After two years of virtual screenings, FreedomFilmFest (FFF) Singapore is back, to be held on Nov 19 and 20 at The Projector at Golden Mile Towers. 

“A Pandemic of Inequality” is the theme of this year’s festival, with 11 films showing the struggles of people that includes domestic helpers, the Orang Asli, and youth activists among others.

Each of the events is free, and interested parties may register with this link: The full schedule of FFF Singapore 2022 can also be found on the page.

FreedomFilmFest SG 2022 trailer below: 

FFF Singapore 2022 will also hold five-panel discussions that will take a dive into a specific issue, with a group of speakers including filmmakers and local representatives to situate the issue in a Singaporean context. Discussions will be held at The Projector’s Blue Room at Golden Mile Tower.

Topics covered for panel discussions are:

  • Singaporean Spaces (SG showcase)
  • The Right to Live with Dignity
  • Archiving Our Own Stories (Orang Asli spotlight)
  • Dream Beyond the Domestic (domestic worker rights)
  • Youth Activism and Change

“Audiences can look forward to exclusive behind-the-scenes stories, deep dives into issues, and discussions of strategic actions for various causes,” FFF noted.

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The festival is not only a platform for the important social issues of our day but also celebrates independent filmmaking with brave films that are hard to find on mainstream platforms.

Here are some of the films featured in FreedomFilmFest Singapore 2022:

Three Ways to Falter (4 mins, 2021). Director: Rachelle Lee Xin Yi

“A young Singaporean woman interprets her family and life through the prism of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Second Prison. (11 mins, 2020) Director: Kueh Yong Peng

“’Second Prison’ is the story of ex-convict Matthew and an ex-prison officer Hilary who became friends and together, they created a business enterprise known as ‘The Caffeine Experience’ and helped other ex-convicts along the way. This film celebrates their unlikely friendship.”

Grey Scale (21 mins, 2022) Director: Evelyn Teh. Told through the eyes of a single elderly woman, Grey Scale is a story about living alone and growing old in a gentrifying neighbourhood. During the prolonged pandemic lockdown, new challenges forced her to adapt to the rapidly changing world around her. The story presents the quiet struggles among the elderly in their quest towards independent and dignified ageing.”

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Homebound (16m 51s, 2022) Directed by Ismail Fahmi Lubis. Tari longs to return home to Indonesia after more than 10 years working abroad in Taiwan. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, her plans unravelled, revealing a lack of rights for vulnerable migrant workers and systemic misinformation. Tari narrates her own journey and reveals personal stories related to her decision to work in Taiwan, her strained family relationships, the risks involved in working abroad, and the traps she has fallen into. Tari shares intimate details of how her relationship with her son has suffered, revealing the guilt she has felt for leaving him behind. Homebound is an intimate, animated documentary portrayal of a migrant worker’s experience abroad and is an urgent wake-up call for those who have contributed to a system that takes advantage of 1000s of women each year.”

Padauk: Myanmar Spring (56 mins, 2021) Directors: Jeanne Marie Hallacy & Rares Michael Ghilezan. Padauk: Myanmar Spring takes the viewer to the streets of Myanmar during the heady days following the February 2021 military coup. Through Nant—a young, first-time protester—we meet three human rights activists whose lives have been turned upside down by the coup. As the protests continue, Nant comes to understand the truth of a brutal regime that has continued to wage war against its own people for decades. Against a foreboding backdrop, Nant’s political awakening regarding the plight of others in her ethnically diverse country gives hope for the future. Beautifully augmented by poetry and art, Padauk: Myanmar Spring shows the resilience and determination of the people of Myanmar, and the sacrifices they’ve made.”

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FFF Singapore started 13 years ago and is a partner of the Malaysian FreedomFilmFest, which was established by Pusat Komas, a Malaysian NGO, in 1993.

The Substation was the venue for the first FreedomFilmFest in Singapore, which was organised by Martyn See, Seelan Palay and Ho Choon Hiong.

“Later on, the festival was adopted by local civil society Function 8, with the aim to make the festival a supportive platform for local filmmakers. With initiatives such as film grants and film labs, the festival organisers hope to encourage more films touching on often hidden and unheard stories of Singapore to be made,” FFF says. /TISG