An ideal weekend night nowadays probably involves you sitting at your computer and bingeing hour after hour of films on Netflix. Or maybe you’re chilling with your friends over the latest PS4 game or reading a comic book. Either way, there’s no denying this is truly the age of content — as the sixth edition of the Singapore Media Festival can surely attest to.
Returning from 21 November to 8 December 2019, this year’s festival sees an expanded lineup of offerings that propel the voices of Asian creators, across film, television, comics, pop culture, and more. As for the highlights? You’re already somewhat familiar with them.
Singapore International Film Festival
21 November – 1 December 2019
Love Asian films? You’re in for a treat as the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) celebrates its 30th anniversary with three commissioned short films that centre around the theme of celebration. Making their world premiere at the festival’s opening night on 21 November, the films are Incantation by Yeo Siew Hua (Singapore), Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue by Mouly Surya (Indonesia), and Not a Time to Celebrate by Anucha Boonyawatana (Thailand).
SGIFF’s lineup will also include a focus on Southeast Asian cinema titled Stories We Tell: Myth, Dreamscape and Memory in Southeast Asian Cinema, encompassing four feature films that trace an imaginative and dreamlike storytelling — which is characteristic of films from the region. Look forward to works like the omnibus Lucky 7 (2008) directed by seven local filmmakers (Sun Koh, K Rajagopal, Boo Junfeng, Brian Gothong Tan, Chew Tze Chuan, Ho Tzu Nyen, and Tania Sng), Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and The Missing Picture (2013) by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh.
If you’re an aspiring filmmaker yourself or a general film buff, check out The Future of Cinema – Storytelling through Episodes forum for insights into creating captivating characters, developing engaging stories, and connecting with audiences. Guest speakers include Singaporean filmmaker Ler Jiyuan, the showrunner for HBO Asia’s drama series Invisible Stories and Thai director and writer Ekachai Uekrongtham, who helmed the second season of HBO’s Halfworlds and Netflix’s Bangkok Love Stories.
Singapore Comic Con
The Singapore Toy Games and Comics Convention has officially been renamed Singapore Comic Con, bringing it one step closer to the same playing field as the world-famous SDCC, or San Diego Comic-Con International. Taking place at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, the ambitious Championships of Cosplay is back for your viewing pleasure as you watch your favourite characters strut up onto the stage. Other activities include the exclusive PVP gaming competition and meet-and-greet sessions with gaming celebrities, and of course, photo opportunities galore.
For the first time, the Singapore Comic Con will introduce a new initiative, the Work in Progress Programme, to offer aspiring comic writers a platform to bring their original ideas to life, in collaboration with regional publishing houses like Asiapac Books, Shogakukan Asia, and Vividthree + Darkbox Studio. Along with them come renowned comic and manga creators, illustrators, toy designers, and cosplayers such as Greg Capullo, Jim Mahfood, Yasmine Putri, Michael Sng, Peach Momoko, Tik Ka From East, Astarohime, and Jin, better known by his pseudonym Behindinfinity.
SMF Festival Village
22 – 24 Nov, 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2019
Families, children, young adults, film buffs, and pop culture enthusiasts all have a reason to be part of the celebrations this year. Singapore Media Festival 2019 will introduce a a new Festival Village at Armenian Street for members of the public to relish in a slew of entertainment programming, workshops, talks and masterclasses, and immersive VR showcases. Look forward to a curated list of film screenings under the stars, including Japanese filmmaker Naoko Ogigami’s Rent-a-Cat (2012) over the two action-packed weekends!