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Film Studies Movie Screening of Dreaming & Dying with SUSS Alumni

On 16 December 2023, Film Studies from the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences (SHBS) hosted an exclusive screening of the movie Dreaming & Dying at Golden Village x The Projector at Cineleisure. Written and directed by Nelson Yeo, the film is produced by Tan Si En and and Sophia Sim, who is an alumna of SHBS (BA Hons in English, 2017).

SHBS-FilmStudies screening
The SHBS-Film Studies screening of Dreaming & Dying was held at Golden Village x The Projector at Cineleisure.

Dreaming & Dying premiered at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in August, where it won two top awards: Filmmakers of the Present – Golden Leopard and the Swatch First Feature Award. This is the first time a Southeast Asian film has won these two coveted prizes. Dreaming & Dying is an experimental fantasy drama set entirely in Singapore. The narrative revolves around a reunion of three middle-aged friends (played by Peter Yu, Doreen Toh, and Kelvin Ho) caught in a long-repressed love triangle; they are haunted by unexpressed emotions and the undercurrent of their past lives.

The screening was extra special because it was attended by producers Sophia Sim and Tan Si En, director Nelson Yeo, cinematographer Lincoln Yeo, and sound designer Cheng Lijie.

During the Q&A director Nelson Yeo
From left to right: Sound designer Cheng Lijie, Director Nelson Yeo, Producer Sophia Sim, and Film Studies Head of Programme (HoP) Khoo Sim Eng
During the Q&A, director Nelson Yeo said he had worked on the script for a year. Among other things, he wanted to explore repressed emotions and the unreliability of memory.

Sound designer Cheng Lijie
Sound designer Cheng Lijie put a Styrofoam packing box over actor Peter Yu’s head to create an echoey sound for a scene. Nelson could not help demonstrating how it looked!

CinematographerLincoln Yeo
Cinematographer Lincoln Yeo wanted the film to look like a series of paintings. He captured beautiful shots of several locations, including the sea at different times of the day, Haw Par Villa at night, and Clementi Forest.

During the Q&A, Sophia recounted how she attended a Film Studies industry talk and was so inspired that she decided she wanted to work in film. She started out working on film sets and took on different crew roles with each film, from production assistant to casting coordinator to co-producer and now, producer.

ProducerSophia Sim
Producer Sophia Sim learned the ropes on the job. Along the way, she met Nelson and producer Tan Si En; they clicked and began working on various projects. Sophia also recalled casting the Film Studies Head of Programme Ms Khoo Sim Eng in one film.

Group shot
Group shot after the Q&A. Filmmakers are pictured in the centre, front row (from left to right): Cinematographer Lincoln Yeo, Producer Tan Si En, Director Nelson Yeo. Second row (from left to right): Producer Sophia Sim, Film Studies HoP Khoo Sim Eng, Sound designer Cheng Lijie.

Alumni Jeremy Ting (BA Sociology with Film Studies) is a filmmaker as well, and he appreciated the screening. “It was a very insightful experience coming down to the screening of Dreaming & Dying. Getting the chance to watch a short film that turned into a feature and discussing the process with the filmmakers was an eye-opener. It helped me see that no idea is too small to be turned into a feature, and no team is too small if you have the right people on board. I think it’s also great that SUSS was able to help showcase arthouse films, as there usually aren’t many screens available to these types of films, let alone a local arthouse production.”

Film Studies Head of Programme Ms Khoo Sim Eng, who organised and moderated the screening, said, “I am so happy for Sophia and can’t wait to see what she is doing next!”

Congratulations to Sophia Sim from the entire SUSS community!

Click here to view the trailer:

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