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National Gallery S’pore’s first film festival to feature over 30 films

National Gallery S’pore’s first film festival to feature over 30 films
Photo: National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery S’pore’s first film festival to feature over 30 films

Painting with Light runs from Oct 7 to 29, ticket sales start Thursday

SINGAPORE — The National Gallery of Singapore’s first film festival Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art will launch next month.

Ticket sales for the event, which runs from Oct 7 to 29, will start on Thursday (Sept 14).

Following its monthly Southeast Asian film series of the same name held from March to December last year, the National Gallery Singapore launched Painting with Light on Tuesday to include international titles “all over the world to provide a wider perspective”. 


Slated to be held annually, the film festival will feature over 30 feature-length and short films from 25 countries, with many making its premiere in Singapore.

The month-long festival will consist of four sections: Films on institutions of art and their communities; films on artists and their interventions in society; commissioned works by master filmmakers, now restored classics; and short films on the art and culture of Southeast Asia.

“We hope that Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art will provide an interesting entry point to art for our audiences, as well as create space for dialogue about the relevance of art and the change it can inspire in society. The festival is also an invitation for audiences to join us in celebrating a group of filmmakers who push the envelope and venture beyond present realities to visualise a more ideal future,” said Suenne Megan Tan, the Gallery’s director for audience development and engagement.

The festival will open with The New Rijksmuseum, a 2013 documentary by Oeke Hoogendik that detailed the 10-year-long renovation process of the Dutch national museum. It will be the first time the film is screened in Southeast Asia.

Other highlights include Manifesto (2015) by Julian Rosefeldt, starring actress Cate Blanchett, The Royal Ballet of Cambodia (1965) produced by National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, and China’s Van Goghs (2016) by Yu Haibo and Yu Tianqi Kiki.


The film festival will also include dialogue sessions with the filmmakers as well as a public forum on film commissions, its challenges and responsibilities.


A free daily programme of short films will explore Southeast Asian perspectives on “self-mastery, death, currency and city living”. Titled Southeast Asian Shorts, it will showcase a different set of films every two hours, starting at 11am at the Auditorium Anteroom.

Short films from Singapore include Silent Light, an 11-minute short by Liao Jiekai, who documented his grandmother’s funeral, and Image Makers: John Clang, a 16-minute short by Kirsten Tan on the Singaporean photographer based in New York.

Southeast Asian Shorts will also showcase Art Through Our Eyes, which had its world premiere at the 21st Busan International Film Festival last year. The anthology, commissioned by the Gallery, includes Chua Mia Tee, a five-minute tribute to the artist by Eric Khoo.

Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art will run from Oct 7 to 29 at the gallery’s Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium & Foyer at Level B1, City Hall Wing. Tickets are priced at S$10 each (including booking fee) and are available from the National Gallery of Singapore and SISTIC.