The Singapore Chinese Film Festival 2016, jointly organised by UniSIM Centre for Chinese Studies (UCCS) and the Singapore Film Society (SFS), came to a resounding finale on 8 May 2016 with the closing film Centre Stage (阮玲玉). The original director's version in Mandarin, Cantonese & Shanghainese, was screened to an audience of over 200 people.
During the festival, movie buffs were treated to 61 films – from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore – across different sections, namely Chinese Panorama, Documentary Vision and Chinese Shorts Showcase. Of the 44 screenings this year – variously at Golden Village Vivo City and Suntec, The Arts House, and the National Museum Singapore – 22 were sold out.
On the festival's opening night, Prof Eddie Kuo, Director of UCCS and Mr Kenneth Tan, Chairman of SFS gave a welcome address to some 200 invited guests who filled the theatre at Golden Village Vivo City. The festival opened with the film Chinese Shortcuts which is a compilation of award-winning shorts from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. This includes Death of a Security Guard by Cheng Wei-hao (Best Short Film at the 52nd Golden Horse Awards), Time To Die by Wang Tong, My Father After Dinner directed by Gladys Ng (won Best Singapore Short Award at the 26th Singapore International Film Festival), and the world premiere of Singapore animated film Lak Bo Ki directed by Ang Qing Sheng. Directors Wang Tong, Gladys Ng and Ang Qing Sheng were also in attendance for the post-screening Q&A with the audience. The evening ended with the screening of Ten Years - a collection of five short stories hypothesising Hong Kong's future - which won Best Film at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards. All four screenings of Ten Years throughout the ten-day festival were sold out.
Fourteen film-makers and speakers were also invited to share their experiences with the audience eleven post-screening question-and-answer sessions and two sold out Chinese Talkies panel discussions.
The first panel discussion, Spotlight on Hong Kong Independent Filmmaking, was held on 1 May. Writer-directors Kiwi Chow (A Complicated Story, Ten Years) and Jevons Au (Trivisia, Ten Years) as well as producer Andrew Choi (Final Project, Ten Years) inspired over 100 attendees with their experiences in independent filmmaking and their views and aspirations for Hong Kong cinema.
The second panel discussion, Documentary Directors Documenting Chinese Cinema was held on 8 May and featured documentary filmmakers Ruby Yang (A Moment In Time), Louisa Wei (Golden Gate Girls),and Jane Yu (Face Taiwan: Power of Taiwan Cinema) with local filmmaker Eva Tang (The Songs We Sang) as the moderator. It provided the audience a rare glimpse at the challenges and obstacles faced over the film- making process and how these film makers overcame them.
SCFF 2016 was made possible through the sponsorship of Lee Foundation, and Chinese Language & Culture Fund.
(From left) A/P Foo Tee Tuan; Prof Cheong Hee Kiat; Director Ang Qing Sheng (Lak Boh Ki); Mr. David Lee, SFS.
Director Wang Tong (Time To Die) and audience on opening night.
Director Gladys Ng (My Father After Dinner) and Director Ang Qing Sheng (Lak Boh Ki) at the Q&A session
after the opening film Chinese Shortcuts.
The audience listening intently at the talk Spotlight on Independent Hong Kong Filmmaking.
From left: A/P Foo Tee Tuan; Prof Eddie Kuo; director Louisa Wei (Golden Gate Girls); director Ruby Yang (A Moment in Time); producer Jane Yu (FaceTaiwan); producer Lambert Yam (A Moment in Time); Mr Chew Keng Kiat, SFS; Mr David Lee, SFS.