SINGAPORE —Filipino films will take the spotlight at the Singapore Media Festival, happening from November 28 to December 9, 2018. Celebrating the best of Asian storytelling, this year’s SMF will feature a robust showcase of Asian films.


As the Philippines celebrates the centennial year of local cinema and commemorates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Singapore in 2019, it is but apt to recognize it as SMF’s Country-of-Focus.


Filipino films of world-class caliber from iconic directors will be dominating SMF’s constituent event, Singapore International Film Festival (SIGFF).


SIGFF’s Southeast Asian Short Film Competition features renowned Filipino films including:

Manila is Full of Men Named Boy by Andrew Stephen Lee

A man travels from the U.S. to the Philippines to attend his estranged father’s birthday party. Hoping to impress his dad, he purchases a child to pass off as his own son.


The Imminent Immanent by Carlo Francisco Manatad


A rural town carries on its mundane existence, unaware that strong forces of nature are silently conspiring against it.


Please Stop Talking by Josef Gacutan

An animated film centered on Sixto, an elderly man who tries to repair his relationship with his estranged son, Please Stop Talking explores loneliness, regret and isolation at old age.


Judgement by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Joy, the mother of a young girl, decides to file charges against her abusive partner after a horrific incident. But the court case adds more woes to her already troubled life.


SGIFF’s Official Selection includes the following Filipino titles:

The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931 by Christopher Gozum

A layered historical docudrama centred on a forgotten Filipino revolutionary who led a peasant revolt against American colonialism.


Season of the Devil by Lav Diaz

Lav Diaz’s newest is a bleak and surreal musical drama set in the brutal era of martial law in the Philippines.

Nervous Translation by Shireen Seno

A magical-realist tale of the fantastical world dreamed up by a girl left to her own devices in her Manila home.


Mikhail Red’s Eerie will also make its world premiere at the Festival’s Midnight Mayhem section. Eerie, a 2017 finalist for SAFF Project Market, is directed by award-winning Filipino director, Mikhail Red (Rekorder (2013) & Birdshot (2016)) and stars Filipino film actress, Bea Alonzo, among others


“It is an incredible honour for us to be the Country of Focus at this year’s SMF, as it allows us to strengthen our partnership with Singapore and the IMDA to build a bridge between Philippine and Singapore Cinema and foster more productive collaborations between the two countries. It is also a special milestone for us as we are celebrating one hundred years of Philippine Cinema. We believe that the next big thing for our Cinema is to go global and SMF is certainly a great platform where we are able to connect more of our Filipino filmmakers with partners and supporters in the further development of quality stories and content that we can share with the world.” Liza Diño, Chairperson and CEO, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP)


Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, said, “Asian stories and storytellers matter to the world. There has never been a better time for Asian stories and talent to shine bright on the global stage. The Singapore Media Festival is the most diverse platform in the region and unique in the way it brings together the best talent to celebrate these stories, foster new collaborations and discover innovative ways of storytelling. The time for Asia is now.”


With Philippines being the Country-of-Focus, other constituent events of SMF such as the Asian Television Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore and the newly minted Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) will be organizing Philippines-related activities and initiatives.


Filipino talents were also recognized at the Asian Academy Creative Awards including:

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Maja Salvador – Wildflower by ABS-CBN

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Miguel Tanfelix – Kambal Karibalby GMA Network

Best Direction (Fiction): Theodore Boborol – Araw Gabi by ABS-CBN

Best Single Drama or Telemovie: Maalaala Mo Kaya by ABS-CBN

Best Drama Series: The Greatest Love by ABS-CBN