Upping the ante for local filmmakers

movie & TV September 24, 2017 10:25

By The Nation

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Marina Bay Sands is expanding its ongoing collaboration with the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) by taking its engagement with the non-profit organization beyond SGIFF’s landmark annual film event.



The integrated resort has officially named SGIFF as one of its designated charities and is planning to host a series of year-round activities that aim to grow the film and art audience in Asia and beyond.

For a start, Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum will be hosting the 10th anniversary screening of Wee Li Lin’s whimsical tale about the malls of Singapore, “Gone Shopping”, from October 1 to 8. Released to critical acclaim in 2007, “Gone Shopping” is the first-full length feature by female director Wee Li Lin.

The screening is part of the “ArtScience on Screen” project, which showcases the work of groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. ArtScience on Screen forms the backbone of the museum’s dedicated film programming, which aims to inspire audiences to discover art and science through film and moving images. From October 1 to 8, the film will be screened twice daily to the public, at 3pm and 5pm respectively. Admission is free.

Beyond the screening, the integrated resort will also be hosting an “In Conversations With” dialogue session with the director, Sonya Nair of “Gone Shopping” and Professor Chua Beng Huat from the National University of Singapore on October 7 at the museum. This dialogue session is part of an on-going series of talks with celebrities and prominent individuals from creative fields, who give insights into the world of film, television and art to young students interested in pursuing a career in a related discipline.

Marina Bay Sands has been a presenting sponsor of SGIFF since 2014 and continues to look for new ways to inspire aspiring filmmakers and grow the art audience in Singapore. As a strong champion of youth and arts education, the integrated resort has also launched the MBS x SGIFF: Youth Film Project.

Open to current tertiary students, this new initiative will give young filmmakers a chance to experience and participate in a filmmaking project taking place across the integrated resort during its annual Sands for Singapore Festival.

The youth mentorship programme aims to encourage innovative and personal ways of storytelling that broadens the scope of corporate-driven film projects, and to offer budding filmmakers a chance to be exposed and mentored by industry practitioners as they gain hands-on work experience within a corporate environment.

Under the guidance of Marina Bay Sands’ in-house visual media team and SGIFF, participants will co-produce and co-direct a five- to 10-minute documentary film shot at the integrated resort. The completed film will then be showcased on Marina Bay Sands’ website and across its social media platforms.

Co-shortlisted by the teams at SGIFF and Marina Bay Sands, the two participants this year are Nanyang Technological University students Lee Yi Jia and Martin Loh. Their documentary will capture the relationship between two people from seemingly different worlds and aims to challenge stereotypes against the Deaf Community and illustrate the strength and vibrancy of Deaf Culture.

"As part of our commitment to growing film literacy, we are happy to have the opportunity to give independent films the exposure beyond our festival period. Having a like-minded partner in Marina Bay Sands helps us to continue our mission in championing and nurturing the voices and diversity in Asian cinema to new audiences. This includes the hosting of the 10th anniversary screening of “Gone Shopping”, the debut feature film of one of Singapore’s pioneering female filmmakers in the 2000s, and a past winner of SGIFF’s Singapore Short Film Competition. We look forward to deepening our engagement with both cinematic talents and audiences, and journeying with them to explore the vast possibilities in our region’s independent cinema,” said Yuni Hadi, executive director of SGIFF.

To register for the “In Conversations With” dialogue session, log on to http://mbsxsgiff-goneshopping.peatix.com/ .