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Cinephiles rejoice! 5th Singapore film festival in Mumbai

Friday, July 06, 2018

The Singapore Consulate-General in Mumbai is bringing a couple of acclaimed, top-grossing films from the island nation to city cinephiles for the 5th edition of the Singapore Film Festival on July 11 and 12 at the NCPA. Some of the previous editions of the festival have been held in metros other than Mumbai.

The films scheduled for screening at the 2018 Festival are  881 and My Magic, both of which vied for the Oscars at the Academy Awards in the US.

My Magic is the first Singapore film to be nominated for the prestigious Palme D'Or, the top award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Lead actor Bosco Francis was named best actor at the  Asian Festival of First Films.He is a professional magician and fire-eater when he is not facing the camera.

Writer-Director Royston Tan's 881 is a 106-minute musical-comedy drama  which was Singapore's official selection to the 2007  Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Narrated by a chauffeur-cum-confidante  called Guan Yin, the film revolves around two girls dreaming a big dream.They  grow up idolising Chen Jin Lang, the King of Hokkien Getai, and dream of becoming Getai singers themselves. Their dream comes true when they are blessed by the Getai Goddess,and they go on to  become the most popular Getai duo, named Big Papaya and Little Papaya. Then jealousy rears its ugly head and  the Durian Sisters, their principal competitors. try to sabotage the Papayas' performances.

Readers might like to know Getai music is a  form  of vernacular pop which is performed in elaborate costumes at stage shows to appease the spirits of deceased persons. The genre traces its roots to the Japanese Occupation of Singapore.

The tri-lingual (English, Mandarin and Hokkien) film was the number one box office hit Asian film in Singapore in 2007, grossing over S$3 million. It was also nominated for best makeup and costume design at the 44th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei which have been dubbed Chinese Oscars. 881 will be screened in the NCPA's Little Theatre on Wednesday, July 11, 6 pm and Thursday, July 12, 7.30pm.

Award-winning director Eric Khoo  has been credited for the revival of the Singapore film industry and is the first Singaporean to screen his movies at major festivals like the Berlinale, Venice and Cannes. His 2008 film My Magic is in English and Tamil  with a running time of 75 minutes.The film's protagonist  is an  ex-magician  and single parent who has fallen on hard times, eking a meagre living in a nightclub. He has a 10-year old son he loves, but guilt, regret and addiction make for poor parenting skills and he seeks solace in alcohol. Even so, Francis yearns to redeem himself and win his son’s affection.He decides return to magic. An unexpected incident one night propels father (and son) on roads not taken. My Magic will be screened July 11, 8 pm and July 12, 6 pm in the Little Theatre, NCPA.

Festival screenings are free and members of the public who are interested in attending may contact the Singapore Consulate-General at Tel no: 022-61502900 / 2204 3205/09 for passes which may be collected from 10 am to 4 pm at the Consulate-General located at 152, 14th floor, Maker Chamber IV, 222 Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, Nariman Point,Mumbai 400 021. The Consulate is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, and tickets will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis.

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