Tuesday, April 28, 2009

22nd Singapore International Film Festival Award Winners

The fest will run from April 14 to 25 and will screen 193 films from 34 countries and this year will include two tributes honoring 25 Years of the Thai National Film Archive and
the Amos Gitai Retrospective.

These are the puzzling films in the Asian Feature Film Competition

A Big Road, Alec Tok, Singapore, 2009
Three women’s lives interweave at the crossroads of life and death in modern Shanghai.
Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly, Edwin, Indonesia, 2008
A disturbing and darkly funny reflection on the anxieties and grievances of being Chinese in Indonesia.
Boy, Auraeus Solito, Philippines, 2009
A coming-of-age story about a boy who falls in love with a Macho Dancer.
Ddongpari (Breathless), Yang Ik-June, Korea, 2008
An unflinching tale of physical violence and its emotional fall-out in this powerhouse debut from actor Yang Ik-june.
*Every Night, Loneliness, Rasoul Sadr Ameli, Iran, 2008
Atieh, a radio program host, thinks she is pregnant, only to find out that she has a serious illness. -Winner of Best Director
Yu Yan
(Fish Eyes), Zheng Wei, China, 2009
Deshui and his father encounter a girl who escaped from a mental institution, and take her in as one of their own. Jalainur (a Mongolian word meaning “ocean-like lake”) is a coal mine in the Manzhouli City of Inner Mongolia. – Most interesting as seems is visually outstanding!!!
*Zha Lai Nuo Er (Jalainur), Zhao Ye, China, 2008 - Winner of NETPAC Award
Old Zhu is a train driver who is about to retire, but his friend Zhihong is unwilling to let him go.
*Eid Milad Laila (Laila’s Birthday), Rashid Masharawi, Palestine, Tunisia and Netherlands, 2008 - Winner of Best Film
Abu Laila is a cabdriver whose day turns in all the wrong directions, but is determined to get home for his daughter’s birthday.
Cinta Setaman (Love Potpourri), Harry Dagoe Suharyadi, Indonesia, 2008
An omnibus of eight short stories dealing with love and devotion in contemporary Indonesia.
Sell Out!, Yeo Joon Han, Malaysia, 2008
Is Malaysia losing its heart and soul to corporate capitalism? This hilarious musical has all the answers.
Qilu Tiantang (Sincerely Yours), Rich Lee, Taiwan, 2009
In this story about the unbreakable human spirit, Setia and Supayong are illegal workers in Taiwan who discover their capacity to survive and to fall in love.
Xiao Shu’s Going Home, Hao Yifeng, China, 2008
A simple tale about going home becomes a reflective look at the trials and tribulations of restless adolescents in modern China.

The fest has five sections with many interesting films and here is one peculiar example.

Female Games, Kan Lume, Singapore, 2009 – Panorama section
A pair of young and naive Singaporean models travel to Kuala Lumpur to meet a dubious casting agent, leaving behind a suspicious boyfriend and a lesbian lover respectively. Both girls begin as strangers, grow into allies, and launch into a fight after one of them decides to seduce the agent. Things veer horrifically out of hand when the agent attempts to rid himself of the models, forcing them to confront him with drastic consequences. Not unlike Thelma and Louise, the ladies run from the law and flee to Penang to save themselves. Soon they begin to fall for each other. The first contemporary Singaporean film to boldly portray female homosexuality, Female Games is shot in a style that frames the experiences of the protagonists within the much larger world, emphasizing how the lives of its characters are dwarfed and shaped by their societal environment, even as the girls eventually find the will to take control of their lives again. Severe naturalistic lighting, as well as the camera’s coolly detached perspective, heighten the pair’s increasing sense of helplessness and vulnerability, as they discover how an excursion over the causeway can turn out to be more than either of them had bargained for.
Please note that it seems that this movie was withdrawn from the fest as passed with cuts… hmm!

The fest will install this year a new section to spotlight the talents of the growing Singapore film industry: The Singapore Film Awards and these are some of the nominees.

Best Film
12 Lotus
18 Grams of Love
Kallang Roar The Movie
A Month of Hungry Ghosts
*Rule #1 - Winner of Best Film

Best Director
*Royston Tan for 12 Lotus -Winner of Best Director
Han Yew Kwang for 18 Grams of Love
Jack Neo for Money No Enough
Kelvin Tong for Rule #1

To check the other nominees go here and to browse the fest site go here. To check the award winners in all the categories including shorts go here.

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