Emmy Award winning producers and directors judge first Singapore-Myanmar Film Festival
For immediate release
26 June 2013
The first Singapore-Myanmar Film Festival (SMFF) counts an Emmy-Award winner, a Grierson-Awards-winner (prestigious UK award for documentaries), a Fulbright Award recipient and an Asian-Television-Award finalist as its judges. These four judges voted for their favourite films from Myanmar film-makers, and shortlisted five to be showcased on 7-July, at Vivocity's Golden Village theatre.
Among the judges is Mr Brad Cox - winner of International Emmy Award “Best Non-Scripted Entertainment” in 2012 for The Amazing Race Australia. He also won Australia's highest film and television award, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA ) in 2012 for the same show. He is currently the Creative Director of Active TV Asia, having co-created and directed a large-scale prime-time reality TV show “Can You Serve” for MediaCorp in Singapore for two seasons.
“The films are technically well put together. There are some outstanding ones which each in their own ways demonstrated good directing talent,” commented Mr Adam Alexander, a fellow judge for SMFF who is also a veteran producer and Executive Director of The Flagship Consultancy.
Mr Alexander has over 40 years of experience working in the film and television industry. He has successfully built and ran a variety of independent Production companies, including the current one he helms. Mr Alexander was the Winner for Grierson Award (British Documentary Award) in 1989 for 'The Enemy Within', and received commendation for the same award in 1995 for 'Russian Wonderland'. He won British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Cymru Award for Best Documentary in 1992 and 1993. He also garnered Royal Television Society (RTS) Award 'Best Factual for The Tube' in 2005 and another one for 'A Garden for Eden' in 2008. Additionally, he was the Executive Producer of critically acclaimed documentaries, such as 'A Year in Tibet' for BBC. In Asia, he won Malaysian Video Awards – a gold, a silver and a bronze in 1996 and a silver and a bronze in 1998 for 'Best Factual Entertainment'.
“My favourite film is the drama Bamboo Grove, directed by Khin Khin Hsu. It has a compelling story, is well directed and shot, and has a genuine narrative and emotional engagement. I'll give it the highest score among all films because of its scale, ambition and execution. I like the nice touches of character, especially for the fact that the doctor’s story has a narrative arc. The sound track is the best of all the films,” enthused Mr Alexander.
Another judge on the panel is Ms Gabrielle Kelly, a global media consultant and educator. Ms Kelly is currently the Associate Professor of Film at Tisch Asia, Singapore, and Associate Arts Professor, of New York University, USA. She has received two Fulbright Awards: one in screenwriting at Tapei National University of the Arts, Taiwan and the second as writer/mentor in the screenwriting /producing Lab for the ASEAN Independent Cinema Project in the Philippines.
“I really loved getting a sense of life and people in Myanmar from all the films submitted.Generally, the acting is unforced and pretty natural,” commented Ms Kelly. She counts Bamboo Grove, My Grandfather's House (by Shunn Lei Swe Yee), and Bungkus (by Lay Thida) as her three favourite films.
Mr Alexander has praises for the film My Grandfather's House too. He said, “It is a very engaging film. This film is a poetic journey and it's beautifully shot. It is also well constructed technically and I felt that it was a real story about a place and a family.”
Complementing the other three judges is Mr Michael Zaw, who is a seasoned Director of Photography. Mr Zaw's credentials include being the Director of Photography for “Rehai" Season 2 - a Police Drama TV Series for Vasantham Channel, Mediacorp Singapore, which was awarded 'Best TV Drama' by Mediacorp in 2010. He was also the Director of Photography for "Anything Goes" – a 13 Episodes TV Comedy Drama on Channel 5, Mediacorp Singapore, which was nominated and highly commended as "Best Comedy Programme" in 16th Asian Television Award 2011.
"The films we received were all very promising. We hope to help Myanmar film-makers reach a new level of story-telling through exposures like SMFF. We have planned for these winning film directors to meet the media community in Singapore, and have arranged for workshops for them," remarked Mr Benoit Schaack, the Festival Director for SMFF. More than 30 films were submitted for this year's Singapore-Myanmar Film Festival (SMFF). The theme for this first edition of SMFF is 'behind closed doors', and emphasis was placed on attracting works from young independent film-makers of Myanmar origin.
SMFF is organised by Singapore Myanmar Exchange (SME), a non-profit organisation, with the support of generous donors, and in association with the Network of Myanmar American Association (NETMAA). Tickets at a nominal fee of S$8.50 can be purchased online at http://smff.eventbrite.sg/
Film-stills and poster for SMFF can be found here. More information on SMFF can also be seen at http://www.singaporemyanmarfilmfestival.org.
For more information, please contact:
Crevaltis Pte Ltd for Singapore Myanmar Exchange
About Singapore Myanmar Exchange
The Singapore Myanmar Exchange (SME) is a Non-profit Organization, whose mission is to support in developing economics and skills growth, between Myanmar and Singapore, through educational, artistic, trade and technological opportunities.
Full biographies of judges: