Films from the Lion City to be screened at the Singapore Film Festival from February 4

Sandcastle is probably the perfect window to Singapore cinema and the ideal choice to get the first edition of Singapore Film Festival in Chennai started, when the curtains go up at Rani Seethai Hall on February 4. Directed by 28-year-old Boo Junfeng, Sandcastle (that was the first Singaporean film to be invited to the International Critics Week at Cannes), tells the story of a 18-year old boy who is trying to understand fragments of his past as a series of events take him on an introspective journey just before his mandatory enlistment into the Singapore army — his grandfather dies, his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse by the day, he does not approve of his mother’s affair with a military officer, he has a massive crush on his neighbour and he has just discovered that his father was a student activist.

The film takes us into the mind of young Singapore and gives us glimpses of the country’s past and an insight into the modern family dynamics, all through a coming-of-age story. As the Singapore High Commissioner, Karen Tan, said, “Singapore’s film industry is a young enterprise that is small but one that’s growing rapidly in popularity.” The Singapore Consulate is bringing the director of Sandcastle Boo Junfeng to Chennai for a post-screening interaction with actor Pratap Pothen.

The two-day festival will screen three films by young Singaporean filmmakers at the Rani Seethai Hall: Boo Junfeng’s Sandcastle (February 4, 7.30 p.m.), Tan Pin Pin’s Singapore Gaga (February 5, 7 p.m.) and Royston Tan’s 881 (February 5, 8 p.m.) While the 55-minute documentary Singapore Gaga explore ‘Singaporeness’ through visual diaries of people from different walks of life on the street, the fairytale-ish musical 881 is about two childhood friends who dream of performing Getai at the Ghost festival.

Actor Karthi Sivakumar, Vikram Prabhu and Ajit Singh, Consul General of the Republic of Singapore will participate in the inaugural at 7 p.m. that will feature a short violin concert by Srikant Radhakrishnan of the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society.