Mentors at the new writers’ workshop will include Fran Borgia and Tan Chui Mui.

The 25th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is launching its first Southeast Asian Film Lab, which will run Dec 8-14.

Part of the Singapore Media Festival to be held at the end of the year, SGIFF aims to nurture regional culture and help build the Southeast Asian film industry with the new writers’ workshop for emerging talent.

SGIFF says the lab will “focus on stories capturing the collective experiences of the past, present and future Southeast Asia to be developed into feature length screenplays.”

Workshop mentors will include award-winning producer Fran Borgia and award-winning producer/director/actress Tan Chui Mui. Borgia’s credits include Boo Junfeng’s Cannes Critics’ Week film Sandcastle and Ho Tzu Nyen’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight film Here - both of which were feature directorial debuts. More recently he has produced films including UK-Ireland-Singapore co-production Mister John which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Borgia is founder of Akanga Film Film Asia, an independent production company based in Singapore.

A co-founder of Da Huang Pictures along with influential Malaysian filmmakers Amir Muhammad, James Lee and Liew Seng Tat, Tan’s credits include Love Conquers All, her feature directorial debut which won Busan’s New Currents award as well as Rotterdam’s Tiger Award.

The workshop will comprise masterclasses and screenings with established professionals from the region focusing on writing approaches. The ten participants will get individual advice from mentors and eventually pitch their stories in front of an industry panel.

The Lab is looking for screenwriters and writer/directors of Southeast Asian descent, between the ages of 18 to 35, who have at least two short films screened at international film festivals and have yet to make feature film debuts.

SGIFF executive director Yuni Hadi said, “Our thinking behind the Southeast Asian Film Lab is to unearth potential stories from the region, and explore the richness of Southeast Asian culture through the medium of film. Film is one of the fastest and most powerful ways of reaching the wider community. Through this creative collaboration between neighboring countries, we will build up mutual appreciate and respect for our heritage amongst the participants in Singapore and the region.”

SGIFF will take submissions until Sept 15 and announce winners by mid-October. For details see