Rotterdam film fest movie screened live in Singapore

Audiences can take part in the live question-and-answer session after watching Noces (above) on Sunday.
Audiences can take part in the live question-and-answer session after watching Noces (above) on Sunday.PHOTO: DAYLIGHT FILMS

For the first time, cinemagoers in Singapore will be able to participate in an overseas film festival live this weekend, via a network feed. After watching a movie, local film fans can take part in the post-screening question-and-answer session with the film-makers.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will be linked to local arthouse cinema The Projector on Sunday at 11pm.

Audiences here and around the world will watch Noces, or A Wedding, in English (PG13, 95 minutes), a well-reviewed drama about an 18-year-old daughter of Pakistani migrants living in Belgium given the choice of three men to marry.

Mr Gavin Low, 42, curating consultant with The Projector, says holding a live-link film event has been a goal of the cinema.

He explains that the Rotterdam film festival, from its inception in 1972, has developed a reputation for pushing boundaries in technology and in film-making styles.

  • BOOK IT / INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM: NOCES (PG13)

  • WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road

    WHEN: Sunday, 11pm

    ADMISSION: $13.50

    INFO: theprojector.sg

Its IFFR Live programme allows cinemas around the world to take part in screenings. This year, more than 40 cities, including Milan, Basel and Sarajevo, are involved.

Singapore is the only Asian city this year, Mr Low says.

He has attended the festival a number of times and says that the live stream will allow viewers here to "to feel the unique energy" of the event and its people.

"We were talking to them for a couple of years about taking part and finally, this year, everything worked out," says Mr Low, who also heads independent film distributor Luna Films.

After the screening of Noces, viewers can tweet questions to the film-makers on stage in Rotterdam, and answers will be broadcast to all participating cities.

Technology hurdles were the least of the issues as the cinema has a high-speed data line. Signing up for Noces involved sorting out thorny issues of distribution rights and time-zone differences that would make it hard for Singaporeans to attend, Mr Low says.

"This being the Chinese New Year period, it was hard to pick a film screening at a good time. We thought 11pm on the second day of the celebrations would be an okay slot," he says.

Noces has won praise from The Hollywood Reporter, which called it "a slow-burning, skilfully performed study of family malaise and religious subjugation".

The film will be streamed in standard cinema definition, so viewers will not experience a lower visual or sound quality, says Mr Low. The dialogue is in French and Urdu, and English subtitles will be provided.

Mr Low hopes that viewers will not be discouraged by the screening's late hour.

"We need to be open to different timings and ways of watching films because technology keeps pushing us to do things that have not been done before."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'Rotterdam film fest movie screened live in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe