ShoutOUT! Make a date with Asian Film Archive's new Oldham Theatre this year

 We Are Little Zombies by Makoto Nagahisa

The Asian Film Archive (AFA) will be transforming the new Oldham Theatre, located in the revamped National Archives of Singapore (NAS) building, into a public space with regular film screenings. The 132-seater, wheelchair accessible hall is equipped with 4K digital, 16mm and 35mm film format projection capabilities. AFA’s programmes at the Oldham Theatre start on 18 May.

At Oldham Theatre, AFA will present a curated mix of classic, contemporary and new releases of critically acclaimed Asian film titles. With post-screening dialogues, film-related lectures and workshops, the theatre will be a social and educational space for audiences to engage with the rich film heritage of Asian cinema, as well as to discover the important film archival and preservation duties carried out by AFA.

House of Hummingbird by Kim Bora

Contemporary titles making their Singapore premiere at Oldham Theatre include We Are Little Zombies by Makoto Nagahisa, which clinched the World Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and House of Hummingbird by Kim Bora, winner of the Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the Best Film at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

Programme details will be available soon at Tickets can be purchased on AFA’s website, as well as onsite at the Oldham Theatre box office.

Here’s what to expect at the Oldham Theatre this year.

May 2019

Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA) 2019: Singular Screens

Curated by AFA, Singular Screens features an international selection of exceptional new works celebrating independent and singular films from Singapore and abroad. Valuing the ingenious and the risk-taking in cinema, the film programme hopes not only to be diverse in representation but be bold in putting together its palette of cinematic adventures.

Demons by Daniel Hui

Screenings will be held at the Screening Room in the Festival House and at Oldham Theatre, NAS building.

The films that will be making their Singapore premieres at Singular Screens include:

  • Demons by Daniel Hui, Singapore, 2018 (Busan International Film Festival; Berlinale Forum)
  • The Dead and The Others by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora, Brazil and Portugal, 2018 (Jury Special Prize (Un Certain Regard) – Cannes International Film Festival)
  • Present.Perfect. by Zhu Shengze, USA, Hong Kong, 2019 (Winner of Tiger Competition, International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • Black Mother by Khalik Allah, USA, 2018 (International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival)

Full programme line-up will be unveiled on SIFA's SIFA: Singular Screens.

June – July 2019

State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters

The State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters exhibitions took place in January and February 2019 as part of Singapore Art Week 2019. They investigated the histories and trajectories of Asian horror and focused on the monsters at the intersections of art, popular culture and cinema.

As an extension from the film history and contemporary art exhibitions presented this year, AFA will be showcasing a constellation of Asian-based monster films at Oldham Theatre. Explore the transnational appeal and cultural consumption of the horror genre while tracing the transfiguration of monsters in a programme that promises to unite and entertain through fears and desires.

Folklore: Nobody by Eric Khoo

Highlights include:

  • The original 1954 Godzilla, restored version premiering in Singapore
  • Hausu (House, 1977), a Japanese horror comedy cult classic
  • Classic Malay horror films from Shaw Malay Productions – Sumpah Orang Minyak by P Ramlee and Cathay-Keris’ Sumpah Pontianak by B.N Rao
  • Folklore, the first horror anthology series by HBO Asia, featuring acclaimed directors from six Asian countries 

AFA will also be launching a publication for the first time as part of the State of Motion series. The publication comprises a collection of essays from esteemed writers and a catalogue of the film history and contemporary art exhibitions held in January and February 2019 as part of State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters. The publication explores the production of horror, our fascination with monsters, and the shared history that they represent.

Reframe: Migratory Times

Migratory Times presents a series of Chinese-language fictional films showing transitional times in Southeast and East Asia. The settings of the films span the Ming dynasty, the Sino-Japanese war and its aftermath, colonial and postcolonial modernity, revolution and resistance.

The films themselves were made during critical times in cinema history: postwar Singapore, China at the cusp of the Communist Revolution, the sunset of Healthy Realism and the rise of the Taiwan New Wave and the Hong Kong New Wave. With their own histories of loss, rebirth and restoration, these works offer the opportunity to examine the intersecting forces that condition how history can be affectively archived and re-activated in aesthetic works.

This programme is guest-curated by Assistant Professor Elizabeth Wijaya from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Titles include:

  • 小城之春 by Fei Mu (Spring in a Small Town, China, 1948), restored by China Film Archive and widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese films ever made
  • 傾城之戀 by Ann Hui (Love in a Fallen City, Hong Kong, 1984) starring Chow Yun Fatt and Cora Miao
  • 华侨血泪 by Cai Wen-jin (Blood and Tears of Overseas Chinese, Malaya, 1946), restored by China Film Archive, subtitled by AFA
August - September 2019

Singapore Shorts ‘19

Organised by AFA, Singapore Shorts ’19 is the year’s showcase of the best and the most promising Singapore short films. A critical platform for excellence and diverse thought in moving images, the selection is overseen by a panel of respected professionals across Singapore’s film industry. Alongside screenings of the selected cinematic works, the programme will also feature post-screening discussions with the filmmakers, dedicated reviews from critics and a special section of older titles from AFA’s collection.

This year’s guest programmer is renowned local playwright Alfian Sa’at. The selection panel consists of Aishah Abu Bakar (Independent Film Programmer), Kristin Saw (Singapore Film Commission), Assistant Professor Lee Sang Joon (NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information), Pauline Soh (National Gallery of Singapore) and Thong Kay Wee (Asian Film Archive).

SEA of Sadness

Under the enigmatic title SEA of Sadness, guest curator Gertjan Zuilhof presents an outstanding list of Southeast Asian films produced over a period of 15 years – combining classical masterpieces and contemporary work by young directors, feature-length films and shorts, including all genres from “pure” documentary to experimental shorts and fiction films.

Offering a glimpse into the Southeast Asian region’s vibrant cultural life, the selection is sensitive, personal and reflects the memories and hopes of the people in the countries that the films were made in.

Asian Restored Classics 2019

The annual Asian Restored Classics (ARC) is a film festival presented by AFA to celebrate the best of Asian cinema. The festival provides a platform to screen iconic classics restored by different institutions.

Having featured films from the 1920s to the 1990s in the past three editions, ARC 2019 in its fourth year will look to premiere a new slate of timeless restored Asian gems. ARC will be opening with three film screenings at Capitol Theatre. Subsequent screenings will be held at Oldham Theatre.

Reframe: Singaporeana!

Singaporeana! is a programme of films that demonstrates the long history of unreliable ‘cinematic postcards’ from Singapore – telling tales of newcomers and old hands who find themselves travelling through ancient, bewildering cultures and zones of many possibilities. The restored version of Saint Jack (1979) by Peter Bogdanovich will be making its Singapore premiere as part of the film’s 40th anniversary.

In addition to the screenings, a one-day ‘Singaporeana Symposium’ of papers and talks, in which academics, writers and artists explore the films from multiple angles, will also be presented. Topics will include colonial and post-colonial narratives and history, documentation of urban spaces and architecture, performance of Singaporean identity and others.

October-December 2019

12th Perspectives Film Festival

Perspectives is an annual arts event that features breakthrough films which are thematically curated. Now in its 12thyear, the festival is an annual practicum course run by the Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Perspectives is organised by undergraduates from NTU and is the first student-run film festival in Singapore. AFA will be a programme partner for the 12th edition of the festival.

30th Singapore International Film Festival

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. Founded in 1987, the festival has become an iconic event in the local arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics, and known for its dynamic programming and focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema for Singapore and the region.

Committed to nurturing and championing Singapore and regional talent, its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards, brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legends. With its mentorship programmes, masterclasses and dialogues with attending filmmakers, the festival also serves as a catalyst for igniting public interest, artistic dialogue, and cultural exchanges in the art of filmmaking. AFA will be the programme partner for the 30th edition of the festival.

New releases of critically acclaimed Asian film titles

Asian film titles from the festival circuit will be released with short runs throughout the year at Oldham Theatre, NAS building, allowing audiences to catch films that are not always easily available.

In June and July 2019, there will be a run of We Are Little Zombies by Makoto Nagahisa, Japan, 2019 (Berlinale 2019; Sundance Film Festival 2019).

In September 2019, there will be a run of House of Hummingbird, by Kim Bora, South Korea, 2018 (KNN Audience Award, NETPAC Award at Busan International Film Festival; Grand Prix for the Best Feature Length Film (Generation 14 Plus International Jury) at Berlinale Generation).

The screening line-up listed above is accurate at the time of release. More programmes may be added subsequently. Visit AFA’s website ( for updates.

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