Film Picks: Short Term 12, Singapore Short Cuts, Silver Films

Short Term 12 stars Destin Daniel Cretton. -- PHOTO:  PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
Short Term 12 stars Destin Daniel Cretton. -- PHOTO:  PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL


The critically acclaimed drama about counsellors and their at-risk teenage charges, Short Term 12 (2013, NC16, 96 minutes), is the opening film of this year’s festival. Now in its seventh edition, the festival is organised by students of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communications at the Nanyang Technological University.

There are seven films on the roster, built around the theme of displacement. Speakers this year include Sooni Taraporevala, screenwriter for the celebrated drama Salaam Bombay (1988, NC16, 113 minutes), and film-maker Jasmine Ng, who will speak on the topic of film-making for social change.

Where: GV VivoCity/National Museum Gallery, Theatre MRT: HarbourFront/Dhoby Ghaut/Bras Basah When: Oct 16 - 19, various times Admission: $10 a film, $45 for a festival pass to seven films Info: Go to or

John Lui


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This mainstay of the local short films calendar returns with a collection of works, some of which have been screened previously and some premiering.

Now in the second and final weekend of its run, tomorrow’s highlights include shorts commissioned to raise awareness of end-of-life issues. In Swing: An Interview With Sally (PG, three minutes), nurse Sally Pang talks about how death has touched her, in her work and in her family. Creator Tan Wei Keong creates a metaphorical world of plants, using animation, as Pang speaks.

And on Sunday, film-maker Jow Zhi Wei’s A Guide To The Flora And Fauna Of The World (G, 19 minutes) looks at photographer Robert Zhao Renhui and his fascination with the relationships humans have with animals.

In You’re Dead To Me (PG, 15 minutes), also screening on Sunday, Ting Min-wei takes an experimental and highly personal view of the Bukit Brown Cemetery, an area marked for redevelopment and a topic of debate between civil society and the Government.

Where: Gallery Theatre, Basement, National Museum of Singapore MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/ Bras Basah When: Tomorrow & Sun, 2pm Admission: Free with registration, passes to be collected at the museum’s Stamford Visitor Services counter Info:



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Offerings at the Thus Have I Seen (This) film festival include Anand Ghandhi’s critically acclaimed Ship Of Theseus (2013), which explores the big questions of identity, justice, beauty and death through the converging journeys of a photographer, a monk and a stockbroker.

First-time Taiwanese director Elsa Yang meditates on compassion and faith in My Mandala (2013), in which a grieving mother invites a lama home to pray for the soul of her dead son.

Yang, Thai director Gunparwitt Phuwadolwisid (Three Marks Of Existence, 2012) and Nepalese director Geshe Thubten Jinpa (108 Yaks: A Journey Of Love And Freedom, 2012) will be here for the festival.

Where: Shaw Theatres Lido MRT: Orchard When: Tomorrow - Sept 27, various times Admission: $12 a screening from Sistic Info:

Boon Chan


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This year’s Silver Arts programme, now in its third edition, returns with a new component: Silver Films, a short film segment. Organised by the National Arts Council and curated by Objectifs, Silver Arts encourages seniors’ participation in the arts.

Two commissioned pieces take centre stage. Sun Koh’s The Secret Passion Of Mdm Tan Ah Lian features Elena Chia as Madam Tan, a 61-year-old who leads a double life, while I Am A Beautiful Beach Whale By The Straits is a more experimental work. Ng Xi Jie’s abstract documentary deals with life and ageing in a stream-of-consciousness fashion, seen through the eyes of two elderly women.

The three other short films are Popiah by Royston Tan; Lost Sole by Sanif Olek; and Swimming Lesson by Kat Goh.

Where: Toa Payoh Amphitheatre, 181A Lorong 4 Toa Payoh MRT: Toa Payoh When: Sat, 7.30 - 9pm Admission: Free but registration required at