Griffith Film School (GFS) will host the Australian premiere of Brisbane Festival’s Singapore Unbound from Tuesday 22 September to Saturday 26 September as part of a series of works celebrating Singapore’s 50th year of independence.
The showcase has been curated by founding Festival Director of the Singapore International Film Festival, Philip Cheah, who throughout his career has been instrumental in showing films censored by Singaporean authorities for political reasons.
This is the first time these films have been shown in Australia, with some films having never been screened in Singapore.
Head of the Griffith Film School, Herman van Eyken, says the showcase navigates the fine line between censorship and free speech and has been carefully curated to portray the evolving relationship between government and art practitioners.
“We all know about the censorship issues in Singapore, and therefore we wanted to collate a little overview of films that were made in Singapore — but often not allowed to be released in Singapore.
“For balance, we are also featuring the Australian premiere of Seven Letters, which is the officially commissioned film to celebrate Singapore 50th Anniversary,” he says. .
The event will be attended by leading young filmmaker and director of two films in the showcase Boo Junfeng. Boo Junfeng’s films have featured at The Berlinale, Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics Week and global film festivals in Toronto, Pusan, Vancouver and London.
Boo Junfeng is also a former student of Professor van Eyken, who helped set up the first film degree in Singapore at LASALLE’s College of Arts.
The Film School will be screening Junfeng’s highly controversial graduation film Tanjong Rhu.
Junfeng and six other filmmakers explore their personal connections to their home country in Saturday night’s screening of Seven Letters – Griffith Film School will be showing four of the seven ‘love letters’ – followed by closing drinks on the balcony watching Sunsuper’s Riverfire.
Singapore Unbound is being screened at the Griffith Film School, Dock Street, South Brisbane from 22 – 26 September. See the Brisbane Festival website for a full list of screening times and ticket bookings.