5 films you need to watch at the Singapore International Film Festival 2017

5 films you need to watch at the Singapore International Film Festival 2017

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Text: Adibah Isa

The Singapore International Film Festival returns with 112 films across 11 days. Here are 5 highlights from films that were showcased at the Venice, Cannes, Busan, Toronto and Sundance festivals

The Square


The winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, The Square stars Claes Bang as the chief curator of a contemporary art museum in Stockholm and Elisabeth Moss as an American journalist who's tasked to interview him. This satirical comedy makes jabs at the world of contemporary art and society in a deliciously dark way that director Ruben Ostlund's known for.

Angels Wear White

After premiering in competition at the Venice Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival has chosen Angels Wear White to open the festivities. Dealing with touchy issues of rape and corruption, Chinese director Vivian Qu's second film is set in Xiamen. Centering around the story of two schoolgirls who enter a love motel with a district commissioner and the repercussions and reactions after, it's a compelling commentary on the treatment of women in modern China.

Call Me By Your Name

Premiering at Sundance this year, Luca Guadagnino's coming-of-age story sees Armie Hammer playing the older lover of a 17-year-old boy, played by Timothée Chalamet. Based on the novel by André Aciman, it's already hearing Oscar bells for its poignant portrayal. The director himself was influenced by Bernardo Bertolucci's film 1990 (1976), which similarly saw two male romantic leads in Italy. 

I Want To Go Home

Singapore director Wesley Leon Aroozoo's film was an entry at the Busan International Film Festival's Wide Angle Documentary Competition. Following the story of Yasuo Takamatsu, a woman who lost his wife to the tsunami that hit Onagawa in 2011, the filmmaker has borrowed the words from the last message Takamatsu received from his wife: "I want to go home". It's a film of loss, recovery and determination.

Shuttle Life

Malaysian director Tan Seng Kiat's film had a showing at the Toronto International Film Festival, which went on to win accolades at Shanghai Film Festival for best film, best cinematography and best actor. Shuttle Life looks at the lives of people struggling to make a living in the big city, centering around the family life of the protagonist (played by pop singer and actor Jack Tan) and his mentally unsound mother. 

The Singapore International Film Festival runs from 23 November to 3 December 2017 across venues such as Marina Bay Sands, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs and *SCAPE. Tickets go on sale today.