Panay (太陽的孩子) To Open The 26th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)

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The 26th edition of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) will open with Panay (太陽的孩子), a heartwarming Taiwanese film that casts a spotlight on an aboriginal community. Directed by inter-ethnic duo Cheng Yu-Chieh and Lekal Sumi, the film’s opening will be held at Marina Bay Sands on 26 November 2015, marking its international premiere at SGIFF.

Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 Taipei Film Festival, Panay conveys a rare sensitivity and captures an authentic perspective of the life and predicaments faced by Taiwan’s indigenous communities on land rights. The film marks the screen debut of singer-songwriter Ado’ Kaliting Pacidal (阿洛 卡力亭 巴奇辣), together with award-winning actor Bokeh Kosang (徐詣帆); they are supported by a stellar young cast of first-time actors including Dongi Kacaw (吴燕姿) and Rahic Kulas (林嘉均). The compelling storyline follows a mother’s return to her hometown upon leaving behind her city job to care for her ailing father. Through a series of trying circumstances, the film’s protagonist, Panay, reconnects with her children amidst a journey of self-discovery and the quest for her roots.

SGIFF Executive Director, Yuni Hadi, said, “The unique collaboration between Cheng Yu-Chieh and Lekal Sumi has resulted in an inspiring film that brings to light a contemporary topic with a lot of heart. We were moved by the beauty and spirit of Panay; its powerful message around preserving and fighting for what we hold close to our hearts resonates with what we believe and stand for as a festival – to tell Asia’s story through film.”

Panay directors Cheng Yu-Chieh and Lekal Sumi shared that they were honoured to be invited to open the Festival in Singapore, marking its first international stop in a momentous way.

Lekal Sumi said “We look forward to sharing Panay’s story at SGIFF, providing insights into some of the real cultural struggles faced by our aboriginal tribes and presenting a different side of Taiwan to an international audience.” Cheng adds, “While our film centers on a small community in Taiwan, we believe its bigger message about leaving a legacy for future generations is universal. We hope Panay will serve to bring encouragement to those who might face similar predicaments around the world.”

The 26th edition of SGIFF will take place across various venues, including Marina Bay Sands, which returns this year as Presenting Sponsor. The other screening venues are National Museum of Singapore, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, The Projector and The Substation. Film line-up for this year’s edition will be curated from the over 1,400 submissions received. Ticket sales for SGIFF will begin end October 2015.

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Media Development Authority (Singapore). SGIFF’s Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Marina Bay Sands and Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen.

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