ShoutOUT! Malaysian director Ho Wi Ding to open 29th SGIFF with sci-fi-noir genre-bender

Told in three vignettes, Cities Of Last Things, by Taiwan- based Malaysian director Ho Wi Ding, is set to open the 29th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) on 28 November 2018, at Capitol Theatre. The film has been nominated for four awards at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, including Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best New Performer, and Best Original Screenplay. The film also won the Toronto Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018, and will screen at SGIFF 2018 for its Southeast Asian Premiere. 

Shot on expired 35mm film stock, the film seamlessly blends genres, from sci-fi to noir to romance. Spanning decades, the story comprises three significant moments in an ordinary man’s life, told in reverse-chronological order and pivoting around three women. Ho guides viewers through one man’s fraught inner world and the circumstances that led him to a life- altering decision. Ho commandingly employs cinematic language to discuss the root of our collective sadness—perhaps the very thing that makes us human. 

Cities of Last Things marks Ho’s triumphant return after his successful debut feature, Pinoy Sunday. This moving film took eight years to make from conception to creation. He took on multiple roles for this film—as lead producer, writer, director, and even co-editor—braving two shoots and multiple typhoons over 13 months. Ho was inspired by non-linear storytelling – the fact that only film and literature afford a creator the freedom to reorganise a story’s order to express a unique perspective. He hopes that his viewers will reflect that whatever they do in the present will shape their futures. 

Speaking on the selection of Cities of Last Things to open the 29th SGIFF, Director, Ho Wi Ding says, “I am humbled and deeply honoured to be invited by the Singapore International Film Festival to showcase my latest film. It takes courage to make a film like this; it takes a courageous film festival to show this film as an opening film—and this film takes a courageous audience to appreciate it. I look forward to the film finding resonance with the Singapore audience.” 

Wahyuni Hadi, Executive Director of Singapore International Film Festival, says, “The dynamic film Cities of Last Things signifies the ascending future of Asian cinema, and leads the charge for Asian filmmakers emerging onto the global stage. Ho has woven his Western film training and Eastern inspirations together. The strong performance in the film is a perfect showcase of the quality of talents we have in Asia. This selection for opening film reaffirms our commitment to nurture and champion talents in filmmaking across Southeast Asia and Asia, and to provide a platform for them to showcase their work to the world.” 

The 29th SGIFF, which runs from 28 November to 9 December 2018, will be hosted across multiple Festival venues, including Capitol Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Cathay, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs and *SCAPE. 

The full Festival line-up and ticketing details will be announced at the end of October 2018. 

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