Singapore South Asian International Film Festival – SGSAIFF

By admin
September 16, 2018

SGSAIFF – Singapore South Asian International Festival

The Singapore South Asian Film Festival opens to audiences in Singapore this October. SGSAIFF 2018 lineup promises an impressive mix of feature films, shorts and documentaries curated from across the world. This includes titles from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan. This year the festival features three World Premieres, two Special Screenings, eight Feature Films and nine short films In Competition. If you want to be immersed in the Arts, Culture, Music, as well as join some creative workshops, then scan the SGSAIFF itinerary below so you don’t miss out on any of the following::


Nandita Das’ Manto starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui to open the 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (SGSAIFF)

We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent. Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year.”

Films to be screened at SGSAIFF

The Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (SGSAIFF) highlights include Siddiq Barmak’s Osama, Umesh Kulkarni’s short documentary Kumbh, Manhoor Zaidi’s Pakistani short documentary Dust To Dust, Aparna Sen’s Sonata, Miransha Naik’s Juze, Ektara Collective’s Turup and Rima Das’ Village Rockstars 

SGSAIFF 2018 will also host the World Premiere of Rakesh Rawat’s Midnight Delhi, Prasad Namjoshi’s Video Parlour and Zaigham Imam’s Nakkash


The Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (SGSAIFF) Competition Jury includes Filmmakers Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatashraddha), Siddiq Barmak (Osama), Producer Marc Baschet (The Lunchbox), Film Consultant Golda Sellam and Film Critic and Author Gautaman Bhaskaran

SGSAIFF 2018 Panels include ‘Rethinking Cinema Beyond Storytelling In The Netflix Age’ and will include Filmmakers Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatshraddha), Siddiq Barmak (Osama), producer Marc Baschet (The Lunchbox), Film Consultant Golda Sellam and will be moderated by Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director SGSAIFF

The festival will open with actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto and follows the most tumultuous years and times in the life of the famed writer and of the two countries he inhabited -India and Pakistan.

The film was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika Duggal, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The screening at SGSAIFF 2018 marks the film’s South East Asian premiere and will be attended by Nandita Das.

Feature Films in Competition

The Feature Films In Competition section includes eight films – Prasad Namjoshi’s Video Parlour, Rakesh Rawat’s Midnight Delhi, Miransha Naik’s Juze, Indrashish Acharya’s Pupa, Sumathy Sivamohan’s Sons And Father, Naresh Kumar KC’s Dying Candle, Ektara Collective’s Turup and Prashanth Vijay’s Summer of Miracles (Athisayangalude Venal).

Video Parlour which is director Prasad Namjoshi’s second feature film after the much acclaimed Ranga Patanga is the story of Vikram, a film maker who meets his childhood friend after a long time and revisits his childhood memories that revolve around a video parlour.

Midnight Delhi which is directed by Rakesh Rawat narrates stories of several people whose destinies are intertwined during one fateful night in Delhi. Nakkash on the other hand brings back the team of Filmistan with Inaamulhaq and Sharib Hashmi along with Kumud Mishra.

The Feature Film Showcase section includes films such as Aparna Sen’s Sonata, Rima Das’ Village Rockstars, Fakhrul Areefen Khan ‘s Bangladeshi film Bhuvan Majhi, C V Nandeeshwar’s Akkamma’s Fate, Kireet Khurana’s T For Tajmahal and Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi.

Post the screening, Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director of SGSAIFF will also be engaging in a conversation with Girish Kasaravalli.

Short Films in Competition

The Short Films in the Competitive Section include nine films – Mallika Subramanian’s Binodini, Muhammad Belal Imran’s Just A Cup Of Tea, Harish Mohan’s Kalki, Dulanka Devendra’s Children Of White, Umang Vyas’ Majaal Hai¸ Akash Mihani’s Mum, Athithya Kanagarajan’s Dreams, Vikrant Dhote’s Ajay and Syahrul Musa’s Glimpse.

The Short Film Showcase features three titles – Kabeer Khurana’s Religion Of Dummies, Aditya Kelgaonkar’s Sound Proof  and Prabhjit Dhamija’s Me (Asmad).

The Documentary Film Showcase section includes Umesh Kulkarni’s Kumbh, Manhoor Zaidi’s Dust To Dust, Upneet Kaur-Nagpal’s Singh In The Lion City, Aparajita Ghosh’s Dance Of Joy, Anirban Mitra and Tirtha Dasgupta’s Ray Of Light and Prasanna Ramaswamy’s Writer Ashokmitran.

SGSAIFF Special Screenings

The Special Screenings section includes two films – Siddiq Barak’s Osama and O P Srivastava‘s Life In Metaphors.

Osama tells the story of a girl living in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime while Life In Metaphors delves into the world of master filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli.

SGSAIFF 2018 lineup also feature a special section – Films set in South Asian Diaspora. This section includes two films – Glimpse From Malaysia and Upneet Kaur-Nagpal’s Singh In The Lion City.

Glimpse From Malaysia deals with Tamilians based in Malaysia, while Singh In The Lion City is the story of a Sikh man based in Singapore who is trying to explore his identity.

The festival will also host several interesting panels that will dwell on film making and its various creative and commercial aspects during the course of the festival.

This includes the panel ‘Rethinking Cinema Beyond Storytelling In The Netflix Age’ which is being conducted in collaboration with Puttnam School of Film, LaSalle College Singapore.

The Panel which includes eminent filmmakers Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatashraddha), Siddiq Barmak (Osama), producers Marc Baschet, film consultant Golda Sellam and will be moderated by Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director SGSAIFF will see the participants share their perspectives and engage with film students and cineastes on a rapidly changing filmmaking landscape.

Abhayanand Singh – Chairperson of SGSAIFF has this to say:

SGSAIFF has become one of the biggest cultural events in Singapore by showcasing the best of South Asian cinema. We are extremely proud of the line up of films this year and hope that patrons appreciate content driven cinema which we bring to them. Uniquely, we are launching the only Film market outside South Asia dedicated to South Asian Films and hope that filmmakers and cinephile find a platform to partner in some of the projects.”

Filmmaker and member of the Competition jury of the 2nd Singapore South Asian International Film Festival Siddiq Barmak says:

SGSAIFF offers a unique platform to come together and to offer content which is above the ordinary. The festival has helped us to find and showcase films that represent the new wave cinema and have extremely fresh and promising narratives to offer. It has also helped us to discover several young talents in the process. And this is what makes the Singapore South-Asian International Film Festival so special and unique. For it helps people to discover the varied and refreshing content South Asia has to offer.

 International Film Festival Girish Kasaravalli says:

“I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural edition of SGSAIFF last year and was struck by the deep commitment of the festival team to bring an audacious selection of films and engaging events to Singapore. I see this festival growing to become a premiere destination for South Asian filmmakers and discovering new talent.” 

About The Singapore South Asian International Film Festival

Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF) is devoted to a greater appreciation of South Asian cinema and culture. The festival seeks to support emerging filmmakers, open a fertile space for dialogue and collaborations within the industry, and most significantly share with the audience of Singapore the diverse and complex experiences of South Asia through the intimate storytelling medium of cinema.

With the impetus to effectively channel the expansion of South Asian cinema beyond the subcontinent and engage with a wider spectrum of audience. Singapore with its sizable population of South Asian descent, is a natural choice for this purpose. Supported by the Singapore Indian High Commission  (IHC), the festival is a landmark initiative to serve as a cultural gateway between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.

Singapore, being the gateway of Asia, only enhances the potential of the festival to emerge as the melting pot of diverse cultures using cinema as a medium.

The 2nd edition of the festival will be held from 5th to 14th October 2018 and will commence with an opening ceremony on 5th October which will be held at Carnival Cinema in Singapore. While the closing ceremony will be held on 13th October at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and will also include the awards ceremony.

For more information, visit the SGSAIFF website here.


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