Fan Bingbing

Source: Courtesy of Singapore IFF

Fan Bingbing

Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) will feature the highest number of films in competition by Singaporean directors since 1997 and will honour Chinese star Fan Bingbing with its Cinema Icon Award.

Announcing the lineup for its 34th edition, which runs November 30 to December 10, the festival revealed that nominations for its Asian feature film competition include Singaporean films Tomorrow Is A Long Time by Jow Zhi Wei, Dreaming And Dying by Nelson Yeo and Last Shadow At First Light by Nicole Midori Woodford.

They are among the 12-strong competition that also includes world premieres of Indian transgender drama Valli by Manoj Shinde and South Korean dystopia feature The Tenants by Yoon Eun-kyoung.

Scroll down for full list of competition titles

SGIFF will also resurrect two of its awards – the Cinema Icon Award and the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) Award – which were last part of the festival’s Silver Screen Awards in 2019 and 2016 respectively.

This year’s Cinema Icon Award will go to Chinese superstar and producer Fan Bingbing, who will receive the honorary award at the festival’s opening ceremony on November 30. Past recipients of the honour, previously known as the Cinema Legend Award, include Michell Yeoh, Simon Yam, Koji Yakusho, Joan Chen and Yao Chen.

SGIFF will also screen three of Fan’s films, curated by her, including Buddha Mountain, Double Xposure and her latest feature Green Night, which premiered at the Berlinale.

In addition, the Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award will go to White Light Post in recognition of their award-winning achievements in post-production work.

It means the festival will hand out its largest number of awards in more than decade, which it hope will increase exposure to films from the region.

“For many, an award is a stamp of recognition or a form of approval by fellow industry players but it does much more,” said SGIFF executive director Emily J Hoe. “In the film industry, an award sets the stage for better films to be produced, reinforcing it as a platform for not only recognising excellence but also shaping the future of the industry for the film ecosystem. This recognition not only propels the works of producers onto the global stage but also significantly influences consumers’ film choices.”

Alongside regular programme strands such as Foreground, which spotlights international films, and Domain, which this year includes an interactive exhibition, the festival will introduce a new section title Landmark. Launched in partnership with the Asian Film Archive, it will focus on newly-restored classics and is headlined by David Lynch’s 1992 feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which was restored in 2022.

The 34th edition will be hosted across venues that includes Filmgarde Kallang, Golden Village x The Projector at Cineleisure, Gallery Theatre at National Museum of Singapore, Oldham Theatre, Shaw Theatres Lido, and The Projector at Golden Mile.

SGIFF: Asian feature film competition 2023

A Journey In Spring (Tai)
Dir Wang Ping-Wen

Critical Zone (Iran-Ger)
Dir Ali Ahmadzadeh

Dreaming And Dying (Sing-Indo)
Dir Nelson Yeo

Hesitation Wound (Turk-Fr-Rom-Sp)
Dir Selman Nacar

Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell (Viet-Sing-Fr-Sp)
Dir Pham Thien An

Last Shadow At First Light (Sing-Japan-Phil-Slov-Indo)
Dir Nicole Midori Woodford

Monisme (Indo-Qatar)
Dir Riar Rizaldi

Morrison (Thai-Fr)
Dir Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Snow In Midsummer (Malay-Sing-Tai)
Dir Chong Keat Aun

The Tenants (S Kor)
Dir Yoon Eun-kyoung

Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Sing-Tai-Fr-Port)
Dir Jow Zhi Wei

Valli (India)
Dir Manoj Shinde