Wherever you are from, I strongly encourage you to watch local films, appreciate them, and support your local film making industry, especially independent filmmakers and workers.
In this round of Watch Local series by Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Film, we will get to watch the first short films and the first feature films by some of Singapore filmmakers. Everything starts from the first one. Each screening session will feature a director with his or her firsts.
If you have watched one of their later or latest films, you may see how they have progressed and/or the subjects and themes they seek to explore and express have changed or remained. Some of the screenings will be followed by a discussion.
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Screening dates and time: 23rd February – 4th March 2016, 7.30pm
Venue: Chapel Gallery, Objectifs, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977
Entry by donation, pre-registration is required via Peatix: http://ptix.co/1U6yD1P.
Please note that some films are rated M18 and R21. The organiser will be adhering strictly to age restrictions. Please bring along your identity card or equivalent.
Before listing the full programme schedule, I would like to share with you the two films that I have picked. I have selected them based on the films and their stories, rather than the directors.
- Banting by Raihan Halim
‘Banting’ means to throw down/slam downward with force in Malay language. In this movie, I would say, it simply refers to wrestling! The story of a Singaporean Malay girl who aspires to be a wrestler. Not that Malay girls don’t do things outside of the norm, yet making it into a movie is unique and refreshing.
“I refuse to believe that, what I wear can stop me from doing what other girls can.” – Yasmin, the leading lady. Start slamming expectations, and if you have an awesome grandpa (or grandma or both), that’s an added perk!
Don’t neglect Raihan Halim’s first short film – Sunat (circumcision in Malay language). It’s a lot of “tradition meets modernity” in there. It’s a joyous and exciting event for everyone, but not funny at all for the leading man(-to-be) in the film.
2. A Family Portrait, and Sandcastle by Boo Junfeng
I have watched both of them before, and I would love to watch them again. Twelve years on, Boo Junfeng’s first short film, A Family Portrait, is still intriguing to me. The meaning behind it can be very simple yet the situations can be really complex.
In his first feature, Sandcastle, Boo Junfeng has through a boy discovering his history gently portrayed family and social values, the vulnerability and strength of the ties people have with every important person who has crossed their paths, and the emotions and life events involved. So gentle yet so full of impact.
These films by both directors have confirmed one thing for me, that is, we don’t need superstars, we need actors and actresses who feel for the story and who know how to act their part. The acting were good, natural, and moving.
Special mention: Liao Jiekai, a filmmaker whose works revolving around St John’s Island in Singapore are my favourite. Alas, his first feature Red Dragonflies is not my type of movie plot.
Full programme schedule (click here for programme details):
23 FEBRUARY, TUESDAY / 7.30PM / RAIHAN HALIM / PG
First Short: Sunat / 2009
First Feature: Banting / 2014
24 FEBRUARY, WEDNESDAY / 7.30PM / LIAO JIEKAI / PG
First Short: Paradise / 2006
First Feature: Red Dragonfiles / 2010
25 FEBRUARY, THURSDAY / 7.30PM / WEE LI LIN / PG
First Short: Norman on the Air / 1997
First Feature: Gone Shopping / 2007
26 FEBRUARY, FRIDAY / 7.30PM / CHAI YEE WEI / M18
First Short: Lao Sai / 2005
First Feature: Blood Ties / 2007
27 FEBRUARY, SATURDAY / 7.30PM / RIC AW / PG
First Short: Buy Me Love / 2005
First Feature: Standing In Still Water / 2014
28 FEBRUARY, SUNDAY / 3PM / DJINN / M18
First Short: By the Dawn’s Early Rise / 1998
First Feature: Perth / 2004
1 MARCH, TUESDAY / 7.30PM / YONG MUN CHEE / R21
First Short: 9:30 / 2004
First Feature: Where the Road Meets the Sun / 2011
2 MARCH, WEDNESDAY / 7.30PM / MENG ONG / PG13
First Short: China Doll / 1991
First Feature: Miss Wonton / 2001
3 MARCH, THURSDAY / 7.30PM / KAN LUME / PG
First Short: The Assassin / 2004
First Feature: The Art of Flirting / 2006
4 MARCH, FRIDAY / 7.30PM / BOO JUNFENG / M18
First Short: A Family Portrait / 2004
First Feature: Sandcastle / 2010