Titian Budaya closes with Singapore Film Festival in KL

titian budaya singapore film festival kl malaysia launch

Too bad 7 Letters was only shown at Malaysian cinemas for two days

To mark 50 years of bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia, Titian Budaya organised a three-month long public cultural festival featuring a variety of creative forms and activities, ranging from arts and crafts to dance, film, literature, music, theatre and talks. It kicked off in November with Next Door @ Publika and finished off with a film festival last week at GSC Pavilion and 1 Utama, reaching out to an estimated 20,000 people.

With a lineup of 10 films from the 90s to recent years, the Singapore Film Festival here launched on January 14th with the Malaysian premier of 7 Letters, a great film featuring seven unique short films by seven different directors (the famous Jack Neo included), commissioned specially to celebrate Singapore’s 50th year of independence in 2015. The film represents seven heartfelt (and humourous) ‘love letters’ to Singapore, capturing each of the directors’ personal and poignant connection with the place they call home.

7 letters poster

The seven stories in 7 Letters tell of the familiar Singapore heartlands and its people through themes of lost love, identity, intergenerational familial bonds and tensions, unlikely neighbours, and references to traditional folklore. Sadly, the film was only able to be screened twice at cinema for public. If it was up to me, I’d say screen this film for at least two weeks and try to encourage all Malaysians to watch it. Not only the film serves its purpose in heartwarming and beautifully metaphorical fashion, it has great performances and very well shot. Without my usual full review — 4 / 5.

While Singapore celebrate the friendship between their country and ours by having these wonderful events here, we returned the favour by censoring their films to the point where one of them decided to pull out of the festival completely, saying that one of the dialogues is a “security threat”. As sensitive as always, weren’t we? Anyway this was only the first ever Singapore Film Festival in Malaysia, and I strongly believe it could gradually grow into a month long event like the other film festivals held at GSC. I can’t wait to see more great stuff from Singapore.

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