Viknesh Kobinathan

Source: Screen File

Viknesh Kobinathan

Film programmer, Asian Film Archive

As film programmer at Singapore’s Asian Film Archive (AFA), Viknesh Kobinathan delivers classic and contemporary Asian cinema to audiences at the city’s Oldham Theatre. They first became involved with programming in 2013 while studying filmmaking at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University through the student-run Perspectives Film Festival. After two years programming at local independent cinema The Projector, Kobinathan completed a masters in film studies, programming and curation at the UK’s National Film and Television School.

Joining AFA just before the Covid lockdowns of 2020 meant a “heartbreaking” move away from public screenings.

Having successfully navigated that period, Kobinathan now sets the vision for AFA’s programming each year, planning retrospectives, special and partner programmes, and the annual Singapore Shorts showcase. “I am always surprised by what audiences are drawn to,” they say. “It makes me appreciate the complexity of people’s tastes and that individuals cannot be boxed into algorithmic preferences. Unlike streamers, there are a group of people at institutions like the AFA who invite audiences to encounter films in new ways.”

Recent highlights of the programme include Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s acclaimed Evil Does Not Exist and Govindan Aravindan’s Thampu from 1978. “With cinema, I’ve always been drawn to surprise, intrigue, curiosity and ambiguity,” Kobinathan adds.

Kobinathan was involved in Singapore International Film Festival for the first time last year, helping programme the inaugural Landmark section of classic films.

Contact: Viknesh Kobinathan