Invisible reviews

I am often asked how Invisible City is received when it is screened abroad. Interestingly enough, it seems that more people abroad are able to grasp the themes, if the writings on the film online are any measure. Ignorance, where interpretation is needed is sometimes helpful.

Recent overseas reviews



Those of you who know me know that I have been conniving to go to Pyongyang the past few years, especially after watching State of Mind. I just found out that fellow docu-frens James and Lynn got there via the Pyongyang International Film Festival. Jealous I am

Read about their trip here

We like to watch

Edwin (Indonesia, Blindpig Who Wants to Fly), Arlene Cuevas (Philippines, Producer) and myself watched 12 hours of Philippine films at Cinemanila. It wasn’t too difficult to decide the winners. We gave the awards to the following films. The prize giving ceremony was at the Malacanang Palace, the the filmmakers were given the awards by the President Gloria Arroyo herself. Will post pictures of that ceremony soon. Don’t mind the citations, they were written to be read slowly.

ISHMAEL BERNAL AWARD Surreal random MMS Texts Para Ed Ina, Agui, Tan Kaamong Ya Makaiiliw Ed Sika: Gurgurlis Ed Banua
We found Christopher Gozum’s flm inspiring. He was able to combine the beauty of Carlos Bulasan’s poetry with minimalist and random images of LCD screens, daily life, creating rhythm light and sound from them to convey the longing and displacement of a Filipino working in the Middle East. Revelatory and humbling, we hope this award will encourage the director to continue his quest of mapping the Pinoy heart through film.

Tumbang Preso
We applaud the film Tumbang Preso for the clever use of one set of dialogue to contrast and parallel the world of Estong as a child and Estong as a grown-up. The director understands the short film medium and has the discipline to work within the limitations of it to produce a fun and very watchable short film.

We award the Best Documentary award to Marlon for giving a fresh look on the subject of blindness.
We applaud the directors or their sharp eye for details, their patience and their restraint. They let the mundane details of the daily life of a poor blind boy speak to the audience directly but quietly… For trusting these details to resonate with the audience universally and ..for not exploiting a subject that could be easily exploited.


I am very excited to be going to Manila. I have never been to the Philippines. I have always wanted to go and now, am going. The occasion is Cinemanila. Invisible City is screening , and I am also on the jury of the Young Cinema Competition. I wonder what Manila looks like?

Dont Back Lit me

Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad and I have been trying to meet forever, first in Pusan, then when she was here in Singapore shooting the MCYS ad, then in Berlin. Always, we would sms furiously, say we would meet, and then something would come in between us, like the sun and moon and the plans would collapse. Last week, I was minding my own business, walking down the street, and who do I bump into but the lady herself. She was waiting for a taxi to take her crew and herself to the airport. We stood on the edge of the street chatting for 15 minutes. I had to commemorate the moment, as I took a picture she screamed “HEY! DON’T BACK LIT ME!” as one director would to another.


SIFF festival office moving to the Substation

The SIFF Festival office will be moving to the Random Room at the ground floor of The Substation. There is much to be gained from this partnership, the connection between the two institutions run deep Yuni Hadi, and Wenjie were film programmers at The Substation before they became SIFF festival directors.

Filmmaker Victric is beautifying the space and he is looking for used (or new furniture) and help for painting the room next week. His message below

Dearest Friends and Friends of Singapore International Film Festival,

We are seeking any good condition
2nd Hand furniture and office stuff
for the new office –
and ANYTHING that’s suitable for office

Do take a clear picture of item and send
to me if possible.

And for those who can lend a hand to
paint the new office, you are most welcome
to join me :-)

Please send your pictures (with measurements if possible) to

– – – –

Of course, if you prefer to donate cash to SIFF, do too!

Took this pic of the past Substation programmers at the Moving Images 10th anniversary Party, pix was taken in the Random room itself (Sep 2007)

L-R Wenjie, Kristin now at SFC and Yuni)