Zhang Ziyi, Juliette Binoche among stars at S'pore film fest

Zhang Ziyi, Juliette Binoche among stars at S'pore film fest

SINGAPORE - International filmmakers and stars descended upon Marina Bay Sands (MBS) from Dec 4 for the 25th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF).

The 11-day festival features renowned names from the world of film, including Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, French actress Juliette Binoche, Chinese actor-singer Tong Dawei, Hong Kong director John Woo as well as other celebrities from Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, France and Germany.

The festival kicked off with the press conference for John Woo's latest film, "The Crossing" at the ArtScience Musuem. Starring Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei, "The Crossing" is an epic war-romance film that spans half a century of modern Chinese history.

Woo and Zhang were then joined by legendary French actress Juliette Binoche for the SGIFF Fundraising Dinner on Dec 5, which was hosted by MBS at celebrity chef restaurant, CUT.

Also in attendance that evening were prominent individuals of the film industry, such as local filmmaker Eric Khoo, as well as socialites Rachel Kum, Leah Selakovic and Ginny and Richard Wiluan.

Films from two of the region's most celebrated filmmakers will also premiere during the festival. "Chiang Khan Story", directed by Thai filmmaker Yuthlert Sippapak, pays homage to the bygone era of classic Thai cinema; while the festival's closing film will be Indonesian writer-director Lucky Kuswandi's "In the Absence of the Sun" that is about three women searching for their place in Jakarta.

The festival will culminate with the Silver Screen Awards on Dec 13, at the MasterCard Theatres at MBS. Hong Kong actress Cheng Pei Pei, recently nominated for Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards, will confer a tribute to the late Sir Run Run Shaw, who founded Shaw Brothers Studio and TVB.

German actress Natassja Kinski and French star Marine Vatch will also attend the star-studded awards ceremony.

Mr Mike Wiluan, SGIFF Chairman, said: "Having international and regional stars participate in the film festival will enable the filmmaking community as well as film-goers to further expand their conversations on films and the art of filmmaking."

SGIFF continues through to Dec 14, with a focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema and discovering new filmmaking talents from South-east Asia.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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