Preview Guide

Stars of Southeast Asia (films)

By EditorEvents - 01 March 2011 9:00 AM | Updated 02 March 2011

Stars of Southeast Asia (films)

Title image film still from The Adventures of Iron Pussy, 2003, directed by Michael Shaowanasai and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Can’t head over to Cannes or Sundance for their famed film festivals? Why not indulge in something homegrown that is near and dear to us instead? If the regional film industry appeals to you, or you’re a die-hard film buff, this is the event for you.

Curated and organised by Philip Cheah, Teo Swee Leng and the Singapore Art Museum, the first Southeast Asian Film Festival aims to reflect the recent social and cultural transformations of cities in Asia.



Survive: In the Heart of the Khmer Rouge Madness

It’s not often that one gets an inside look into what is known as one of the most lethal regimes ever. Under the Khmer Rogue regime (1976 – 79), an estimated 2 million people in Cambodia died through forced labour, executions, civil war, and famine. As a survivor of the Khmer Rogue’s death camps, director Roshane Saidnattar managed to flee the country and lived to tell the tale. She was 13 when she fled to France.

After graduating from film school, she worked as an assistant director and journalist. Survive is her debut feature-length documentary. This film documents her return thirty years later with her mother, as they try to remember their past. Woven into this is a documentary interview with Khieu Samphan, who was head of state during the Khmer Rogue regime. A film that sends chills up your spine yet tells a tale of how one survived the atrocities of the regime.


Film still from The Blue Mansion, 2009, directed by Glen Goei

The filmmakers featured during the festival also have their pulse on Southeast Asia’s most urgent and contemporary issues. These films will also give audiences the opportunity to appreciate the diverse realities of this vast and rapidly-developing region. Featuring celebrated films by veterans, as well as new work from emerging directors, this programme also features special post-screening discussions.


The first Southeast Asian Film Festivalis on from 18 March – 7 May at the Moving Image Gallery at the Singapore Art Museum.  Visit for full synopses and more information. Please call 6332 3200 ahead for ticket availability.