It has come a long way for us to reach our third edition of Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF). After six months of planning and fund raising, we realize that the festival programming can best reflect the intentions of SCFF.
There are 700-800 Chinese films produced yearly in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Over the past 3 years, we have been asked many times: What are the criteria for your festival selection? The genres, cast, filmmakers, subject matter, aesthetics and artistic achievements are all important aspects. Beyond looking at the content and creators of the films, another underlying principle is that the selected films must not have been commercially released in Singapore. With that in mind, we hope that movie audiences in Singapore get to experience a wide spectrum and variety of Chinese cinema. Beyond entertainment, cinema can function as windows through which people gain exposure and understanding to different cultures and perspectives. Another objective is that with the efforts of raising awareness and promoting good quality Chinese films through SCFF, it may lead to commercial distribution of selected festival titles, such as 2014 SCFF’s Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above, thus allowing more Chinese films to be seen throughout the calendar year at the commercial cinemas.
Besides showing contemporary Chinese cinema, there is also an important need to look back and reflect on the classics which paved the path and set the many different genres and styles of filmmaking that we see today. By looking at the work of the early film pioneers and trailblazers, we can learn and gain a better understanding of how those classics led to new cinematic languages and possibilities for Chinese Cinema? And more importantly, how have the current generation of filmmakers been inspired by the previous generations?
In our second edition last year, we showcased the Wuxia Classics by director King Hu. This year, our director in focus is Lee Hsing. Director Lee's filmmaking career spanned over three decades, directing films of wide ranging genres from the 1950s to the late 1980s. From the 1980's onwards, Lee Hsing continued to be active in the film industry, mentoring and supporting other filmmakers as producer, while serving on the Executive Committee of the Golden Horse Awards and the Director's Association. To gain an in depth knowledge about Chinese Cinema and its history, one must certainly watch and appreciate the importance of director Lee Hsing's work.
Similar to our previous edition, the films of SCFF2015 are showcased under four sections, namely the main section of Chinese Panorama (20 contemporary feature films), Documentary Showcase (5 titles), Chinese Shorts Showcase (4 short films in one compilation), and 11 Lee Hsing Classics. In addition to film screenings, we will also have two Chinese Talkies film panels – “The Challenges and Opportunities of Filmmaking in Mainland China”, and “Tribute to Lee Hsing: A Life in Cinema”, as well as post screening dialogues with over 20 invited filmmakers, actors, and experts who will congregate in Singapore this April for our annual celebration of Chinese Cinema. We sincerely hope you will enjoy our festival programming this year.