Visit Asian Film Archive Website Visit Asian Film Archive Website
 Forum on Asian Cinema Home  

It will be a meeting of minds and passions at the 5th Asian Film Symposium and the inaugural Forum on Asian Cinema. Bringing together members of the film community, the screenings and discussions aim to nurture a vibrant film culture and encourage dialogue on the major issues about cinema in Asia.

Featuring over 50 shorts and feature films, the 5th Asian Film Symposium is a showcase of diverse work by filmmakers from Singapore and around the region. It will also mark the launch of the first Singapore Shorts DVD compilation from the Asian Film Archive Collection.

Two acclaimed Asian filmmakers: Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe, 2003) and Eric Khoo (12 Storeys, 1997), are honoured in the inaugural Forum on Asian Cinema, where retrospectives of their works will be presented. Both filmmakers whose works signal important directions in either their respective national cinemas or in Asian cinema as a whole, will be at the forum to discuss their films.

The opening film is the first Tamil film made in Malaysia, Chemman Chaalai by Deepak Kumaran Menon. The story of a young Indian girl who yearns for a better life, this debut DV feature is a quiet and powerful testament of hope and dreams.

Other highlights of the symposium include Riau by Zai Kuning, a haunting documentary about the search for the Orang Laut, a mysterious tribe of seafaring gypsies from the Riau Archipelago, and Ravi Bharwani’s The Rainmaker, a measured and hallucinatory tale set in a drought-ridden village on a remote island.

S-Express, Asian Film Symposium’s regular traveling short film programme is expanded this year to showcase new shorts from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and for the first time, the Philippines and China. A regional collaboration, S-Express includes screenings and talks by filmmakers and curators from the participating countries and provides an insight to developments of the independent filmmaking in Asia.

To bring a greater critical awareness to the general public of ways of understanding cinema, the Forum on Asian Cinema: Social Memory on Film moved away from formal academic discourse to that of panel sessions. The nine panel sessions cover issues concerning film education, criticism, heritage, trends and industry in Asia, with experts in these areas sharing their views.

Closing the symposium is the premiere of the Singapore DV feature Unarmed Combat by Han Yew Kwang, a wildly inventive comedy about arm-wrestling and uncommon obsessions.

Organised by


With the generous support of




 Ngee Ann       One Light Services     Axiom


                   Official Hotel

Venue Sponsor Official Media

                       hangout       Singapore History Museum  

Retrospectives of Eric Khoo and Pen-ek Ratanaruang are also supported by


Fortissimo Film     Five Star Production     Cathay     Zhao Wei Films
Filmmaking Workshop by Pen-ek Ratanaruang presented by

About Asian Film Archive

The Asian Film Archive is a non-profit independent organization founded to preserve the rich film heritage of Singapore and Asian Cinema, to encourage scholarly research on film, and to promote a wider critical appreciation of this art form. As an important nexus, it brings together the various segments of the Asian film community in order to open and enrich new intellectual, educational, and creative spaces. Our international advisory board members include Dr Aruna Vasudev (President, Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema), Mr. Hou Hsiao Hsien (critically acclaimed Asian Filmmaker), Professor Trinh T. Minh-ha (Professor of Women's Studies and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley), Professor Rey Chow, (Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Brown University), Professor Chris Berry (Goldsmiths College, University of London), Dr Lim Song Hwee (University of Leeds) and Professor Jan Udhe (Professor of Film Studies, University of Waterloo).

About The Substation

Moving Images is The Substation’s year-round film programme dedicated to supporting local and independent film in Singapore. Set up in 1997, Moving Images is the only regular film programme in Singapore of film screenings, festivals, workshops and seminars, including annual events like Asian Film Symposium, Young Guns and Women In Film. With the focus on independent, experimental and innovative films, Moving Images has become known for introducing and showcasing new and diverse work to the local audience and has become an important platform for local filmmakers to screen their work, meet and share ideas. More than just a screening venue, Moving Images also works directly with international film festivals to present Singapore shorts and features overseas all year round. In the past years, Moving Images has worked with Singapore filmmakers like Royston Tan, Wee Li Lin, Tan Pin Pin, Sherman Ong – all Associate Artists of The Substation - just to name a few.

Copyright ©2021. Asian Film Archive. All Rights Reserved.