Calleen Koh


What is your fondest SGIFF memory or experience?

Being seated in the cinema with a room full of strangers watching my film was both the most nerve-wracking but fondest experience! As a young filmmaker, it was such an important and magical moment for me to see my team’s and my heart & soul being shown on the big screen being amongst a live audience reacting to it.

What does the festival mean to you?

As anyone who loves film in Singapore, SGIFF opens up new doors for us to access stories that are hard to come by on a daily basis and brings all of us film-loving geeks together for 2 weeks. To me, it is a place where we celebrate diverse stories from creators all over the world, especially within the region we call home. And for a young filmmaker from Southeast Asia, the festival is a huge honour to be a part of and I get to meet like-minded people from the region.

Why do you think it is important to support SGIFF?

SGIFF lifts up voices and stories from Southeast Asia to the international stage, which is important for both filmmakers and audiences. It gives an avenue for audiences to support these filmmakers and inadvertently, helps to grow our fairly young art scene. Having this regional support system is so important, especially for a region like Southeast Asia which is still trying to figure out our own identities amongst our messy histories.

Why do you think storytelling is crucial, especially now?

In these turbulent times, storytelling becomes more crucial than ever for different voices to be represented and reach out to people. Only we have the power to tell our own stories truthfully, and the stories of so many around us.

How has film affected your life?

Film IS my life! Ever since I was young, film was a safe space of comfort and joy – it was a magical place where I can cry my heart out to, laugh my ass out or be scared to my wits. Film-watching was so important to me growing up that I had made it into my full-time career and I hope to continue bringing these experiences to welcome a new generation of audiences.

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