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The 26th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)

Asian Feature Film Competition

Indian film The Fourth Direction, the sophomore feature by Gurvinder Singh emerged
as the Best Film of the Asian Feature Film Competition. Set during the historical
conflict between Sikh separatists and the military, the film impressed the jury with
its 'masterful execution' which makes the audience 'experience the fear and tension
of the era and how the political situation is influencing the life of this family.'

Israeli film Tikkun by Avishai Sivan was given Special Mention by the jury for the
director's ability to 'guide us seamlessly through the complexities of the
character's spiritual journey' as it discusses the nature of sexuality, life and

Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi won the Best Director for Happy Hour, his first
fiction film in three years, which offers an intimate gaze into a close group of
friends as they pass through the joys and tribulations that mid-life offers to them.

Turkish cast Taha Tegin Özdemir, Yakup Özgür Kurtaal and Ömer Uluç were also awarded
Best Performance for their roles in Snow Pirates by Faruk Kacihafizoğlu. Set against
the 1980 coup d'état in Turkey, the film tells the story of three teenage friends
who spent their school holidays trying to find coal for warmth against all odds
amidst sharing their personal stories and dreams.

The award winners of the Asian Feature Film Competition are selected by a jury
panel, headed by Brilliante Mendoza, one of the most important and prominent
filmmakers of Philippines cinema today. His award-winning debut film which won the
Golden Leopard Award at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland,
paved the way for the rise of alternative cinema in the Philippines. He is also the
only Filipino director that has been accorded the singular distinction of the
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters)
from the French government. Other jury members include Managing Director and
Producer of Irresistible Films Ivy Ho, member of the European Film Academy Karel Och
and South Korean producer, Oh Jung-wan.

The Fourth Direction will be re-screened at the National Museum of Singapore
tomorrow, the last day of the SGIFF, together with the winning film of the Audience
Choice Award to be announced tomorrow morning, replacing the festival's closing

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

In the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, The Fox Exploits the Tiger's Might
was awarded Best Southeast Asian Short Film. The Indonesian film presented the story
of two pre-teen boys who discover the relation between power and sex amid their
burgeoning sexuality and the jury found it thought-provoking on issues of race and
repression, with its 'strong visual language and a deft use of sexual tension'.

The film also won Best Director for Lucky Kuswandi, one of Indonesia's most exciting
young directors. The jury was impressed by his 'strong direction' which was evident
in the cast's performance, and his success in introducing the audience to the many
eclectic characters while 'telling a story that is layered, provocative and
entertaining at the same time.'

Singaporean filmmaker Gladys Ng also won the Best Singapore Short Film for My Father
After Dinner, which shares the nuances of Asian familial love through the story of a
father who prepares dinner while waiting for his children to return home. The jury
liked Ng's acutely observant and fresh take on the everyday life and saw the short
film as an 'honest and heart-warming portrait of a slice of life in Singapore'.

Thai film Ferris Wheel by Phuttiphong Aroonpeng was given Special Mention by the
jury for how this powerful and urgent story about a mother and child seeking refuge
across the border 'inspires empathy for the experiences of illegal migrants through
the point of view of the characters'.

The jury head for this year's Southeast Asian Short Film Competition is Boo Junfeng.
He is a well-known local filmmaker who won Best Film and Special Achievement Award
for his debut short film - A Family Portrait - at the Silver Screen Awards in 2005
and whose omnibus film '7 Letters' this year is Singapore's official entry to the
Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category. Other jury members include Malaysian
actress and filmmaker Sharifah Amani, and Chairman of the Association of Indonesian
Film Producers, Sheila Timothy.

The jury also shared that all the films shortlisted for this year's Southeast Asian
Short Film Competition 'had something the filmmakers wanted to say about the
cultures, societies and the world they live in. The diversity of the perspectives
and genres makes the selection this year a very interesting one.'

Participants of the Youth Jury & Critics Programme, an SGIFF initiative to nurture
critical cinema writers for the region, also selected this year's Youth Jury Prize
for the best Southeast Asian short film, which was presented to Cambodian film Three
Wheels by Kavich Neang. It features a tuk-tuk driver, who was reminded of his former
lover from the days before Khmer Rouge rule, and the last request from his wife
before he acts to move out of the family home. The Youth Jury liked how the short
film 'silently weaves through the lives of its modest characters' and gives a face
to these characters and 'draws us closer to them'.

Established players in the Asian Cinema recognised

In recognition of his lifelong dedication and contribution to cinema, acclaimed
Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf received the Honorary Award from Kim Ji-Seok,
founding member of Busan International Film Festival and SGIFF's International
Advisory Board member, and Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF. Internationally
acclaimed actress and producer Michelle Yeoh was also conferred the Cinema Legend
Award, which recognises Asian actors and their outstanding achievements in bringing
Asia's story to life on screen. This inaugural award for SGIFF was presented by film
producer of acclaimed action film Reign of Assassins (2010) and Head of SGIFF's
Southeast Asian Film Lab, Terence Chang, and one of Singapore's veteran actress Zoe
Tay at the Silver Screen Awards.

A platform to recognise talents for the future of Regional Cinema

The Most Promising Project of the Southeast Asian Film Lab, an SGIFF initiative to
nurture the future of Southeast Asian filmmaking, was also awarded this evening to
one of the region's emerging filmmakers, He Shuming from Singapore. His project
A-Joom-Ma (Auntie) tells the story of a Korean drama-obsessed widow who learns to
find her way home after getting lost on her first trip abroad in Seoul. This was
awarded after a six-day story development lab attended by 11 young talents and a
pitch in front of an industry jury including Terence Chang and Cora Yim, Vice
President for Chinese Movie & Entertainment Channels at FOX International Channels.
The jury shared that the project 'strikes a chord across cultures through a
relatable character that is crafted in a personal and very familiar manner' and they
hope this 'will take the Southeast Asian experience beyond our shores'.

Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF said, "The Silver Screen Awards has always
been a key component of the Singapore International Film Festival. As the
longest-running international film platform in Southeast Asia that inspires the
discovery of independent cinema, the SGIFF always strives to heighten awareness of
the rich filmmaking talents and quality works in the region. The Silver Screen
Awards is one such platform to chart the rise of Asian cinema and recognise the
talents of filmmakers, including up-and-coming players, many of whom become the most
prominent filmmakers of our time. Congratulations to all award winners this year and
we look forward to discovering and showcasing more quality works with innovative
cinematic presentations, and rich perspectives from the regional cinema next year."

The Silver Screen Awards saw a total of 10 feature films and 20 short films,
including four Singapore short films, vying for the awards. The glittering red
carpet affair was also graced by Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel and saw a
surprise appearance by international icon David Beckham, who co-presented the award
for Asian Feature Film - Best Director with Marina Bay Sands President and Chief
Executive Officer Mr. George Tanasijevich.

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Media Development
Authority (Singapore). SGIFF's Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Marina
Bay Sands; Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen; Official TV, Fox
International; Official Airline, Singapore Airlines; Official Technology Partner,
Mocha Chai Laboratories and Official Art Magazine, Art Republik.

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