 12 and 13 July 2019, comprising screenings and a panel discussion to develop the film audience in Singapore. The all-new format is tailored to gather more filmmakers at the same time to share diverse viewpoints and vibrant discussions with film aficionados and beginners alike.

Part of the SGIFF Film Academy, this year’s New Waves will see retrospectives of short films produced by Akanga Film Asia and led by Fran Borgia, who produced Boo Junfeng’s ​Apprentice (2016) ​and Yeo Siew Hua’s ​A Land Imagined ​(2018). It will also chart the rise and development of award-winning filmmaker Anthony Chen, in anticipation of his sophomore effort ​Wet Season (2019)​​after the award-winning feature ​Ilo Ilo ​(2013). Both Fran and Anthony will participate in the post-screening discussions. There will also be a curated line-up of films from the female perspective in ​Through Her Eyes​; while Southeast Asian stories and regional cultural histories will be discussed with local filmmakers such as Nicole Midori Woodford and M Raihan Halim, moderated by writer Alfian Sa’at. 

Yuni added, “SGIFF presents stories that help us understand the world around us, be it through films, programmes, or experiences. ​New Waves ​has always been an assembly ground for the community, and will continue to be a touchpoint for reflection, exploration and dialogue as it sets the stage for the Festival in November.”

The 30th SGIFF will run from 21 November to 1 December 2019. Its call for entries for Feature and Short Films, Southeast Asian Film Lab, and Youth Jury & Critics Programme is now open and will continue till 19 August 2019. 

SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). SGIFF 2019’s Official Sponsors include Official Red Carpet Venue Capitol Theatre and Official Hotel Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.

For more information, please visit ​www.sgiff.com​.

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Annex A: About Travelling Waves

Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) launches ​Travelling Waves this April, kicking off a new season of cinematic delights leading up to the 30th Singapore International Film Festival in November. For the first time, SGIFF takes its films on a Southeast Asian tour in this multi-city programme that showcases Southeast Asia’s exciting young filmmakers. Partnering with independent screening venues in each country, ​Travelling Waves provides a platform for the film community to network, foster open dialogues and explore our cinematic boundaries. The inaugural edition will dive into the rich cultural stories of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, and share five diverse and bold voices that explore friendship, grief, love and memories.


Upcoming Tour Schedule

Kinosaurus Jakarta (Indonesia) | 15 June 2019, 3:00pm – 4:45pm

TDSC Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) | 20 July 2019, 7:00pm – 8:45pm


by Tan Wei Keong (Singapore)

The quiet, atmospheric terrain of the forest is undisturbed until a man comes along. Seemingly lost, he enters the unknown space, observing and exploring the area, before he starts to falls apart. Beneath the deceptively simple actions of the character lies a layered approach to his psyche, which hinges on isolation and a sense of belonging.

High Way​

by Chia Chee Sum (Malaysia)

A young man travels back and forth between his parents’ public housing flats, searching for a beloved T-shirt so he can join his friends on a highway motorcycling trip.

A Million Years​

by Danech San (Cambodia)

A young woman relaxes at a riverfront restaurant with a friend. Then she enters a parallel riverfront with a stranger, and they both recount stories of fear.

A Gift​

by Aditya Ahmad (Indonesia)

Isfi wants to prepare a special gift for Nita’s birthday, but to be accepted at Nita’s house, she has to wear the hijab.

Song X​

by Pathompon Mont Tesprateep (Thailand)

A deserter awakes to discover that his body is lying lifelessly. Embarking on this new journey, he encounters a group of teenagers who intend to give him a cremation ceremony. At the same time, the military patrol is searching for his dead body.

For more information, please visit ​https://sgiff.com/travelling-waves/.

Annex B: About ​New Waves​, part of the SGIFF Film Academy (SFA)

New Waves ​is supported by Programme Partner *SCAPE and Festival Hotel ibis Singapore on Bencoolen

New Waves by Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) shines a spotlight on filmmakers who are making an impact through their storytelling, with a focus to build a film community in Southeast Asia. In this fourth edition, New Waves will take place over an intimate weekend, with screenings and a panel discussion. It will shine a spotlight on the past, present, and future generations making their mark in the region and bey​ond. Join the sessions and get a glimpse of these exciting works, in anticipation of the 30th edition of the Singapore International Film Festival in November 2019.  

The 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​ – aim to enhance the capabilities of the regional film scene collectively.

For more information, please visit ​https://sgiff.com/film-academy/.

For more information, please visit ​https://sgiff.com/newwaves/.


*SCAPE Gallery, Level 5 (Singapore) 12 – 13 July 2019 Tickets are priced at $5 each

Producing What Matters With Cinema Akanga

Short Film Screening Followed By Post-film Dialogue With Fran Borgia

Moderated By Producer Jeremy Chua

12 July, Friday / 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Since his arrival in 2004, Spanish-born producer Fran Borgia has been steadily working behind the scenes with passionate determination and a keen eye. His early creative collaborations in the short films of Boo Junfeng, K Rajagopal and Ho Tzu Nyen set them on a path to critical acclaim. Borgia’s oeuvre now includes the stellar successes of Apprentice ​(2016), A Yellow Bird (2016)​​and ​Yeo Siew Hua’s Golden Leopard-winning ​A Land Imagined ​(2018). New Waves examines his career through his collaborations with Singapore’s foremost filmmakers, and pays homage to Borgia as a invaluable and respected figure in the regional landscape.


  1. Black and White and Silence​ (Dir. Fran Borgia / Singapore / 2012 / 12 min)
  2. The Flame​ (Dir. K. Rajagopal / Singapore / 2015 / 17 min)
  3. Katong Fugue​ (Dir. Boo Junfeng / Singapore / 2007 / 10 min)
  4. The Cloud of Unknowing​ (Dir. Ho Tzu Nyen / Singapore / 2011 / 28 min)

Through Her Eyes

Short Film Screening Followed By Post-film Dialogue With Filmmakers

Moderated By Film Curator Leong Puiyee

13 July, Saturday / 11:00am – 1:00pm

The women in this programme offer up a range of stories: intimate relationships forged and forgotten, the tenacity of motherhood, of female sexuality and monstrous femininity. Their singular experiences are reflected in their films, and through the female gaze they reveal a world of emotions and stories. Join them as they contemplate the issues and events that influence their work, and explore what it means to be a woman in Southeast Asia.


  1. Ying & Summer ​(Dir. Gladys Ng / Singapore / 2011 / 11 min / PG)
  2. She is My Best Friend​ (Dir. Jirassaya Wongsutin / Thailand / 2012 / 13 min)
  3. Bird​ (Dir. Kristen Ong / Singapore / 2014 / 16 min / PG)
  4. Mother, Daughter, Dreams ​(Dir. Duong Dieu Linh / Vietnam / 2018 / 19 min / ​PG 13 – Some Coarse Language)
  5. Permanent Resident ​(Dir. Nicole Midori Woodford / Singapore / 2014 / 21 min / PG)
  6. Vinegar Baths (Dir. Amanda Nell Eu / Malaysia / 2018 / 14 min / M18 – Some Disturbing Scenes)

Spotlight: Anthony Chen

Short Film Screening Followed By Post-film Dialogue With Anthony Chen

Moderated By Filmmaker Boo Junfeng

13 July, Saturday / 3:00pm – 5:00pm

In anticipation of his eagerly awaited sophomore effort ​Wet Season​, New Waves spotlights the short films of Anthony Chen. ​Collectively, Chen’s short films have screened at Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Busan, London, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney, Montreal, Melbourne, Chicago, and Hawaii. ​The programme will chart his rise to prominence from his debut short film ​G23 ​in 2005, and his development into one of the key voices and leaders in the new wave of Singapore filmmakers winning accolades and acclaim both in the local and international scene.


  1. Haze ​(Dir. Anthony Chen / Singapore / 2008 / 15 min / R21 – Sexual Scenes)
  2. G23​ (Dir. Anthony Chen / Singapore / 2005 / 19 min / PG)
  3. Ah Ma ​(Dir. Anthony Chen / Singapore / 2007 / 15 min / PG)
  4. Karung Guni ​(Dir. Anthony Chen / Singapore / 2012 / 8 min / PG)
  5. Lighthouse ​(Dir. Anthony Chen / Singapore / 2010 / 24 min / PG)

Cinema Story or Poetry?

Panel Discussion With Filmmakers

Moderated By Writer Alfian Sa’at

13 July, Saturday / 6:00pm – 7:00pm

This generation of Southeast Asian filmmakers has increasingly eschewed more classical forms of narrative in favour of a more urgent experiential type of storytelling. Their approach is rooted in the contemporary, weaving together fragmentary images and haunting sounds drawn from the region’s own ever-shifting socio-political landscapes. Join celebrated Singaporean writer Alfian Sa’at and filmmakers Amanda Nell Eu, Nicole Midori Woodford, Nelson Yeo and M Raihan Halim as they share their journeys and creative divergences, their upcoming feature works, and where they situate their films within the diverse tapestry of Southeast Asian cinema.

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 https://www.facebook.com/sginternationalfilmfestival/