Stories and Us!
Our world is made of stories and we are defined by these stories that we tell ourselves. Who then would know if the stories became reality or reality inspired these stories! Exploring the art of storytelling and the unique stories in us all is the The Singapore International Film Festival and nurturing this storytelling in the young students is the National Story Challenge.
Championing the voice of Asian Cinema, the 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) rolled out the red carpet for its gala opening yesterday at Marina Bay Sands. Celebrated Malaysian auteur, Dain Iskandar Said opened the 12-day celebration of independent cinema with the Asian premiere of his fantasy noir thriller Interchange. Present with him were award-winning Indonesian TV personality and actor, Nicholas Saputra, husband-wife duo Iedil Putra and Prisia Nasution. Other noted guests were last year’s SGIFF Cinema Legend Award recipient, actress, Michelle Yeoh, Korean director Lee Sang-woo, acclaimed Southeast Asian filmmakers Eric Khoo, Joko Anwar, Brillante Mendoza, and Vietnamese-born director Tran Anh Hung, who will be receiving the IWC Filmmaker Award – the first to be presented in Singapore – on 26 November 2016.
SGIFF Executive Director, Yuni Hadi, said, “It is heartening to see the gathering of so many passionate film lovers at the opening of SGIFF. While the industry witnesses the transformation of cinema reflected in how we watch and make films today, the timeless stories told through film will always continue to engage and captivate us.” Over the next two weeks, SGIFF will present 161 films from 52 countries, and a varied slate of panel discussions and masterclasses with renowned filmmakers and industry experts.
I am excited to catch some of the movies. Having interviewed Indonesian Film maker, Nia Dinata recently, I am looking forward to watching her movie, Three Sassy Sisters!
National Story Challenge 2017
Meanwhile, to nurture the stories while young, is the The National Story Challenge Tournament. The challenge is an original improvisational storytelling competition created by The Theatre Practice, and is open to students in all primary and secondary schools in Singapore. Registration starts from 19th December! Details here
And last, but not the least, here’s my contribution to the stories: reading stories to the children at the community centre, where I am part of the committee that organises programmes for youth and children.
The wise said, that we become the stories we tell. If that be true, then let the voices be heard and let the stories define us again and again and again…
Reading now: Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh