ShoutOUT! National Gallery Singapore's Painting with Light film festival goes digital!

National Gallery Singapore's third edition of Painting with Light, its festival of international films on art, will be fully online and free for the first time. It will offer Singapore-based viewers unlimited access to a selection of new and award-winning Southeast Asian stories whether at home or on the go.

Running from 2nd to 25th October 2020, audiences can look forward to a thoughtfully curated line-up of 20 short films and full-length features, including seven Singapore premieres. Together, this selection of stories explores the tangible and intangible aspects of home within a multitude of contexts, revealing the fragility of the concept itself—particularly in the face of ever-changing global and local environments. 

A theme made ever more relevant in the light of the global pandemic, it responds to a world where current circumstances have redefined the metaphysical concept of home for many. Through the power of film, the festival beckons audiences to reflect on the definitions of home, family, community, state and region and the ties that bind them, and how on a personal level, we can foster a more thoughtful and inclusive society for all. 

Audiences will be able to experience this year’s run of films in three distinct chapters, with each chapter delving into a different definition of the complex and abstract concept of home. 

Here are some of the film highlights.

Mekong 2030

Mekong 2030 (Singapore premiere)
Dir. Kulikar Sotho, Anysay Keola, Sai Naw Kham, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Pham Ngoc Lan
Mekong 2030 is an anthology of five Southeast Asian short films. Driven by their concern for the future of the Mekong River, five directors from five countries reflect on this common life-source and imagine the stories of the river in the year 2030.
Read our film review here.

The Mental Traveller

The Mental Traveller (Singapore premiere)
Dir. Taiki Sakpisit
A film that meditates on the passing of time, habitual thought patterns and sensorial realities of five men who call a psychiatric ward home.

Dir. Nicole Midori Woodford
Follow Iris, the protagonist, and her mother’s last moments with their old home as residents vacate the Pearl Bank Apartments in Singapore before it is demolished.
Read our review here.

Diary of Cattle 
Dir. David Darmadi and Lidia Afrilita
Winner of the Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts Pitch Competition at Docs By The Sea in 2018 and the Blencong Award for The Best Asian Short from the Light of Asia Program at The 14th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (2019), which follows hundreds of cows that are herded to a landfill and make it their home, allowing audiences to reflect on the absurd state that unsound consumer practices have left the environment in today.
See our review here

Mom’s Holiday/Babu Kan Ke Miri

Mom’s Holiday/Babu Kan Ke Miri (Singapore premiere)
Dir. Harlif Haji Mohamad and Nurain Abdullah 
Showcasing a charming vignette of the tensions between a woman’s longings and her obligations to the home over the course of a day.

High Way 

High Way 
Dir. Chia Chee Sum
The film tells the story of a young man travelling back and forth between his parents’ public housing flats, acting as a messenger for his parents who live apart and do not speak to each other. This film received the Jury Prize at the Busan International Short Film Festival International Competition and the Best Achievement in Post-Production Award at the SeaShorts Film Festival. 

Castle In The Air
Dir. Wantanee Siripattananuntakul (Singapore premiere with this edition of Painting with Light)
Exploring the notion of housing as a social construct that both creates and makes one aware of the gaps between socioeconomic classes.

Dir. Raymund Ribay Gutierrez
The film tells the story of a woman who decides to report her live-in partner for domestic abuse, and reflects Gutierrez’s desire to tell the truth about how rampant such cases are in Philippine society. The film which was in competition for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. 

Woo Woo (Or Those Silence That Kills You and Me) 

Woo Woo (Or Those Silence That Kills You and Me) (Singapore premiere)
Dir. Ismail Basbeth 
This film is about 19-year-old Ali who lives on his own and has grown familiar with isolation.

Besides enjoying the selection of films, audiences can also look forward to a series of dialogues with participating filmmakers who will discuss their films and artistic practices. Some of these dialogues are conducted by youth journalists from Kolektif, the Gallery’s programme for 17 to 25 year olds set up to empower young people to bring their leadership, creativity and concerns into the museum space. Filmmakers include Taiki Sakpisit, director of The Mental Traveller, Leon Cheo, director of SIN-SFO, and Ismail Basbeth, director of Woo Woo (Or Those Silence That Kills You and Me).

If you are in Singapore, catch all these films from 2 October 2020 to 25 October 2020 at
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