European Union Film Festival and New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia

So, the longest running film festival in Singapore, the European Union Film Festival, returns to the city-state this week. The festival, which is in it’s 21st year, brings an incredible range of European movies to a city which, IMHO, currently offers too few opportunities to watch art house or independent films.

I was invited to the media preview where I viewed Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men) which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix. It is a haunting, beautiful, and intelligent film loosely based on the true story of nine Trappist monks in the monastery of Tibhirine, Algeria, seven of whom who were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996.

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Given my professional background, I am particularly interested in viewing the short films by New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia’s students that proceed several of the festivals’s offerings. (In years past, EUFF has showcased films by students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies and Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media.)

At the preview, we saw Suu and Uchikawa (2010) by Nathanael Carton, a touching 11-minute short about Uchikawa, an elderly man, and Su, a Burmese refugee, and their complicated relationship.

A few student films that I hope to catch:

  • The Perfect Woman by Uta Arning. The Perfect Woman is the story of an alienated factory worker who purchases a robotic woman in order to satisfy his senses and fulfill his needs. However, he discovers, modern engineering has its downsides.
  • The Highest Mark by Sherman Lai. In urban China, a clever teenage girl learns to confront and question the actions of her father when he declares that only her brother can return to school the next day.

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The full schedule can be found here. FYI, Des hommes et des dieux is being shown on May 7 at 7pm at Golden Village VivoCity.

(Additional credits: Images provided by European Union Film Festival. Used with permission.)