Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.Saiff) opened with a gala red carpet event yesterday,5th October 2018, at Carnival cinemas at Golden Mile Tower, Singapore. Noted actress Nandita Das graced the occasion. Her directorial debut film, Manto, was screened at the red carpet opening of the Sg.Saiff to a full house. Almost a thousand people packed the huge theatre for the sold out show. The honourable Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Javed Ashraff appreciated the initiative and said that films could serve as a cultural gateway between the global city of Singapore and the developing nations of South Asia.
Manto, the movie is adapted from the book which has been widely acclaimed, dramatised and read. The film has been released in India too, to critical acclaim. Most of the audience could relate to the visuals on Mumbai, the glamour of Bollywood and the pain of partition. The brutality with which the partition of the erstwhile India into Hindustan and Pakistan left millions dead, homeless and uprooted is well known. Manto shows how many who survived, especially sensitive creative people like Manto, lived a hollow life, bereft of friendships, loyalties and even of belief in humanity. With strong acting by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the ensemble cast which included a cameo by Javed Akhtar, it is a thought provoking movie handled with sensitivity by an intelligent and mature director we have found in Nandita Das.
Sg.Saiff is devoted to a greater appreciation of South Asian cinema and culture. Founder Abhayanand Singh and his team have done well to support emerging filmmakers. The open dialogues with the director where they shared their experiences and took questions from the audience made it interactive. Collaborations within the industry and with other South Asian countries such as Singapore will most significantly add to the diversity of this festival. As stated in their release: “Additionally, the festival will also offer a unique opportunity to learn about acting, filmmaking and screenwriting along with knowledge sessions like panel discussions, master classes and other business networking sessions. The festival will conclude with a cultural program including some exciting stage performances, awards and music.”
The festival will be held from 5th Ocotber to 14th October 2018 at various venues.
Sg.Saiff will showcase:
- Feature films
- Short films
- Documentaries under two sections – Competition and Non-Competition
Do check the website for more details and the schedule to plan and ‘chope’ your tickets.