OMA (Grandmother)

SGIFF Film Fund 2024: Funding News 

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SGIFF Film Fund, the fund managed by Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), has selected four documentaries and three short films for its most recent funding round. 

A total of S$140,000 (US$104,000) will be awarded to the seven projects from Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The selections were made by external committees from among more than 300 submissions. 

Launched in 2017, the SGIFF Film Fund comprises the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC) and SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS). Previous recipients include Nguyễn Trung Nghĩa’s short film Mulberry Fields, which screened in Directors Fortnight at Cannes this year. 

SEA-DOC supports mid-length or feature documentaries in various stages of production and post-production annually. This year, the committee has chosen three projects in production, each receiving S$30,000 in cash, and one project in post-production, receiving a grant of S$20,000.

SEA-SHORTS is made possible this year with the support of Winn Slavin Fine Art and White Light Post. Each recipient will receive a cash grant of S$5,000 from Winn Slavin Fine Art, and post-production support worth S$5,000 from White Light Post.

Programme director Thong Kay Wee said: “We are thrilled to unveil the recipients of the SGIFF Film Fund 2024. Among the submissions, we are increasingly seeing filmmakers employing new, imaginative approaches to urgent and timely themes, with some choosing to take a more fantastical or experimental tack. This speaks to the ingenuity and continuing vitality of Southeast Asian cinema and its eagerness to embrace new ways of seeing. The films selected this year fully embody these qualities.”



OMA (Grandmother) – dir: Armin Septiexan (Indonesia)
Production [Pictured above]
Synopsis: After six decades, 84-year-old Oma Net Markus testifies in The Hague as a witness to Indonesia’s mass killings in 1965, which took the lives of her father and brother. Returning home to Kupang, West Timor, Oma is determined to uncover her buried family history and pass it on to her teenage grandson, Mikael.

The Bamboo Family – dir: Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar)

Synopsis: Facing growing resistance from his family, a filmmaker runs away from Myanmar and moves to Paris to pursue filmmaking. There, he revisits his family past while navigating an existential crisis and the guilt of leaving his family behind.

Borrowed Time – dir: Miko Revereza (Mexico, Philippines)

Synopsis: An artist couple documents their shifting creative and political consciousness over the course of a year. Carolina, a painter, and Miko, an experimental filmmaker, turn their lens on each other as they navigate creative and emotional labour in their relationship and the wider art world.

Sandan Love Garden – dir: Luthfi Muhammad (Indonesia)

Synopsis: Amidst Bali’s deep-rooted traditions, organic farmers Wahyu and Ayu find themselves facing an uphill battle on their agricultural journey. Framed within a love story, the film explores the couple’s relationship with the land and their relentless pursuit for sustainable living.


BLEAT! – dir: Ananth Subramaniam (Malaysia)
Synopsis: An elderly Indian couple discovers their sacrificial goat to be pregnant. The only problem is that the goat is a male—or, at least, that’s what they were led to believe. Accompanied by lilting folk songs, the couple sets out to uncover the truth, or else risk incurring the wrath of their guardian god, Karuppar.

The Wedding Gift – dir: Zaw Bo Bo Hein (Myanmar)
Synopsis: Ma Ei finds herself caught in a family rift one day when she faces pressure from her mother-in-law to send a wedding gift. Torn between her pragmatic mother-in-law and her wilful husband who refuses to attend the wedding, Ma Ei is also silently juggling her private fears and doubts.

Monkey Graveyard – dir: Passakorn Sarnsirirat (Thailand)
Synopsis: At a military zoo where orangutans are consecutively committing suicide, Phorn, a middle-aged soldier, dutifully cleans and sweeps the cages of the remaining orangutans under his care. One day, an unprecedented tragedy occurs, leading Phorn to confront his true feelings.