The second edition of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, which showcases a combination of features, short films and documentaries, was kicked off with an opening ceremony and a screening of Indian actress-filmmaker Nandita Das' much-acclaimed film 'Manto' on Friday, October 5.
Prior to the screening, Nandita said, "We are delighted to screen 'Manto' as the opening film at Sg.SAIFF. 'Manto' was very much a South Asian writer."
The story revolves around the struggle of a Pakistani writer's life, Sadat Hassan Manto whose opinion and views about the society were questioned by many. He was forced to move from the city Bombay to a new home in Pakistan. Despite the unhappy feelings and the alcohol issues, Manto wrote brilliant prose and poetry as well as several stories and essays that showed his perspective of societal ills, mainly those experienced by prostitutes.
On the day of Manto's screening, several celebrities and Indian directors were present at Carnival Cinemas. Apart from the Indian movies, other movies in the festival included those picked from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. India's Oscar offering, Rima Das's Village Rockstar is one of those movies that received great appreciation during the Sg.SAIFF.
The festival also includes the award ceremonies for, best feature film, best short film, best actor, best actress, best director, best editor, best story and best cinematography.
Sg.SAIFF is not merely a film festival as it also provides an opportunity to learn about acting, film-making and screen-writing along with knowledge sessions like panel discussions, master classes and other business networking sessions.
Several filmmakers, as well as actors from the industry, such as producer Golda Sellam, Afghan film director Siddiq Barmak, Indian film director Girish Kasaravalli, author of "Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema" Gautaman Bhaskaran, producer Marc Baschet, singer Atif Aslam, emcee Cyrus Broacha, director Anand L. Rai and two Indian actresses Raima Sen and Vani Tripathi, have joined the film festival as guests.
Here is the festival schedule till October 13.
Visit the website sgsaiff.com for more details.