Tributes And Eco Films At SCFF2018 ​​​​​​​​​新加坡华语电影节创六个“第一次”
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6 May 2018

 Tributes And Eco Films At SCFF2018 ​​​​​​​​​新加坡华语电影节创六个“第一次”

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​​The Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF) returned with a bang for its sixth edition, SCFF2018, from 27 April to 6 May. The 10-day festival, co-organised by the Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS (Singapore University of Social Sciences) and Singapore Film Society (SFS), has grown over the years with SCFF2018 pushing record new boundaries. This year's festival offered six different 'inaugural' experiences for its growing audience, including:
  1. opening with a do​cumentary film, 
  2. screening an almost five-hour long film,
  3. screening a Wuxia film, 
  4. offering an Animation Shorts selection, 
  5. ticket bundle packages. 
     
Most significantly, this was the first time the festival screened its closing film at the iconic Capitol Theatre, a venue which holds nostalgic memories for many cinephiles in Singapore!

SCFF started from humble beginnings back in 2013 with only 10 films and 20 screenings. This year, the festival presented a total of 59 films and 51 screening sessions including 11 sold-out sessions, garnering over 27 media reports including two from overseas news agencies. Attendance size also increased to a record-high of 7,000, up from 6,433 last year.

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Clockwise from left: Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang (the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s representative to Singapore),
Professor Eddie Kuo (Academic Advisor to SUSS and Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS), Professor Cheong (SUSS President),
and Associate Professor Foo Tee Tuan (Director for Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS)

 
SCFF2018 kicked off with a lavish opening night reception held at Golden Village Vivo City graced by over 200 guests from academia, business, cultural, performing arts, film, and media industries. The by-invitation only event featured the festival’s opening film Manfei, a documentary on late Taiwanese dancer Ms Lo Man-fei. The evening was made extra special by the presence of Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, SUSS President, and Professor Eddie Kuo, Academic Advisor to SUSS and Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS, as well as Madam Effie Lo, eldest sister of the late Man-fei. Director En Chen was also present to interact with the audience at the post-screening Q&A session. The sharing continued the next day at the festival's first discussion panel which explored the relationship between film subject and filmmaker. Director Chen delighted audiences by relating his experience and challenges at capturing the beauty and essence of Man-fei 10 years after her passing. 

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In his welcome speech, festival co-director Associate Professor Foo Tee Tuan (Director, Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS) highlighted that the opening film would, "…resonate powerfully with many of us, especially my colleagues at the Singapore University of Social Sciences." Associate Professor Foo explained that the documentary portrayed Man-fei as a committed teacher and mentor who dedicated time and effort to ensure her students were able to pursue their dreams to be a professional dancer or choreographer. From the vivid recounts of her students and friends, it was clear that Man-fei's legacy as an educator will continue through the lives she had touched. Madam Effie Lo also shared touching memories of her late sister, which added a sense of immediacy beyond what the movie screening could afford.

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From left: Associate Professor Foo, Madam Effie Lo, Director En-Chen 

While selecting this year's crop of movies, the organisers found a unique opportunity to pay tribute to moviemakers and stars the industry had lost. The festival honoured the late Taiwanese director Chi-Po Lin, who tragically passed away last year, with the screening of five eco-documentary productions, including Chi's Golden Horse Award winning Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above, and budding local director Yeo Kai Wen's The Disappearing Hills. Associate Professor Foo explained this decision, "Beyond screening movies for entertainment, SCFF hopes to create a deeper impact on our audiences by provoking thought and reflection on important societal issues. This year we decided to focus on creating more awareness on sustainability and the domino effects of our actions and urban lifestyles on the environment we live in. We thought this would be a meaningful way to remember Chi-Po Lin who was here personally to support SCFF back in 2014." 

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Three of the eco-documentary filmmakers also participated in a panel discussion dedicated to Chi Po Lin where they passionately shared the inspiration behind their productions as well as their environmental convictions. Their fervour triggered an immediate positive response amongst the audience, with some commenting on how we could all do more to help protect our planet. Hopefully this will create a long-lasting impact by inspiring Singaporeans to play their part towards this cause! 

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Another tribute this year was to the late Mr Leslie Cheung, one of the most popular movie stars the Chinese speaking world has seen. As 2018 coincided with the 15th anniversary of his passing, Loving Leslie – featuring four of his famous films - was curated to commemorate his achievements as an artiste. Wong Kar Wai's widely acclaimed Happy Together, screened only once in Singapore 20 years ago at the Capitol Theatre, was selected as the festival's closing film. SCFF2018 recreated that nostalgia by choosing to screen the film in its restored version and in original Cantonese at the Capitol Theatre. The sold-out session saw an overwhelming response from many Leslie fans. Their excitement was palpable from start to end – when thunderous applause followed with the roll of the end credits. As the audience streamed out of the theatre, many lingered on to take photos with festival posters and video footage featuring Leslie!

While SCFF continues to re-invent itself, it stays true to its commitment to promote the appreciation of Chinese films to all, including non-Chinese speaking communities. The festival strives to screen the movies in their original languages to showcase the beauty and diversity of the Chinese culture and language. As such, as far as possible, the festival tries to provide both English and Chinese subtitles in order to attain a wider outreach of audience, including those from non-Chinese, and/or non-Chinese-speaking backgrounds.

SCFF2018 was made possible by Catchplay on Demand, Hong Leong Foundation, Shaw Foundation, the Chinese Language and Culture Fund, the Taipei Business Association in Singapore, and the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore. The success of the event is a result of the impressive team effort put in by sponsors, festival organisers, volunteers, participating filmmakers, and other partners. Fans can definitely stay tuned to a more exciting line-up of films and events next year! 


​​​​​​​​​新加坡华语电影节创六个“第一次”

由新跃社科大学新跃中华学术中心和新加坡电影协会联办的新加坡华语电影节今年迈入了第六个年头。在4月27日至5月6日期间,主办单位分别在嘉华怡丰城、嘉华新达城、首都剧院、新加坡国家博物馆黑箱剧场、黄金影院和新加坡拉萨尔艺术学院放映了近60部来自中、港、台、新、马的长片和短片作品。今年的电影节力求突破,创下了六个“第一次”:
  1. 第一次以纪录片作为电影节的开幕片;
  2. 第一次在华夏风情画单元推出武侠电影;
  3. 第一次在纪录片视角单元放映一部近五小时的作品;
  4. 第一次在华流短片展单元中让大家看到一套完全以动画来表现的短片精选;
  5. 第一次推出观影套票;
  6. 更是第一次把放映地点扩展到首都剧院和黄金影院这两个对新加坡人而言有重大怀旧意义的电影院!

从2013年的10部电影20场展映,到今年59部电影的51场展映,新加坡华语电影节一路走来成长不少。承蒙大家的热烈支持,今年的观众总人数从去年的6,433人增加至7,900人。今年的电影节可说是亮点十足,颇受媒体关注。共有27篇媒体报道提到了有关电影节的相关内容,其中有两篇是海外的媒体报道。

电影节以纪录片《曼菲》在嘉华怡丰城拉开序幕。逾200名来自本地学术、商业、文化、表演艺术以及影视等领域的嘉宾出席了开幕片放映会,其中包括新跃社科大学校长张起杰教授、新跃中华学术中心顾问郭振羽教授、罗伊菲女士,以及《曼菲》的导演陈怀恩先生。在映后交流环节,陈怀恩导演精彩地叙述了拍摄《曼菲》所积累的经验及面对的挑战。至于拍摄人物纪录片时,导演与传主之间又是怎样的一种关系?陈怀恩导演也在隔天的座谈会就这个主题和大家分享更多心得。

电影放映前,电影节联合策展人新跃中华学术中心主任符诗专副教授在致词时说:“罗曼菲生前不仅是一位杰出的当代舞蹈家,更是一位伟大的老师。她除了自己在舞蹈界取得非常耀眼的成绩,更是提拔和栽培了不少当前活跃于台湾现代舞界的后辈。她那种奉献于教育的无私精神,无疑是每一位教育者的楷模,相信她的故事尤其能够让新跃社科大学的同事留下深刻的印象。”罗曼菲的大姐罗伊菲女士也和大家分享了不少她对妹妹的回忆,现场气氛温馨感人。

策展人今年在选片时特别设计了两个单元向两位已故电影人致敬。纪录片视角这个单元中特选了五部环保纪录片,以纪念已故台湾导演齐柏林,其中包括齐导的《看见台湾》以及本地年轻导演杨凯文的《遗失的山丘》。符教授在解释设计这个单元的用意时说:“一直以来,我们都希望电影节不单是给大家提供影视娱乐,我们更想通过电影让观众注意到一些值得关注的社会议题,让作品去引导大家针对不同的课题进行反思。今年我们决定通过几部非常优秀的纪录片呼吁大家重视环保问题。这也算是我们缅怀齐导的一种方式,他在2014年曾经亲自携片出席我们电影节。”

主办单位特别邀请了其中三部作品的制片人和导演参与一场座谈会,请他们畅谈创作灵感,以及他们对于环保的理念和坚持。他们的热情感染了在场观众,一些观众在发言时都表示大家应为爱护地球多尽一份力。希望这次的活动能带来长期效应,唤醒本地人的环保意识。

今年适逢巨星张国荣逝世15周年,电影节特设挚爱张国荣单元,放映“哥哥”的四部经典作品,让影迷重温其当年风采。主办单位选择以王家卫执导的《春光乍洩》作为闭幕片,可说是别具意义,因为这部片子只在20年前的新加坡国际电影节上公开放映过。这回重回首都剧院以广东原音放映,张国荣的影迷反应热烈,当天门票几乎被一扫而空。电影结束后,厅内掌声雷动,许多人在散场后纷纷在场外与张国荣的电影海报合照。即使过了这么多年,“哥哥”的魅力依旧无法挡!

在不断创新的同时,新加坡华语电影节仍不忘初衷,坚持不懈地向所有人推广华语电影,包括不谙华语的人士。为了令观众了解和欣赏华语和华人文化的多样性,电影节的影片都以原音放映,也尽可能提供中英文字幕。

2018年新加坡华语电影节是由CatchPlay on Demand、丰隆基金、邵氏基金、中华语言文化基金、新加坡台北工商协会及驻新加坡台北代表处协力赞助。非常感谢赞助商、志愿者、各位嘉宾以及其他合作伙伴的热烈支持,今年的活动才得以圆满落幕。我们明年再见!