S'pore International Film Fest to be a star-studded affair

4. Zhang Ziyi - 1.2 million yuan (US$192,441)

SINGAPORE - Mission: Impossible II Director John Woo, actresses Zhang Ziyi, Juliette Binoche and Cheng Pei Pei are just some of the stars who will be walking down the red carpet at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) this year.

Woo and Zhang will be in Singapore's for Woo's latest work, "The Crossing", an epic love story spanning 50 years of modern Chinese history. Binoche will be attending the Singapore preimiere of Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria", while Cheng will be paying tribute to the late Sir Run Run Shaw, who founded Shaw Brothers Studio and TVB.

Woo will also conduct a master class, which will be open to the public, on Dec 5.

SGIFF focuses on groundbreaking Asian cinema and discovering new film talents from Southeast Asia, and is known for its dynamic programming and commitment to the development of a vibrant local film culture.

In keeping with the festival's spirit of unearthing new talent, 36-year-old Egyptian film director, editor and screenwriter Ahmad Abdalla El Sayed Abdelkader will be this year's Filmmaker in Focus. He will be joined by another Egyptian, actor TV host, producer and director Khaled Abol Naga.

Renowned director Wang Xiaoshuai, regarded as one of China's "Sixth Generation" filmmakers, will also be here for his film, "Red Amnesia", which follows a 60-year-old lady and her family in Beijing, reflecting on contemporary China and the country's need to recall its past.

Wang is also the Jury Head for the Asian Feature Film Competition at the Silver Screen Awards, and will conduct a public master class in Dec 9.

Joining the international stars are well-known regional and local names.

Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, Huang Lu and Kelvin Tong will form the jurt for the Asian Feature Film Competition, whereas the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition will be adjudicated by Royston Tan, Nguyen Trinh Thi and Yeo Yann Yann.

Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of SGIFF, said: "Having regional and international stars attend the film festival will enable the filmmaking community as well as filmgoers to further expand the conversations on film and the art of filmmaking.

This year, SGIFF will also be presenting its first Honorary Award, with the recipient being legendary South Korean director Im Kwon-taek. Three of Im's films will also be screened as a tribute to one of South Korea's most prolific and respected directors.

There will also be a roundtable talk titled Women in Film on Dec 13, and will feature three actresses from three different countries: Marine Vacth of France, Huang Lu of China and Yeo Yann Yann of Malaysia.

This year's SGIFF will take place from Dec 4-14 at multiple screening venues, including Marina Bay Sands, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Museum of Singapore, The Projector and The Arts House.

Tickets range from $12-$25, and will go on sale from Oct 29. For more information, please visit www.sgiff.com