The 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (SGSAIFF) today announced its lineup which includes an interesting mix of feature films, short films and documentaries curated from across the world. This year the festival will include five World Premieres, two Special Screenings, eight Feature Films and nine short films In Competition

Making of village rockstars
Village Rockstars

The 2nd edition of the festival will be held from 5th to 14th October 2018 and will commence with an opening ceremony on 5th October which will be held at Carnival Cinema in Singapore. While the closing ceremony will be held on 13th October at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and will also include the awards ceremony.

The opening ceremony will be attended by actors Paramabrata Chatterjee and Raima Sen – lead actors of the film Reunion which will be having its World Premiere at SGSAIFF 2018. The actors will also be attending the World Premiere of the film.

manto screen grab

The festival will open with actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto and follows the most tumultuous years and times in the life of the famed writer and of the two countries he inhabited -India and Pakistan.

The film was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika DuggalRajshri DeshpandeRishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The screening at SGSAIFF 2018 marks the film’s South East Asian premiere and will be attended by Nandita Das.

The SGSAIFF 2018 lineup represents a diverse mix of feature films, short films and documentaries, which include films from IndiaBangladeshSri LankaPakistanNepal and Afghanistan.

The jury for the Competition Films at the festival comprises of filmmakers Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatashraddha)Siddiq Barmak (Osama)producer Marc Baschet (The Lunchbox)film consultant Golda Sellam and renowned film critic and author Gautaman Bhaskaran.

Soha Ali Khan's Sound Proof

The Competition Section includes Feature Films in Competition and Short Films In Competition.

The Feature Films sections include Feature Films in CompetitionFeature Film Showcase and Special Screenings.

The Feature Films in Competition section includes eight films – Prasad Namjoshi’s Video ParlourRakesh Rawat’s Midnight DelhiMiransha Naik’s JuzeIndrashish Acharya’s PupaSumathy Sivamohan’s Sons And FatherNaresh Kumar KC’s Dying CandleEktara Collective’s Turup and Prashanth Vijay’s Summer of Miracles (Athisayangalude Venal).

The SGSAIFF 2018 will be hosting the World Premieres of Prasad Namjoshi’s Video ParlourMurari M Rakshit’s Reunion, Pravin Tarde’s Mulshi Pattern, Rakesh Rawat’s Midnight Delhi and Zaigham Imam’s Nakkash which was launched at Cannes 2018.

Video Parlour which is director Prasad Namjoshi’s second feature film after the much acclaimed Ranga Patanga is the story of Vikram, a film maker who meets his childhood friend after a long time and revisits his childhood memories that revolve around a video parlour.

T For Taj Mahal Poster
T For Taj Mahal

Murari M Rakshit’s Reunion which stars Parambrata Chatterjee (Kahaaniand Raima Sen (Chokher Bali) revolves around a group of people who meet for a college reunion and revisit their old days.  

Pravin Tarde’s Mulshi Pattern narrates the story of an affluent farmer and his family. Midnight Delhi which is directed by Rakesh Rawat narrates stories of several people whose destinies are intertwined during one fateful night in Delhi.

Nakkash on the other hand brings back the team of Filmistan with Inaamulhaq and Sharib Hashmi along with Kumud Mishra.

The Feature Film Showcase section includes ten films – Aparna Sen’s SonataRima Das’ Village RockstarsFakhrul Areefen Khan‘s Bangladeshi film Bhuvan Majhi, C V Nandeeshwar’s Akkamma’s FateMurari M Rakshit’s ReunionPraveen Tarde’s Mulshi PatternKireet Khurana’s T For TajmahalSumit Mishra’s Agam¸Zaigham Imam’s Nakkash and Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi.

The Special Screenings section includes two films – Siddiq Barak’s Osama and O P Srivastava‘s Life In Metaphors.

Osama tells the story of a girl living in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime while Life In Metaphors delves into the world of master filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli.

Post the screening, Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director of SGSAIFF will also be engaging in a conversation with Girish Kasaravalli.

The Short Films sections include Short Films In CompetitionShort Film Showcase and Documentary Showcase.

The Short Films in the Competitive Section include nine films – Mallika Subramanian’s BinodiniMuhammad Belal Imran’s Just A Cup Of TeaHarish Mohan’s KalkiDulanka Devendra’s Children Of WhiteUmang Vyas’ Majaal Hai¸ Akash Mihani’s MumAthithya Kanagarajan’s DreamsVikrant Dhote’s Ajay and Syahrul Musa’s Glimpse

The Short Film Showcase features three titles – Kabeer Khurana’s Religion For DummiesAditya Kelgaonkar’s Sound Proof and Prabhjit Dhamija’s Me (Asmad).

The Documentary Film Showcase section includes Umesh Kulkarni’s KumbhManhoor Zaidi’s Dust To DustUpneet Kaur-Nagpal’s Singh In The Lion CityAparajita Ghosh’s Dance Of Joy, Anirban Mitra and Tirtha Dasgupta’s Ray Of Light and Prasanna Ramaswamy’s Writer Ashokmitran.

SGSAIFF 2018 lineup also includes a special section – Films set in South Asian Diaspora. This section includes two films –Glimpse (Malaysia) and Upneet Kaur-Nagpal’s Singh In The Lion City (Singapore).

Glimpse deals with Tamilians based in Malaysia while Singh In The Lion City is the story of a Sikh man based in Singapore who is trying to explore his identity.

The festival is also hosting several interesting panels that will dwell on filmmaking and its various creative and commercial aspects during the course of the festival.

This includes the panel ‘Rethinking Cinema Beyond Storytelling In The Netflix Age’ which is being conducted in collaboration with Puttnam School of Film, LaSalle College Singapore.

Singapore Asian Film Market 2018

The Panel which includes eminent filmmakers Girish Kasaravalli (Ghatashraddha)Siddiq Barmak (Osama), producers Marc Baschetfilm consultant Golda Sellam and will be moderated by Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director SGSAIFF will see the participants share their perspectives and engage with film students and cineastes on a rapidly changing filmmaking landscape.

SGSAIFF 2018 will also be conducting two interesting workshops during the course of the festival. The first is an Acting Workshop For Adults And Children. The second is a Filmmaking Workshop For Children that focuses on making films using smartphones.

One of SGSAIFF’s goals as a festival has been to create film literacy among the youth in South Asia. And in accordance with the same, two very successful workshops on Film Appreciation For Young Adults were recently conducted by Amit Agarwal – Artistic Director SGSAIFF.  

Talking about this year’s edition and lineup of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, Abhayanand Singh – Chairperson of SGSAIFF said, “SAIFF has become one of the biggest cultural events in Singapore by showcasing the best of South Asian cinema. We are extremely proud of the line up of films this year and hope that patrons appreciate content driven cinema which we bring to them. Uniquely, we are launching the only Film market outside South Asia dedicated to South Asian Films and hope that filmmakers and cinephile find a platform to partner in some of the projects.”

Actor-director Nandita Das’ whose film Manto will open the 2nd edition of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival said, “We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent. Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year.”

Filmmaker and member of the Competition jury of the 2nd Singapore South Asian International Film Festival Siddiq Barmak said, SGSAIFF offers a unique platform to come together and to offer content which is above the ordinary. The festival has helped us to find and showcase films that represent the new wave cinema and have extremely fresh and promising narratives to offer. It has also helped us to discover several young talents in the process. And this is what makes the Singapore South-Asian International Film Festival so special and unique. For it helps people to discover the varied and refreshing content South Asia has to offer.

Filmmaker and member of the Competition jury of the 2nd Singapore International Film Festival Girish Kasaravalli said“I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural edition of SGSAIFF last year and was struck by the deep commitment of the festival team to bring an audacious selection of films and engaging events to Singapore. I see this festival growing to become a premiere destination for South Asian filmmakers and discovering new talent.”