26th SGIFF Masterclasses, Talks & In Conversation

Free admission by registration on a first-come-first-served basis

SGIFF Masterclass: Brillante Mendoza
6 DEC, TUE / 2:00PM / 60MIN
Playden, The Arts House

Highly influenced by European neo-realism, Brillante Mendoza’s films, while lauded by some, have equally confounded his vast audiences. Lauded by Quentin Tarantino for being bold and daring, Mendoza has continuously portrayed an authenticity to his stories, showcasing where he was born, raised and lived. Challenging the traditional methods of filmmaking, Mendoza stays true to his form by working in the most simplest and basic conditions with his actors, bringing a raw intensity to his work. Listen to Mendoza talk about his beginnings, his influences, his approach to cinema and his thoughts on being a window to the Philippines.

Brillante Mendoza was born and raised in San Fernando, Pampanga in the Philippines. After a career in advertising, he made his debut in film, building a prolific filmography that got him recognized in film festivals internationally. His debut film, The Masseur, won the competition prize in Locarno. However, his most notable achievement is when he won Best Director in the Cannes Film Festival for his eighthfeature, Kinatay. He is the first Filipino to have competed and won in 3 major international film festivals, amassing sixteen films under his belt since 2005. He also founded Center Stage Productions, an independent film production outfit that aims to rethink and reinvent Filipino cinema, by producing meaningful and relevant films. Mendoza continues to make socially relevant films and documentaries that depict the lives of the Filipinos and the marginalized sectors of society, cultivating an audience for Alternative Cinema by showing his films in different schools all over the country.

SGIFF Masterclass: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
2 DEC, WED / 7:00PM / 60MIN

Weaving poetry through fiction, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s unconventional narrative stylings have made him a critics and cinephile favourite within a span of 15 years. Often dealing with dreams and memory, coupled with his personal viewpoints on topics ranging from sexuality, to politics and social issues, Apichatpong’s films, have travelled to festivals all over the world, despite having occasionally courted controversy within his home country. This is a rare opportunity for fans and film enthusiasts alike, to have a conversation with the fiercely independent director, whose works continues to mystify and charm his audiences worldwide.

Born in Bangkok, Apichatpong grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998 and is now recognised as a major international visual artist. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his company Kick the Machine Films, founded in 1999. His previous six features, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2010 for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the Cannes Competition Jury Prize in 2004 for Tropical Malady, and the Cannes Un Certain Regard Award in 2002 for Blissfully Yours. His 2006 feature,Syndromes and a Century was recognised as one of the best films of the last decade in several 2010 polls. His first feature, Mysterious Object At Noon has only recently been restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation.

SGIFF Masterclass: Terence Chang

3 DEC, THU / 7:00PM / 60MIN

Terence Chang has been actively participating in the entertainment world in different capacities, including producer, distributor and talent manager, for over 30 years. His collaboration with director John Woo culminated in contemporary classics such as The Killer (1989), Once a Thief (1991) and Hard-Boiled (1992). Their collaboration continued in Hollywood and Chang produced all of Woo’s movies including Broken Arrow (1994),Face/Off (1997) and Mission Impossible 2 (2000). He also produced Woo’s two-part Chinese epic Red Cliff (2008) – the most expensive Asian movie to date for which Chang raised financing entirely out of Asia. In 2012, Chang received the prestigious CineAsia “Producer of the Decade” Award. Gain firsthand insights from an industry veteran and learn the ins and outs of both the Asian and international film markets during the masterclass.

A native of Hong Kong, Chang studied filmmaking in New York University and throughout the ‘70s worked for various film and TV production companies including Golden Harvest Films, Rediffusion Television, D&B Films and Film Workshop. In the late ’80s to early ‘90s, he launched the careers of actors Brandon Lee and Michelle Yeoh, and was also the manager of Asian superstar Chow Yun-fat and world-class author Lillian Lee. Chang’s recent productions include the highly acclaimed action film Reign of Assassins (2010) and the two-part Chinese language film The Crossing (2014-5).

SGIFF Masterclass: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
5 DEC, SAT / 11:00AM / 100MIN

For patron 16 years of age and above only.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf is a singular figure in the legacy of Iranian cinema. His self-taught filmmaking practice is an astonishing exemplar of the power and urgency of cinema in its use as cultural weapon wielded for the ceaseless fight against oppression, and an educative art form that reflects the conditions of life and society. Since 1983, he has released more than 20 feature films that have been critically received internationally. As an advocate for the right to expression, he also ceaselessly perseveres in his craft despite countless setbacks and threats, always on the move and constantly evolving in style, but always coming back full circle to his essential conviction towards an illumination of the universality of humanity. Be inspired by this legendary filmmaker, who is also the Festival’s Honorary Award recipient for 2015.

Born in 1957 in Tehran, Makhmalbaf grew up in a working-class family. As a young activist who attempted to overthrow the Shah regime in Iran, Makhmalbaf was shot by the police and jailed for five years. Upon his release, an epiphany that oppression has its roots in culture spurred him on to seek out a non-violent form of activism through art. Makhmalbaf turned to cinema. Together with his contemporaries such as Majid Majidi, Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi, a second wave of Iranian cinema emerged from intellectual and political post-revolution climate. Makhmalbaf came into international prominence with his fifth feature film The Peddler (1987). His films of this period, which include The Cyclist(1989) and Marriage of the Blessed (1990) focused on reflecting the realities of minor figures in Iranian society.

Daddy’s School (Iran, 2014)
Directed by Hassan Sohljoo
Duration: 59 minutes
Rating: NC16

Daddy’s School is a story of a most unique family in the world. A family that just so happens to be a part of a film school led by a man who once wanted to be Iran’s Che Guevara. Dissatisfied with what the Islamic Revolution brought to the Iranian people, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a self-taught filmmaker, decided to express his views through his films. He soon became one of Iran’s pioneering auteurs after the revolution, drawing great reception with critics and audiences around the world, while still under pressure from the officials back home. It was during that moment that Mohsen’s daughter seemed to mirror the unhappiness of life within a regime, with the decision to leave Islamic school to study cinema under his tutelage. This film details the challenges of the father of three, who had to learn to teach his children how to tell their own stories their own way, and through independent thought, just as he had done before.

Future of Cinema Forum: Digital Distribution
28 NOV 2015, SAT / 1:00PM / 90 MIN

Speakers: Peter Gerard, James Lee, Christian Lee and Jason Chan

Moderator: Tan Pin Pin

In the fast-changing world of digital technology and accessibility of online channels, where are the opportunities for distribution and sales for independent filmmakers and where does Southeast Asia fit in? Moderated by filmmaker Tan Pin Pin, this inaugural forum tackles film distribution topics including online platforms and the online viewer; festival distribution versus traditional sales; new ways of branding and marketing; and more.

From Computer to Cinema: What could go wrong?
28 NOV, SAT / 3:00PM / 60MIN

Speakers: Chai Yee Wei, Chen Junbin, Derrick Loo

Quality equipment are becoming more affordable than ever before, bringing down the barriers of entry for producers and feature filmmakers. As a result, more and more features are being made annually than ever before. However, on the journey to the screen, there are still kinks and issues that may arise, before the artistic triumph is fully realized. What are correct workflows? What are the different color spaces? Why doesn’t your DCP play? Why does your color look wrong? What is the correct aspect ratio to use? Hear from the experts, who have done the before and after, what details to take note of at the editing suite, the right settings to adjust colouring, understanding and managing the digital workflow, and how to retain the quality of the film when it was shot, to maximize the viewing on the big screen in this world of digital filmmaking.

Panel Discussion: Spotlight on Mexican Cinema

28 NOV, SAT / 4:30PM / 60MIN

Speakers: Javier Espada, Celso Garcia, representative from Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografia (IMCINE)

As part on the film screenings of contemporary Mexican cinema, this panel discussion brings together Javier Espada – Luis Buñuel scholar and director of the documentary Following Nazarin and Celso García – who’s debuted with the Guilermo del Toro-produced film,The Thin Yellow Line, and a representative from IMCINE, the public agency that has been instrumental in promoting and developing the Mexican film industry since its founding in 1983. Together, they will provide insights into the history of Mexican cinema, its developments through the years, and the current conditions of the Mexican film industry in the present.

Organised with the support of the Embassy of Mexico and IMCINE

Panel Discussion: Between Visible and Invisible – Alternative Vision of Chinese Independent Documentaries

29 NOV, SUN / 2:00PM / 60MIN

Speakers: Zhang Yaxuan, Gu Tao, Yu Xin, Qiu Jionjiong.

Accompanying the Focus on Chinese Independent Documentaries, this in-depth discussion will consider the powerful significance of the documentary genre within the historical development of Chinese Independent Cinema, illustrating its genesis, forms of practices and thematic concerns.

Zhang Yaxuan and co-founder of the China Independent Film Archive, will be leading this panel with filmmakers Gu Tao (The Last Mose of Aoluguya), Yu Xun (The Vanishing Spring Light) and Qui Jiongjiong (Mr. Zhang Believes), each providing insights into their own films and the community of independent documentary filmmakers who defiantly persevere in their craft apart from state mechanisms, finding new genuine ways to depict the realities unfolding in China.

Co-presented with The Arts House with support from China Independent Film Archive.

Remembering Tony
29 NOV, SUN / 4:00PM / 60MIN



Speakers: Robert Chua, Choong Chie-ren, Kaylene Tan

Tony Yeow, who sadly died this year, had been involved in film, television and theatre in Singapore for over 40 years, and had many amazing experiences along the way. Tony was in the studio when Lee Kuan Yew cried in 1965, he produced the ‘Stop At Two’ PSA in the late ‘60s, met Bruce Lee in Hong Kong, co-directed and produced Singapore’s first and only kung fu film in the early 70s, was a key crew member for Peter Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack in 1978, and kickstarted the revival of feature film-making in Singapore in the 1990s. Although he produced TV and was also a gifted actor, cinema was Tony’s great passion, but as he was the first to admit – his journey in film was not an easy one. Despite being banned and panned, Tony was always dreaming about the next movie, and the one after that.

This special tribute to Tony’s contribution to film and culture in Singapore, will include reflections from those who worked with him, including TV producer Robert Chua, screenwriter Choong Chi-ren and theatre-maker Kaylene Tan; as well as the world premiere of a short documentary, Tony’s Long March by Sherman Ong and Ben Slater. An affectionate portrait in which Tony tells his own story, the film encompasses the cultural history that Tony embodied and the extraordinary spirit and faith that kept him going.

The Independent Filmmaker’s Creative Rights Toolkit

5 DEC, SAT / 2:00PM / 80MIN


As the regional film industry growing bigger every year, so does the number of film and media related professionals. From independent practitioners to high profile leaders, it is always necessary to keep informed of the rights of the filmmaker and ownership, what are the laws that they need to adhere to, while maintaining their creative spirit. With these in mind, how does the filmmaker branch out into other content to go with their changing digital landscape, and how can they best monetize the worth of their works? Find out from the distinguished panel of speakers and the Motion Picture Association in this engaging panel.

This talk is co-organised by the Motion Picture Association.

In Conversation

1 DEC, 4 DEC, 6 DEC

MBS, Art Science Museum

Special Presentation: In the Room

1 DEC, TUE / 3.00PM / 60MIN

Special Presentation: The Man Who Knew Infinity

4 DEC, FRI / 3.00PM / 60MIN

Cinema Legend: Michelle Yeoh

6 DEC, SUN / 11.00AM / 60MIN

In Conversation is an exclusive series of dialogue sessions with guest directors, actors and actresses, held at the beautiful and intimate setting of the ArtScience Museum. Through a moderated discussion, the session will explore the diversity of their work as film practitioners and the inspiration behind their craft.

Get up close and personal with the filmmakers and cast in attendance of the Special Presentation films – In The Room (directed by Eric Khoo and starring Koh Boon Pin, Daniel Jenkins and Josie Ho) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (directed by Matthew Brown and starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel); and meet internationally-acclaimed actress and producer, Michelle Yeoh, recipient of SGIFF’s inaugural Cinema Legend Award.

Actors Unscripted
29 NOV, SUN / 1:00PM / 60MIN


Panelists: Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tian Wen, Chen Tianxing

Moderated by Danny Yeo

This session will be conducted in Mandarin.

Actors Unscripted aims to recognize the value of the vast acting talents that Singapore has had the opportunity to see, on the big and small screens. With a growing number of television and film productions every year, Actors Unscripted seeks to bring together local actors from all sectors, from the famous names in commercial hits, to recognizable faces in the independent gems in Singapore's film history. Find out more about the passions of these household names, their thought processes behind their roles and what hopes they have in shaping Singapore's artistic and cultural terrain.

Co-organised with Pure Talents.

For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com

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  • The event description was updated. Diff#133974 2015-11-30 03:46:53
More updates
Nov 28 - Dec 6, 2015
[ Sat ] - [ Sun ]
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM SGT
Add to Calendar
Various Venues
SGIFF Masterclass: Brillante Mendoza (1 DEC, TUE / 7:00PM ) FULL
SGIFF Masterclass: Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2 DEC, WED / 7:00PM) FULL
SGIFF Masterclass: Terence Chang (3 DEC, THU / 7:00PM) FULL
SGIFF Masterclass: Mohsen Makhmalbaf (5 DEC, SAT / 11:00AM) FULL
From Computer to Cinema: What could go wrong? (28 NOV, SAT / 3:00PM) FULL
Panel Discussion: Spotlight on Mexican Cinema (28 NOV, SAT / 4:30PM) FULL
Future of Cinema Forum: Digital Distribution (28 NOV 2015, SAT / 1:00PM) FULL
Panel Discussion: Between Visible and Invisible – Alternative Vision of Chinese Independent Documentaries (29 NOV, SUN / 2:00PM ) FULL
Remembering Tony (29 NOV, SUN / 4:00PM) FULL
The Independent Filmmaker’s Creative Rights Toolkit (5 DEC, SAT / 2:00PM) FULL
In Conversation - Special Presentation: In the Room (1 DEC, TUE | 3.00PM) FULL
In Conversation - Special Presentation: The Man Who Knew Infinity (4 DEC, FRI | 3.00PM) FULL
In Conversation - Cinema Legend: Michelle Yeoh (6 DEC, SUN | 11.00AM) FULL
Actors Unscripted (29 NOV, SUN | 1:00PM) FULL
Venue Address
Various Venues Singapore
Singapore International Film Festival