Singapore – The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) will hold its first ever Southeast Asian Film Lab as part of its 25th anniversary celebration this year.

The Southeast Asian Film Lab is a seven-day writing workshop aimed at emerging screenwriters and/or writer/directors from Southeast Asia aged between 18 and 35, with a focus on stories capturing the collective experiences of the past, present and future Southeast Asia, to be developed into feature length screenplays.

Mentors for the film lab include Akanga Films’ award-winning producer Fran Borgia, and independent filmmaker and co-founder of Da Huang Pictures Tan Chui Mui. It will be held from December 8 to 14.

Executive Director of SGIFF Yuni Hadi said: “Our thinking behind the Southeast Asian Film Lab is to unearth potential stories from the region, and explore the richness of Southeast Asian culture through the medium of film. Film is one of the fastest and most powerful ways of reaching the wider community. Through this creative collaboration between neighbouring countries, we will build up mutual appreciation and respect for our heritage amongst the participants in Singapore and the region.”

Ten participants will be selected to attend a series of master-classes and screenings with established practitioners from the region on possible writing approaches. They will also receive individual advice from mentors, and eventually conduct a story pitch in front of an industry panel.

Hadi added that the Southeast Asian Film Lab underscores the festival’s ambition to build and nurture the film industries in Singapore, as well as the wider Southeast Asian region.