Singapore, 19 August 2020 — The Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) unveils the full lineup for Singular Screens, now available both on-demand and at Oldham Theatre as part of SIFA v2.020 from 4 September 2020. Curated by the Asian Film Archive (AFA), Singular Screens celebrates diverse and independent visions, now in its third annual edition since 2018.
“Singular Screens has been a significant part of SIFA for the past three years, showcasing some of the best and boldest voices in the world of film. We’re proud to present seven powerful films this year as part of SIFA v2.020. Whilst each film in the programme is unique, they are united by their profound explorations of life, death and rebirth. Often meditative, they give us pause to ponder our own existence in the turbulent world of now. In addition, they each push the boundaries of filmmaking while showcasing the cinematic styles of each director,” said Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani.
All seven films for Singular Screens will be screened at Oldham Theatre at the National Archives of Singapore, with social distancing measures in place. These include mandatory temperature taking, SafeEntry log-in and mask wearing, as well as a maximum capacity of 33 for each screening and with groups up to three allowed to sit together. Alternatively, audiences can enjoy three of the films at home through video-on-demand via SISTIC Live Stream.
About Endlessness, by acclaimed Swedish film director Roy Andersson, was chosen as the opening film for Singular Screens which will commence on 4 September. Andersson brings audiences on a deep exploration on existence and human life through a series of stunningly picturesque and uninterrupted long-shot vignettes. The effect – a beautiful yet humourously dark satire exposing the predicaments of its characters, inviting audiences to reflect on their own lives. This film was awarded ‘Best Director’ at the Venice Film Festival 2019.
Last and First Men, directed by mercurial Icelandic composer and filmmaker Jóhann Jóhannsson, straddles both science fiction and documentary. Inspired by the 1930 novel by Olaf Stapledon, this minimalist yet monumental film brings audiences two billion years into the future. Narrated by Tilda Swinton and with music composed by Jóhannsson himself, the film represents his last and most personal work – an allegory of remembrance, ideals and the death of utopia.
Paris-based Spanish filmmaker and visual artist Carlos Casas presents Cemetery, an immersive journey which follows an elephant, a mahout and the poachers in their pursuit through the Sri Lankan jungle toward the mythical elephants’ graveyard. This deeply sensorial film which combines 10 years of stunning field recordings and arresting soundscape, opens up questions about life cycles and memory, colonialism and extinction, conservation and the environment and interspecies relationships.
Here is the full lineup of Singular Screens:
|Title of Film||Film Director||Synopsis|
4 September, 8pm
PG13 (Some Mature
|Roy Andersson||Simultaneously an ode and a lament, About Endlessness presents a kaleidoscope of all that is eternally human, an infinite story of the vulnerability of existence in its beauty and cruelty, its splendour and banality.|
5 September, 4pm
|Damien Manivel||Following the death of her two children in April 1913, the legendary dancer, Isadora Duncan, created a farewell solo entitled Mother in which a mother cradles her child for the last time before letting him go. A century later, four women encounter the heartrending dance.|
13 September, 4pm
|Tadasuke Kotani||On her mother's grave, Hinako sees a flower of cosmos. Her father calls to say he can’t come home and repeats “Tamaran” in frustration. On her way home, Hinako buys a book, Tamaran Hill, only to find that same flower offered by her late mother’s sister the next morning.|
18 September, 8pm
|Carlos Casas||After a devastating earthquake, Nga, an old elephant and probably the last of its species, and Sanra his mahout are about to embark on a journey to find the mythical elephant’s graveyard. A group of poachers, are following them, a journey of discovery starts and an hypnotising monologue leads us deep into the jungle on a travel of mourning and reincarnation. The poachers will die one after one, under mysterious circumstances and spells, while the spectator will become the only protagonist, on an audiovisual journey into the cemetery and beyond.|
Last and First Men
19 September, 8pm
|Jóhann Jóhannsson||In a surreal and phantasmagorical world, a future race of humans finds themselves on the verge of extinction. Brutalist stone monuments of the communist era – once intended as symbols of Unity and Brotherhood – remain as lone, abandoned beacons beaming their message into the wilderness. While the story of crumbling future civilisations is told, the spectral presence of an entity attempting to communicate with us emerges. Based on a speculative science fiction story by Olaf Stapledon with music composed by Jóhann Jóhannson, Last and First Men represents Jóhannson's final and most personal work – an allegory of remembrance, ideals and the death of utopia.|
26 September, 4pm
Southeast Asian Premiere
|Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese||Amongst the pythonic mountains of land-locked Lesotho, an 80-year-old widow Mantoa makes arrangements for her burial and prepares to die. But when plans to construct a reservoir threatens her village with forced resettlement, she finds a new will to live and ignites a collective spirit of defiance within her community. In these final dramatic moments of her life, Mantoa’s legend is forged and made eternal.|
27 September, 4pm
Southeast Asian Premiere
|Matías Piñeiro||Over the years of trying to clinch a role as Isabella, the heroine of the Shakespearean comedy Measure for Measure, aspiring actress Mariel becomes entrapped by frustration & ideas of success. She repeatedly re-encounters an old theatre companion, Luciana, who illuminates and bewitches her at the same time & pushes her deeper into her journey of defining her desires.|
*All timings above are for Theatrical Screenings at Oldham Theatre; VOD: Video-on-Demand via SISTIC Live Stream
Singular Screens will be made available through video-on-demand via SISTIC Live Stream or theatrical screening at Oldham Theatre at the National Archives of Singapore. All theatrical screenings will follow social distancing measures as outlined here. Tickets are on sale at sifa.sg. For full details of the film line-up for SIFA Singular Screens, please refer to the Annexes below. Ratings for all films to be advised. Subscribe to the SIFA newsletter and visit sifa.sg for weekly news and updates on SIFA v2.020.
Notes to the Editor:
Oldham screening - $12
Oldham screening bundle of 2 different films - $20
Video-on-Demand - $8
Video-on-Demand bundle of 2 different films- $14
For images, please click here. Images are courtesy of Arts House Limited, unless stated otherwise.
For more information, please contact:
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0240
M: +65 9274 7553
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0176
M: +65 9180 7776
About Singular Screens
The film programme for SIFA v2.020, curated by the Asian Film Archive, features an international selection of exceptional new works celebrating independent and singular visions from Singapore and across the world. Valuing the ingenious and the risk-taking in cinema, Singular Screens hopes not only to be diverse in representation but bold in putting together its palette of cinematic adventures.
In 2020, Screenings will be held at Oldham Theatre, located at the revamped National Archives of Singapore Building, as well as Video-on-Demand via SISTIC Live Stream.
About Asian Film Archive
Founded in 2005 as a non-profit organisation, the Asian Film Archive aspires to be a hub for the Asian film community. Through organised screenings, and educational and cultural programmes that open and enrich new intellectual, educational and creative spaces, it aims to preserve the rich film heritage of Asian Cinema, encourage scholarly research on film and promote a wider critical appreciation of this art form.
Since 2014, the Asian Film Archive has been a subsidiary of the Singapore National Library Board. It is an affiliate of the International Federation of Film Archives, an institutional member of the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association, and the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
About SIFA v2.020
Accessible through the SIFA All-Access online platform, SIFA v2.020 features a series of curated virtual events including talks, workshops, performances and more from 25 May 2020 till December 2020. In addition to inspiring and entertaining audiences, the online iteration of Singapore’s pinnacle arts festival is also designed to create a space for artists to share their views on creating art in the new normal, for professional development, and as a platform to showcase work created for the digital sphere to engage audiences from here and abroad. SIFA v2.020 is presented by Arts House Limited as part of the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign.
About the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)
As Singapore’s annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar. Under the helm of Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani, SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.
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About Arts House Limited
Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL manages two key landmarks located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District – The Arts House, a multi-disciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming, and the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. It also runs the Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses, and performing arts space Drama Centre. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performance and interdisciplinary arts in Singapore commissioned by the National Arts Council.
AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under the National Arts Council and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014.
About National Arts Council
The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, our diverse and distinctive arts inspire our people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally. We preserve our rich cultural traditions as we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies for the future. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts, so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone’s lives. For more information on the Council’s mission and plans, please visit www.nac.gov.sg.