SGIFF2018: Winners and Strutters at the Silver Screen Awards

(Left to right) Jury Chief Stanley Kwan, director Yeo Siew Hua, actress Luna Kwok, producer Fran Borgia, SGIFF Executive Director Yuni Hadi

A Land Imagined took home the main award on home soil yesterday at the 29th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) Silver Screen Awards. A Land Imagined kicked off its international film festival trail with winning the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Festival. This is also the first time a Singapore film has won Best Film in the SGIFF's Asian Feature Film Competition. Directed by Singaporean Yeo Siew Hua, his second feature film was unanimously selected by the jury out of a total of eight nominated features from across Asia.

Director Yeo Siew Hua receiving the prize from Stanley Kwan

The Mandarin thriller is Yeo’s sophomore feature and tells the tale of the disappearance of a migrant Chinese construction worker at a Singapore land reclamation site. The jury found that the film “combined clear and original vision, strong storytelling, and technical achievement in addressing an increasingly important issue not only to Singapore but to the world”.

Director Pham Thu Hang being congratulated 

The honour of Best Director went to Pham Thu Hang for her feature documentary The Future Cries Beneath Our Soil, a moving documentary that deftly captures the dark shadow of war and death present in even everyday conversation and simple gestures, set in Vietnam’s Quảng Tri province.

Producer Jaya Das and actress Pakija Begum receiving the Best Performance award on behalf of Manoranjoan Das

Manoranjoan Das took home the prize for Best Performance for his role of Suman in Bulbul Can Sing by Rima Das. The jury commended his performance “for the courage and vulnerability he infused in his character. Suman was brought to life with a subtlety and an innocence that moved the entire jury”.

Dayan by Iranian director Behrouz Nooranipour, a compelling drama which delves into the horrors of ISIS operations in Iranian Kurdistan, was accorded Special Mention at the awards this evening.

The winners of the Asian Feature Film Competition were decided by a panel of five jury members headed by lead figure of the Hong Kong New Wave, director Stanley Kwan. Joining him on the jury are Hollywood actor, director, and producer, Daniel Dae Kim; legendary Japanese cinematographer, Akiko Ashizawa; acclaimed Canadian film producer, Sylvain Corbeil; and Vietnamese-born French actress, costume, and production designer, Trần Nữ Yên Khê.

The Best Southeast Asian Short Film award from the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition this year went to A Million Years by first-time director Danech San, which illustrates the story of a young woman who enters a parallel riverfront with a stranger, and both recount stories of fear.

Director Aditya Ahmad receiving the award for Kado

Aditya Ahmad was awarded Best Director for his short film Kado (A Gift), which the jury deemed as “a sincere, deeply-felt film that does not provide easy answers but reveals the complexities of gender identity in Muslim communities”. The film was also awarded the Youth Jury Prize through the collective 15-member jury panel in the SGIFF Youth Jury & Critics Programme.

Chiang Wei Liang receiving his award for best Singapore Short Film

Luzon by Chiang Wei Liang, a flawlessly directed tale of two fishermen, one radioactive barrel, and the South China Sea, was awarded Best Singapore Short Film. The jury shared that the film is "a simple allegory that absurdly and succinctly highlights the socio-political tensions of the region”. Thai director Korakrit Arunanondchai’s short film With History In A Room Filled With People With Funny Names 4 was given the Special Mention award by the jury.

Legendary Director Rithy Panh receiving the Honorary Award

The Festival’s highest honour, the Honorary Award, was presented to one of the most internationally acclaimed Cambodian filmmakers today, Rithy Panh. The award was presented by Sebastian Tan, Chairperson, SGIFF, and Pimpaka Towira, Programme Director, SGIFF; in recognition of his prolific cinematic works as well as his dedication towards preserving Cambodia's film, photographic, and audio history through his cinematic and social projects over the past three decades. 

Cinema Legend Award recipient Joan Chen 

Joan Chen was presented with the Cinema Legend Award for her dedication to the entertainment industry, and her inspiring contribution to cinema, having starred in over 40 film and television roles. 

The Inspiring Woman in Film Award was awarded to celebrated Chinese actress, Luna Kwok. The award presented in partnership with Swarovski honours outstanding women in film. A director-turned-actress, Luna Kwok was recognised for her outstanding performance and for her non-conforming approach in her choice of acting roles, choosing the most challenging roles over merely glamourous ones. She played a leading role in Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined and won the Boccalino d’Oro Prize for Best Actress at the Locarno Festival. 

The Young Critic Award was presented to Ryan Lim from Nanyang Technological University. Never Been Kissed by Dao Thi Minh Trang was awarded the Most Promising Project of the Southeast Asian Film Lab.

And of course, we never fail to give you our takes on the strutters on the red carpet. Enjoy this fashion report!

Alvin Lee and his lead actress in rouge, blanc et bleu 

The men of 'A Land Imagined' in different states of 'black tie'

When your expression doubles up as fashion accessory, Kazach producer Kuanysh Tuyebayev does it best

Sporting the quintessential indie filmmaker look - 
basic whites and blacks, and tote bag in hand

More tote bags were witnessed subsequently

'Crazy Rich Asian' Amy Cheng 'bedazzles' with her jewels

Benjamin Heng with lots of RedBull (after a night of fighting zombies)

Benjamins that stick together, look great on the red carpet. This is one comes with a K for Kick. Benjamin Kheng

'Crazy Rich Asian' gossip girl Constance Lau plays it safe with carpet matching gear

Husband and wife team Aditya Assarat and Yuni Hadi didn't think walking the red carpet was 'tulle' much for their daughter

Looking every bit the boss in an emerald velvet suit was Fly Entertainment's Irene Ang

Tran Thi Bich Ngoc looking classy in a colour her mum would not have been proud of

Director of 'The Iron Ladies' Yongyoot Thongkongtoon looking beary nice in a suit

Disco ball sheen above the knee, all ready to partee

There are movers, there are shakers and there are fabrics that sway nicely in the wind

Filipino director Brillante Mendoza playing it too safe off-screen

Looking as luminous as her Swarowski trophy is leading actress from 'A Land Imagined' Luna Kwok

Eyes that kill, the girl from 'Scent of Green Papaya' Tran Nu Yen Khe giving the death stare next to her co-juror Sylvain Corbeil in a slightly less funereal tie

Oh Kirsten Tan, you do it better than the boys!  

Flying colours! When mama is around, always look your best

SGIFF Chairman says hi to a old friend spotted among the photographers. Donald Trump would be jealous of his tie

Say 'Mozerella Cheese' Stanley (Kwan)

A world famous filmmaker... coming to your nearest year end 'Shanghai Nights' themed Dinner & Dance event. Thank you Rithy Panh! 

This can't go wrong in anyway with Daniel Dae Kim. Wonder if he is wearing matching undies though....?

Getting into character for his bit part in a 2019 remake of 'The Killing Fields' was Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas

Another look at Carlos with Cambodian finishing

Some say Joan Chen was parachuted into this event

Others say she was always ready to fly

Reporting by Jeremy Sing

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