DIALOGUE – Present Outlook of the Cinema in Spain & Singapore

Linked to the Spanish Film Festival which is taking place in Singapore from 5th to 15th of November, we take advantage of the opportunity to dive into the present moment of both the Spanish and the Singaporean Film Industry.

The Spanish directors Mr Salvador Simó and Ms Belén Funes, whose films “Buñuel in the labyrinth of the Turtles” and “A thief´s daughter” are being screened at the Festival, will share their vision about the Film Industry in Spain and their expectations about the releasing of their films in Singapore. The Singaporean director Mr Jason Lai, whose feature film “Ms J contemplates her choice” stars famous local singer Kit Chan, will participate and share his experience and vision of the Industry in Singapore.

The Dialogue will be conducted by Kenneth Tan, Chairman of the Singapore Film Society, who has an extended knowledge and great experience on the Film Industry in Singapore.

At the end of the Dialogue, we will hold a final Q&A session open to the audience.

It will be held next Thursday 12th of November at 5pm (UTC+8) via ZOOM.

About the speakers

Salvador Simó is a film director and scriptwriter. He has worked in traditional animation for companies such as Disney. He has worked in films like Narnia, Prince Caspian, The Werewolf, Prince of Persia, and the James Bond movie Skyfall. In 2008 he directed a cg animation series in Indonesia, shooting over 500 minutes of film. He has been head of film sequences in the animation feature movie The Jungle Book, as well as in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales. He is the director of Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles which premiered at the Animation Film Festival of Los Angeles, where he was awarded the Jury Prize. Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles was also awarded in 2019 in the European Academy Film Awards for the Best European Animated Feature Film, and the Goya Awards for Best Animated Film. In 2019 Salvador was awarded with the Cartoon Tribute to the Best European Director on 2019.

Belén Funes studied Film direction at ESCAC in Barcelona following her desire to talk and explain things. After finishing her studies, she travelled to Cuba to continue studying a master degree in fiction writing. Her first job as a director was the short film “Sara a la fuga” which obtained a prize for best director and best short film. Her second short “La inútil” is nominated for best short film by the Premis Gaudi de la Academia del Cinema Catalá. The publication Variety classifies her as one of the most promising international film-makers. Her opera prima “La hija de un ladrón” ( “A thief’s daughter”) won the Silver Shell award for best actress at the Festival in San Sebastian, three Gaudí awards (best director, best non catalan speaking film and best script) and the Goya award for the best novel director. Belen´’s films have been screened in Festivals as Palm Springs, Cairo, London, Chicago, Habana and Shanghai.

Jason Lai is the Head of Content at Oak 3 Films, an established Singapore independent production house. At Oak 3, he spearheads the development of the company’s original film and TV concepts and overseas its program editorial. To date, his TV works have won 2 Mediacorp’s Star Awards and received 3 International Emmy Awards nominations. In 2009, he produced the feature film, Here, which premiered at Cannes International Film Festival. In 2014, he wrote and directed the feature film, Ms J Contemplates Her Choice, which premiered at Singapore International Film Festival and currently showing on Netflix. Some of his earlier notable short film works includes ‘3 Feet Apart’ (Best Animation Film, Bangkok International Film Festival 2004) & ‘The Trouble with Waiting’ (Best Film, Busan Asian Film Festival 2008). Jason’s other experiences in the media sector include adjunct lecturing at local media schools and judging at film & video competitions in Cambodia, Japan, Philippines and Singapore. From 2008 to 2010 Jason served as the President of AIPRO (Association of Independent Producers Singapore). His favourite pastimes are drinking coffee, flying kites and walking his dog.

MODERATOR – Kenneth Tan was elected as chairman of SFS in 1984, and has held the position ever since. His passion for not just movies but the entire ecosystem of Media was seeded in his teenage years, when he spent all his pocket money and spare time catching multiple screenings across islandwide theatres, hanging out with all levels of staff and immersing himself fully in the environment and ethos of Cinema.Today, forty years later, he looks back humbly, gratefully and gladly, on a career that has spanned senior management roles in Acorn, Mediacorp, Golden Village, and IMDA, plus public speaking opportunities in 14 countries on three continents.