Atil Aslam’s enthralling performance brings the 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) to a close. The crowd of 1500 people was completely spellbound by the electrifying performance of Atif on the closing night held at glittering gala night at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore on the night of October 14.

The winners include Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi which won the best feature film award, Miransha Naik won best director award for his debut feature, Juze, Syed Zaigham Imam won the award for Emerging Filmmaker of the Year, Binodini won Best Short Film.

Atif Aslam at 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF
Atif Aslam at 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF

Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF) held was a ten-day extravaganza of sublime cinema which represented a diverse mix of feature films, short films and documentaries from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan. The festival was packed with multiple panel discussions, master classes, first edition of the South Asian Film Market (SAFM), red carpet opening and a grand closing ceremony has set the pulse of the Singapore cinephiles racing.

The winner filmmakers Atanu Ghosh director of Mayurkashi said, “ Rarely do you come across such eminent people comprising the jury board and I felt so honoured and humbled to receive the awards. The ambience was electrifying and with such enthusiastic participation of filmmakers, am sure this festival is fast shaping up as a very important platform for independent films from South Asia.”

2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF
2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF

Talking about this year’s edition Abhayanand Singh – Chairperson of SG.SAIFF said, “We are truly humbled by the overwhelming response to the second edition of Sg.SAIFF. We had a sold-out opening and closing night but what was more heartening is the fact that cinephiles in Singapore came and watched a lot of films screening at our festival.”

He adds, “The filmmakers enjoyed themselves during the interaction with the audiences at multiple occasions and the festival has truly emerged as a strong platform for South Asian cinema in the region. The launch of South Asian Film Market (SAFM) was also a huge success with 11 filmmakers pitching to an esteemed jury panel and high net worth individuals and we are very sure that some of them will receive the financial support that they were seeking.”

2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF
2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF

Here is the complete list of winners:

1. Emerging Filmmaker of the Year – Syed Zaigham Imam

2. Best Feature Film – Mayurakshi – Atanu Ghosh

3. Best Director – Juze – Miransha Naik

4. Best Short Film – Binodini – Mallika Subramanian (director)

5. Children of White- Dulanka Devendra (director)

6. Best Actor Female – Dying Candle – Srijana Subba

7. Best Actor male – Summer Of Miracles – Chandra Kiran GK

8. Best Cinematographer – Dying Candle – Dipankar Sikder and Rabin Acharya

9. Best Editor – Midnight Delhi – Rakesh Rawatmau

2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF
2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF

Key Programming Highlights of Sg.SAIFF 2018

The Special Screenings of – Siddiq Barak’s Osama and O P Srivastava‘s Life In Metaphors. The Feature Films in Competition section, Prasad Namjoshi’s Video Parlour, Rakesh Rawat’s Midnight Delhi, Miransha Naik’s Juze, Indrashish Acharya’s Pupa, Sumathy Sivamohan’s Sons And Father, Naresh Kumar KC’s Dying Candle, Ektara Collective’s Turup and Prashanth Vijay’s Summer of Miracles (Athisayangalude Venal).

The SGSAIFF 2018 hosted the World Premieres of Prasad Namjoshi’s Video Parlour, Murari M Rakshit’s Reunion, Pravin Tarde’s Mulshi Pattern, Rakesh Rawat’s Midnight Delhi and Zaigham Imam’s Nakkash which was launched at Cannes 2018. The Feature Film Showcase section included – Aparna Sen’s Sonata, Rima Das’ Village Rockstars, Fakhrul Areefen Khan‘s Bangladeshi film Bhuvan Majhi, C V Nandeeshwar’s Akkamma’s Fate, Murari M Rakshit’s Reunion, Praveen Tarde’s Mulshi Pattern, Kireet Khurana’s T For Tajmahal, Sumit Mishra’s Agam¸Zaigham Imam’s Nakkash and Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi.

2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF
2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF

The Short Films in the Competitive Section included – Mallika Subramanian’s Binodini, Muhammad Belal Imran’s Just A Cup Of Tea, Harish Mohan’s Kalki, the Devendra’s Children Of White, Umang Vyas’ Majaal Hai¸ Akash Mihani’s Mum, Athithya Kanagarajan’s Dreams, Vikrant Dhote’s Ajay and Syahrul Musa’s Glimpse. The Short Film Showcase featured three titles – Kabeer Khurana’s Religion For Dummies, Aditya Kelgaonkar’s Sound Proof and Prabhjit Dhamija’s Me (Asmad).

The Documentary Film Showcase section included Umesh Kulkarni’s Kumbh, Manhoor Zaidi’s Dust To Dust, Upneet Kaur-Nagpal’s Singh In The Lion City, Aparajita Ghosh’s Dance Of Joy, Anirban Mitra and Tirtha Dasgupta’s Ray Of Light and Prasanna Ramaswamy’s Writer Ashokmitran.SGSAIFF 2018 also conducted two interesting workshops during the course of the festival. The first was an Acting Workshop For Adults And Children. The second was a Filmmaking Workshop For Children that focuses on making films using smartphones.

1st edition of South Asian Film Market (SAFM) launched this year:

This year the festival launched the first edition of the South Asian Film Market (SAFM) where Pankaj Kapur’s Aadi (The Beginning), Kartik Aryan and Adil Hussain’s Barasinghey, Abhay Deol’s JL50, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi’s 18 Not Out, Chandan Roy Sanyal’s So Sicily, Shreyas Talpade’s Khwaish, Prabhjit Dhamija’s Samir, Leela Manimekalai’s Maadathy, Rahat Kazmi’s Country Of Blind, Somnath Sen’s Charulata and Harish Vyas’s Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele were the 11 projects chosen from a selection of over 100 entries

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