Press Office

December 11, 2023

Singapore International Film Festival Comes to A Triumphant Close With 15 Awards And 50 Nominations at its Silver Screen Awards, Highest Ticket Sales since 2014

SINGAPORE, 11 Dec 2023 – The 34th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) concluded its 11-day run with the highest ticket sales on record since 2014, with an increase of 64% from 2022. Topping off the Festival was the Silver Screen Awards (SSA), with 15 awards and 4 Special Mentions presented to exceptional talents and outstanding films from around the world. Introduced in 1991, the Silver Screen Awards was the first international competition with a category dedicated to Asian cinema. Awardees and nominees of the SSA have since established themselves among the region’s most prominent filmmakers.

This year, 12 feature films and 18 shorts were nominated for two categories – Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition. In addition, the Cinema Icon Award, Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award, the Southeast Asian Film Lab’s Most Promising Project and Fellowship Prize, and the Young Critic Award under the Youth Critics Programme were also awarded during the Silver Screen Awards.

With a diverse array of 101 films from 50 countries, celebrating both emerging and established filmmaking talents across the region, this year’s SGIFF is particularly momentous as it sees the highest number of films selected in the Asian Feature Film Competition by Singaporean directors since 1997. Presented by Mocha Chai Laboratories and supported by True Colour Media, nominations for the Best Asian Feature Film include local directors Jow Zhi Wei’s TOMORROW IS A LONG TIME, Nelson Yeo’s DREAMING AND DYING, and Nicole Midori Woodford’s LAST SHADOW AT FIRST LIGHT, with INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL by Pham Thien An taking home the prestigious award, alongside Yoon Eun-Kyung who won Best Director for THE TENANTS, which was presented by Filmgarde Cineplexes. DREAMING AND DYING, by Singaporean director Nelson Yeo, walked away with the Special Mention.

“Pham Thien An is a very special director with a unique cinema language and a profound view of the place of spirituality in contemporary life. We are proud to present his debut to a Singaporean audience and honoured to receive an award from the jury. Potocol is also extremely grateful to the Singapore Film Commission for supporting us with the Southeast Asian Coproduction Grant. It allowed us to structure a meaningful collaboration with some of the most talented creative and technical crew between Vietnam and Singapore to bring this beautiful film to life,” shares Jeremy Chua, Producer, Potocol.

Within the same category, Yu Yi-Hsun from A JOURNEY IN SPRING won the Best Screenplay, presented by Montblanc, while Yang Kuei-Mei from A JOURNEY IN SPRING and THE TENANTS won Best Performance and the FIPRESCI Award respectively.

Winners for SGIFF Silver Screen Awards
Standing row, from left: Wang Ping Wen (Director, A JOURNEY IN SPRING), Yu Yi-Hsun (Director, A JOURNEY IN SPRING), Peng Yzu-Hui (Director, A JOURNEY IN SPRING), Fredy Sreudeman Wowor (Actor, OF OTHER TOMORROWS NEVER KNOWN) , Max Tersch (White Light Post), Sam Manacsa

(Director, CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE), Giselle Lin (Director, I LOOK INTO THE MIRROR AND REPEAT TO MYSELF), Emily J Hoe (Executive Director, SGIFF), Thong Kay Wee (Programme Director, SGIFF), Nelson Yeo (Director, DREAMING AND DYING), JT TRINIDAD (Director, THE RIVER THAT NEVER ENDS), Ma. Sophia Isabella Sibal (Producer, THE RIVER THAT NEVER ENDS)

Bottom row, from left: Yoon Eun-Kyung (Director, THE TENANT), Suppapat Phoungtong (White Light Post), Caloy Limjap Soliongco (Director, DAY TRIPPER), Lin Htet Aung (Director, ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A MOM), Saksham Mehrotra (Winner, Young Critic Award), Jeremy Chua (Producer, Potocol), Le Quynh Anh (Director, GOODNIGHT BABY), Shelby Ko (Director, TERBARKA), Seth Chong (Director, BLUE BUILDINGS)

"Within our vibrant region lies an incredible wealth of cinematic talent waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Our festival stands as a beacon, dedicated to cultivating emerging filmmakers and providing a platform for their voices to be heard. The annual Silver Screen Awards serve as a tribute to the remarkable visionaries who have shaped our regional cinema landscape, acknowledging their invaluable contributions and applauding their commitment to sharing impactful narratives. Congratulations to all the award recipients! As we move forward, our unwavering commitment remains—to foster a supportive environment where all filmmakers can flourish, thrive, and captivate global audiences with their compelling stories," said Emily J Hoe, Executive Director Director, SGIFF.

The Southeast Asian Short Film Competition was equally competitive with seven shorts screening their World Premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival – ALL THIS WASTED SPACE, DID YOU SEE THE HOLE MOM DIG?, GOLDEN DRAGON, READING YOU, GOODNIGHT BABY, WOW+ and OF OTHER TOMORROWS NEVER KNOWN. Screened across 7 to 9 December 2023, the Best Southeast Asian Short Film was eventually awarded to THE RIVER THAT NEVER ENDS by JT Trinidad, presented by Filmgarde Cineplexes.

I LOOK INTO THE MIRROR AND REPEAT TO MYSELF by Giselle Lin walked away with Best Singapore Short Film, which was presented by Mocha Chai Laboratories and Shooting Gallery Asia, and Best Director went to Sam Manacsa for CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE. The Best Performance went to Fredy Sreudeman Wowor from OF OTHER TOMORROWS NEVER KNOWN, presented by Fiction Shore. Lin Htet Aung from ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A MOM won the Best Screenplay award presented by Montblanc. A Special Mention was also given to Emerald Romero for THE RIVER THAT NEVER ENDS.

The Southeast Asian Film Lab provides a collaborative space to nurture Southeast Asian filmmakers who are embarking on their first feature-length film project. During the Film Lab, participants will receive personal feedback from three mentors and fellow filmmakers as they share their experiences and insights. Projects such as SUNDAY, World Premiere under Singapore Panorama, have emerged from the Southeast Asian Film Lab, going on to thrive in other prestigious workshops and markets such as Busan’s Asian Project Market, Cannes’ L’Atelier, Locarno’s Open Doors, and TorinoFilmLab.

This year, TERBAKAR by Shelby Kho was recognised as the Most Promising Project, with the award presented by Giraffe Pictures, while MAKING A SEA by Lin Htet Aung took home the Fellowship Prize presented by Purple Tree Content. Two Special Mentions were given to Caloy Limjap Soliongco for DAY TRIPPER and Seth Cheong for BLUE BUILDINGS.

The Audience Choice Award, where the public brings out their inner critic role, and votes for their favourite film of the Festival. This year, GOODBYE JULIA by Mohamed Kordofani took home the award. Set in Khartoum during the years prior to South Sudan’s independence and beautifully shot with a soft warmth and authenticity, this multi-country production is hailed as a powerful, intelligent, and sensitive film that expresses the personal and psychological weight of a nation torn apart, deftly weaving the personal into complex sociopolitical contexts, delivering a thoughtful drama at once tender and tense.

"This year, we’ve showcased the diverse narratives of Asian cinema to a global audience, and the success of this year's festival is a testament to the unwavering dedication of the audience, as well as the incredible support from the film community. I'm thrilled this edition was a tapestry of colourful experiences and meaningful connections. SGIFF continues to champion independent cinema, particularly around the SEA region, nurturing a deep appreciation for storytelling in Singapore while embracing diverse narratives and perspectives from across the globe," said Thong Kay Wee, Programme Director, SGIFF.

Encore Screenings

Encore screenings for Best Southeast Asian Short Film (THE RIVER THAT NEVER ENDS) and Best Asian Feature Film (INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL) will be shown on 16 December 2023, 12PM, while Best Singapore Short Film (I LOOK INTO THE MIRROR AND REPEAT TO MYSELF), alongside the Audience Choice Award (GOODBYE JULIA), will be screened on the same day at 4PM at The Projector, Golden Mile, Redrum.


Adding to the array of awards, the Youth Critics Programme aims to nurture a new generation of film writers to contribute to the Asian and Southeast Asian film discourse. Participants were tasked to contribute to writings in the course of the programme and will work towards the release of SGIFF’s post-festival publication, ATLAS. Out of ten participants, cinephile Saksham Mehrotra walked home with the Young Critic Award, setting him forward in his journey of film-writing.

Chinese actress and producer Fan Bingbing with her Cinema Icon Award

This year’s Cinema Icon Award returns from a four-year hiatus and was awarded to Chinese actress and producer Fan Bingbing, paying tribute to the starlet’s indelible mark as a creative force in film. Fan was also the Festival’s special guest, rounding the festival up with a glamorous red carpet appearance during Festival Opening Night at Shaw Lido, Orchard, followed by a sold-out 700 pax FORUM session IN-CONVERSATION: FAN BINGBING at Marina Bay Sands. Her comeback film, GREEN NIGHT, was a Singapore Premiere and the Festival’s Special Presentation. Two other films from the superstar include BUDDHA MOUNTAIN and DOUBLE XPOSURE, which were screened under ICON IN FOCUS across 2 and 3 December 2023.

WHITE LIGHT POST walked away with the Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award this year, presented by Montblanc. Established in 2010 and based in Bangkok, WHITE LIGHT POST has contributed immeasurably to the technical development of filmmaking in Southeast Asia with its excellence in post-production work. For the past decade, the post-production house has provided crucial support for film restoration and localisation projects, contributing significantly to the development of Southeast Asian cinema.


SGIFF Film Fund 2024 Paves The Way for Filmmakers

The SGIFF Film Fund stands as a beacon of support for Southeast Asian filmmakers, offering two distinctive grants that aim to support and spotlight compelling narratives across fiction and non-fiction genres. The Tan Ean Kiam Foundation–SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary (SEA-DOC) Grant represents a cornerstone for documentary filmmakers in the region, providing crucial backing for the production and post-production of narratives unique to Southeast Asia.


This year, the grant extends its support to three production projects, each recipient receiving SGD30,000 in cash, alongside one post-production project receiving SGD20,000. Simultaneously, the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film (SEA-SHORTS) Grant acts as a launchpad for emerging talents, backing three short films. Each recipient is awarded SGD5,000 in cash by Winn Slavin and receives additional post-production support valued at SGD5,000 from White Light Post, fostering the growth and visibility of promising filmmakers within the region.


“We are immensely grateful for the unwavering dedication of documentary filmmakers. As they resurge in this post-pandemic landscape, we continue our unwavering commitment to funding production projects. The support aims to empower these filmmakers in capturing the distinctive narratives of our region. We are excited to continue backing them in their mission to bring our local stories to fruition on the big screen, fostering essential conversations, and driving positive impact,” emphasised Tan Keng Leck, Vice Chairman of the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation.


As the 34th Singapore International Film Festival comes to a closure, it remains dedicated to encouraging aspiring film writers through its various programmes and initiatives, fostering the growth of film discourse in Asia and Southeast Asia. Submissions for the 2024 Film Fund are now open until 5 Feb 2024. Results of the film fund recipients will be announced June 2024.


Jeremy Chua takes on General Manager role, SGIFF

From left: Justin Ang (IMDA, Assistant Chief Executive for Media, Innovation, Communications and Marketing), Jean Ng (IMDA, Cluster Director, Media Cluster Industry), Thong Kay Wee (Programme Director, SGIFF), Fran Borgia (Producer, TIGER STRIPES), Deena Ezral (Cast, TIGER STRIPES), Amanda Nell Eu (Director, TIGER STRIPES), Piqa (Cast, TIGER STRIPES), Foo Feiling (Producer, TIGER STRIPES), Emily J Hoe (Executive Director, SGIFF), Boo Junfeng (Chairperson, SGIFF), Jacqueline Tan (SGIFF Board Member), Chris Tan (Director of Media Industry Development, Infocomm Media Development Authority, IMDA)

Prominent Singaporean producer and founder for Potocol, Jeremy Chua has also been appointed as the incoming General Manager and will jointly lead SGIFF with Programme Director, Thong Kay Wee. Emily J Hoe steps down in leading the festival team after delivering four editions including two editions that were severely impacted by COVID-19.


Jeremy’s notable career spans multiple awards including the 2023 FIAPF Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema, as well as producing the 2023 Cannes Camera d’Or winner INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL, and Asia Pacific Screen Award winners AUTOBIOGRAPHY and REHANA MARYAM NOOR in 2022 and 2021 respectively.


SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA).


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The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) was established in 1987. With its focus on groundbreaking Asian cinema, SGIFF has become known for its dynamic programming and commitment to the development of a vibrant local and regional film culture.

More than three decades on, the festival remains steadfast in its mission to nurture and champion homegrown talents, and to be a platform for new voices. By providing a diverse film experience and deepening the public’s appreciation of independent film, SGIFF aims to inspire through the transformational power of cinema.

The 34th edition of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) will be held in Singapore from 30 Nov 2023 to 10 Dec 2023.

The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), returns to celebrate its 10th edition as one of Asia’s leading international media industry platforms. Taking place in Singapore from 30 November to 10 December 2023, Asia’s media community will gather to explore diverse media innovations, form deals, and discover Singapore’s best made for the world. This year’s festival invites everyone to “Make It Here” in Singapore, inspiring the region’s most passionate media talent to step forward and continue making content, connections, and dreams come true. Media professionals, industry leaders, creators, and consumers will come together at the festival through the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Singapore Comic Con (SGCC), along with this year’s new additions, Nas Summit Asia and Creator Con (a new segment of Singapore Comic Con)

For more information, please visit: https://www.imda.gov.sg/sgmediafest

Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). 2023 marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Media Festival, rallying Asia’s most passionate media professionals, industry leaders, talent and content creators to “Make It Here”!

Asian Feature Film Competition

Award Winner
Best Asian Feature Film Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell - Pham Thien An
Best Director Yoon Eun-Kyung - The Tenants
Best Screenplay Yu Yi-Hsun - A Journey in Spring
Best Performance Yang Kuei-Mei - A Journey In Spring
Special Mention Dreaming & Dying - Nelson Yeo
FIPRESCI Award The Tenants - Yoon Eun-Kyung


Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award

Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award White Light Post


Cinema Icon Award

Cinema Icon Award Fan Bingbing


Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

Award Winner
Special Mention Emerald Romero - The River That Never Ends
Best Southeast Asian Short Film The River That Never Ends - JT Trinidad
Best Singapore Short Film I Look Into The Mirror And Repeat To Myself - Giselle Lin
Best Director Sam Manacsa - Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
Best Screenplay Lin Htet Aung - Once Upon A Time There Was A Mom
Best Performance Fredy Sreudeman Wowor - Of Other Tomorrows Never Known


Audience Choice Award

Audience Choice Award Goodbye Julia by Mohamed Kordofani


Most Promising Project Terbakar - Shelby Kho
Fellowship Prize Making A Sea - Lin Htet Aung
Special Mention #1 Caloy Limjap Soliongco - Day Tripper
Special Mention #2 Blue Buildings - Seth Cheong