The Silver Screen Awards aims to create awareness of the rich filmmaking talents throughout Asia and Southeast Asia, and pave the way for a Singapore film industry.

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 were to become some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time.

The films in competition are 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 2014, the SGIFF Honorary Award is the Festival’s highest honour, acknowledging filmmakers who have made exceptional and enduring contributions to Asian cinema. Past recipients have been father of modern Korean cinema Im Kwon-taek, influential Iranian New Wave filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, social realist Hong Kong director Fruit Chan, and pioneering Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho. This year, we pay homage to humanist Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh.



Rithy Panh was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1964. A survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocides, to which he lost part of his family, he is considered one of the most acclaimed documentary filmmakers worldwide.

After fleeing Cambodia to Thailand in 1979, Panh arrived in France as an orphan aged 16. He later graduated from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques. Since then, he has devoted himself to a unique body of work consisting of documentaries and feature films dedicated to remembrance of the traumatic legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Adopting a personal approach in his filmmaking, he has chronicled his country’s history through films including Rice People (1994), The Missing Picture (2013)—winner of the Cannes Un Certain Regard Prize and Cambodia’s first film to be nominated for an Academy Award—and S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003). He also served as producer on Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father (2017).

As an extension to his filmmaking activities, Panh co-founded the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center in 2006 to protect Cambodia’s audiovisual heritage and train young Cambodian filmmakers, archivists and technicians. He received an honorary doctorate in 2011 from the University of Paris-VIII, the Preservation and Scholarship Award from the International Documentary Association in 2014, and the Peace Prize at the 36th Fajr International Film Festival.

The 29th SGIFF is proud to confer this year’s Honorary Award to Rithy Panh for his considerable contribution to cinema.


The  Cinema  Legend Award  is awarded to  a luminary Asian  actor who has made  an indelible mark with  his/her performances. It celebrates  outstanding achievements in bringing  Asia’s story to life on screen. In 2014,  the first award was given to acclaimed Malaysian  actress and producer Michelle Yeoh, and in 2017, to  the charismatic Japanese actor Koji Yakusho. This year, the  award is conferred on legendary actress, director, producer and writer Joan Chen.



Born in Shanghai in 1961, Joan Chen gained recognition for her performance in Tseng Chang and Jian-zhong Huang’s The Little Flower (1979). The role won her the Hundred Flowers Award for Best Actress, resulting in Time magazine dubbing the teenage star the ‘Elizabeth Taylor of China’. Since moving to the U.S. in 1981, Chen has appeared in more than 80 films and television shows, including The Last Emperor (1987), Twin Peaks (1990), Lust, Caution (2007), HBO’s Serangoon Road (2013) and Netflix’s Marco Polo (2014). Her accolades include Taipei Golden Horse Best Actress awards for Red Rose, White Rose (1994) and The Home Song Stories (2009).

Chen then moved into directing with the critically acclaimed Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl (1998), which won Golden Horse Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay awards. Her latest directing effort—English, a coming-of-age film set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution—is slated for release in 2019.

Outside of film, Chen is an active voice in political and social causes. In 2008, Chen wrote an article for The Washington Post entitled ‘Let the Games Go On’, objecting to the politicisation of the Beijing Summer Olympics. In 2010, Chen also supported the Family Violence Prevention Fund on its San Francisco centre, alongside politician Nancy Pelosi and actress Nicole Kidman.

We are proud to present the Cinema Legend Award to Joan Chen for her dedication to the entertainment industry, and her inspiring contribution to cinema.


Maike Mia Höhne, curator of the Berlinale Shorts programme, will lead the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Jury this year. She will be joined by Filipino filmmaker Shireen Seno and Singapore filmmaker Kirsten Tan in judging the following categories: Best Southeast Asian Short Film, Best Singapore Short Film, Best Director and Special Mention. Complementary to these awards, the Youth Jury Prize will be decided by participants of the SGIFF Youth Jury & Critics Programme.

Maike Mia Höhne

Filmmaker and Curator

Maike Mia Höhne is a filmmaker and curator. She has curated Berlinale Shorts, the short film section of Berlin International Film Festival, since the summer of 2007, and will be the artistic director of Hamburg International Short Film Festival from March 2019. She is currently working on her second feature film. Her films are distributed by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art and KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg.

Shireen Seno


Shireen Seno started out in film shooting stills for Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz before directing her debut feature, Big Boy (2012). It premiered at Rotterdam in 2013 and won Best First Film at Festival de Cine Lima Independiente. Her second film, Nervous Translation (2018), premiered at Rotterdam in 2018 and won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film. The film also won Best Script under the Asian New Talent category at Shanghai International Film Festival 2018.



Kirsten Tan’s works straddle a range of genres, but are consistent in their humanity and off-beat humour. Her debut feature, POP AYE (2017), received a Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting at Sundance Film Festival, the VPRO Big Screen Award at Rotterdam and the Best International Film Award at Zurich Film Festival. Before POP AYE, she made a series of short films that have collectively received more than 10 international awards.


Established Hong Kong film director Stanley Kwan will serve as the head juror for the Asian Feature Film Competition this year. Joining Kwan on the jury are Asian American actor, director and producer Daniel Dae Kim, Japanese cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa, Canadian producer Sylvain Corbeil and Vietnamese actress Trần Nữ Yên Khê. They will be judging four categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance and Special Mention.


Filmmaker, Producer | Hong Kong

A key figure of the Hong Kong New Wave, Stanley Kwan began his career at TVB. Rouge (1987), Kwan’s third film, won him a substantial international audience. After that, Actress (1991) won the Best Actress prize at the Berlin International Film Festival for Maggie Cheung, and Hold You Tight (1997) won both the Alfred Bauer Prize for innovation and the Teddy Award for best LGBT feature, again in Berlin. In 2001, he was awarded Best Director at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards for Lanyu. Directing as well as producing, he is now one of the most prominent players within the Hong Kong film industry.


Director, Producer, Actor | USA

Actor, director and producer Daniel Dae Kim is known for his stereotype-breaking roles on series such as Hawaii Five-0 and Lost, on films such as the Divergent series, and in Lincoln Center’s 2016 production of The King and I. His multiple awards include a 2009 KoreAm Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment. Under his production company, 3AD, Kim produces the series The Good Doctor, alongside other projects. He has served as Cultural Envoy and Member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation at the World Expo in Korea.


Cinematographer, Photographer | Tokyo

Born in Tokyo, Akiko Ashizawa is the most accomplished female cinematographer in Japanese film history. She is best known for her films with acclaimed director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, such as Loft (2005), Real (2013) and the Cannes award-winners Tokyo Sonata (2008) and Journey to the Shore (2015). In 2012, she won the award for Best Cinematography for Chronicle of My Mother (directed by Masato Harada) at the Mainichi Film Awards. This year she was awarded the prestigious Medal with Purple Ribbon by the Japanese government.


Film Producer | Canada

Canadian producer Sylvain Corbeil founded Metafilms inc. in 2003 and has produced 20 shorts
and 18 features. His films with Denis Côté, including All That She Wants (2008) and Boris
Without Béatrice (2016), have had award-winning festival runs. Other productions include
Simon Lavoie’s Le Torrent (2012), Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (2014), Anne Émond’s Our Loved
Ones (2015) and Karl Lemieux’s Shambles (2016). His second film with Dolan, It’s Only the End
of the World, won Cannes’s Grand Jury Prize in 2016. His latest with Maxime Giroux, The Great
Darkened Days, premiered at TIFF 2018.


Actor, Production Designer | France, Vietnam

Trần Nữ Yên Khê is a Vietnamese-born French actress, costume and production designer. She has starred in, and served as production designer on, the critically acclaimed films of Trần Anh Hùng, such as The Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo, The Vertical Ray of the Sun and I Come with the Rain. In 2010, in addition to creating the sets for the Haruki Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood, she was also the costume designer. Most recently, she starred in Ash Mayfair’s debut feature, The Third Wife, which premiered at TIFF 2018. Besides, she will launch her furniture brand YENKHE before the end of this year.