What: The fourth edition of Singapore’s biggest arts festival with a packed performance calendar of locally and internationally acclaimed acts across film, theatre, dance, music and visual arts.
Why: After reviving the festival in 2014, Ong Keng Sen will be stepping down as festival director this year after a four year-tenure. Even if you are an arts rookie, you’ll have heard of the 54-year-old theatre veteran, Cultural Medallion winner (2003) and the artistic director of local group Theatreworks. Known for pushing interdisciplinary, avant-garde works for more than two decades, Ong has left his mark on SIFA (as the festival is commonly known) with a calendar of progressive, experimental works that challenge prickly topics such as censorship in Singapore. Not to be missed this year: a rare chance to be one of the first to catch best-selling comic artist Sonny Liew’s new graphic novel, which he’ll debut through live illustrations on stage. Never more timely for the world at large: local theatre group Pangdemonium’s Dragonflies, which addresses social issues caused by global warming, far-right politics and worldwide paranoia. Also, the audience is invited to observe a film in the making: Henrico’s Farm, the next work by Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival) award-winning director Lav Diaz.
When: Aug 5-Sept 9
Where: Various locations
This story first appeared in Female’s August 2017 issue.
Like this? Check out all the art events to know, the young, Singaporean filmmakers you need to know and all the cool, cultural events in August.