In terms of local films, 2018 didn’t have quite the impact of say, 2013, when Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo was practically hailed as the new messiah. Still, there were some highs (and lows, depending who you ask) this year. Before 2018 bows out, here’s a quick recap on all the SG films that kept people talking:
A Land Imagined
A Land Imagined by director Yeo Siew Hua snagged the Golden Leopard award (the top prize) at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival back in August, becoming the first Singapore director to do so. The surrealist work follows a police investigator as he sets out to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of a migrant Chinese construction worker from a land reclamation site.
Making its local premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival earlier this month, the screening quickly sold out and the work also won Best Film at the festival’s Asian Feature Film Competition. We’re waiting for more screenings to be held.
Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex
While this 15-minute short has yet to make its local debut, Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex grabbed the headlines in June when it picked up the top prize (against more than 10,000 submissions from 130 countries) at the Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia 2018 — one of the key qualifying festivals for the Oscars.
Directed by Chai Yee Wei, the film focuses on themes of (lost) heritage and a young boy’s “sexual awakening”. The work represents Chai’s first short film in over a decade. Check out the trailer here.
You’ll most probably have caught Sandi Tan’s Shirkers by now (it’s streaming on Netflix) but if you haven’t, here’s all you need to know about this super hyped documentary (it is worth the hype) in a nutshell.
Also, catch our interview with the director on topics such as how her self-made zine The Exploding Cat made it big internationally (this was pre-Internet, mind) in the January 2019 issue of Female, out now.
Celebrated auteur Eric Khoo’s latest venture, Ramen Teh‘s title is a portmanteau of ramen and bak kut teh. It follows a Japanese ramen chef who travels to Singapore in a bid to find his long-lost relatives (he’s half Singaporean) and obviously food is the central theme to uniting both cultures. While it may not have the ominous undertones of Khoo’s earlier works such as Mee Pok Man, this is one film guaranteed to have you heading straight to grab a bite after.
Crazy Rich Asians
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Crazy Rich Asians was an unavoidable topic this year — after all, the title of this article says buzziest, not the best — Singapore films of the year.
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