South Asian films to screen at Singapore Film Festival


Singapore: Feature and short films from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh will be screened during the inaugural Singapore South Asian International Film Festival.

The 10-day festival, which begins from September 1, will showcase a total of 35 films. It is being organised by Muvizz, a streaming service for world independent films, and supported by the High Commission of India in Singapore, Institute of South Asian Studies and National University of Singapore, reported The Straits Times today.

“The Bait”, a 2016 award-winning Bengali film based on a short story by Narayan Bandyopadhya and Malayalam crime thriller “Pinneyum” (Once Again, 2016), which is directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, will be screened during the event.

The 76-year-old filmmaker, who will be in town to talk about his work, is known for revolutionising the Malayalam film industry when his debut film, “Swayamvaram” (1972), screened at international festivals in London, Moscow and Paris.

Twenty-six films will be competing for Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film at the festival.

The films screening in competition include Marathi film “Lathe Joshi” (2016), a story of factory worker who is rendered jobless due to advances in technology, and Sri Lanka’s “Withered Leaf” (2016), about a poor village woman’s struggles after the sudden death of her husband.

Filmmakers Mostofa Sarwar Farooki from Bangladesh, Siddiq Barmak from Afghanistan, K Rajagopal from Singapore and Prasanna Vithanage from Sri Lanka are the jury members.

“This event will hopefully become a significant cultural gateway in the years to come. Through the powerful medium of cinema, we hope to build closer ties between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia,” said Abhayanand Singh, festival director and founder of Muvizz.

“There are a lot of films that never reach us in Singapore. This festival will bring these films to Singapore and, at the same time, create a whole environment of creative and cultural exchange,” he said.