News release

The First "Singapore Film Festival" in Kaohsiung: Opening a New Chapter in New Southbound Cultural Exchange

April 16th, 2024

The first “Singapore Film Festival” in Taiwan started on 13rd Apr., 2024 at the Kaohsiung Film Archive. The event is the collaborative accomplishment of the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei, the Ministry of Culture, the Kaohsiung Film Archive, and the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF). Through 16 Singaporean films, the audience is able to witness the cinematic wave for a decade in Singapore. Since 2023, the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei and TAEF have been organizing the event, inviting well-known Singaporean director Royston Tan to Taiwan to interact with the audience. Free tickets are available from 16th to 21st., Apr.

TAEF, which co-hosted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “New Southbound Film Festival” in 2022, reached further south this time to Kaohsiung, holding the Singapore Film Festival. The chairman Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao put emphasis on the importance of the event while stating: “As a think tank and civil representative for the New Southbound Policy, TAEF is involved in multilateral conversations on topics ranging from the think tank, civil society, youth engagement, to cultural and artistic issues. Furthermore, we aim to connect more Southeast Asian countries for cultural and artistic exchanges in the future.” In addition, he expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and the Kaohsiung Film Archive for the continuous support, ensuring the accomplishment of this Singapore Film Festival and that it represents the core value of collaborative achievement of the New Southbound Policy’s interdepartmental partnerships.

Yip Wei Kiat, the representative of the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei, further remarked: “The highlight of the event is shedding the light on how these films mirror the distinct charm of the diverse urban landscape in Singapore, reflecting the fusion and the inclusiveness in different ethnicities, languages, and religions. Through these films, the audience is going to have a comprehensive understanding of the small island nation and its rich diversity, and feel the deep connections between Singapore and Kaohsiung."

Dong-Yang Ji, Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Exchange at the Ministry of Culture, praised the Singapore Film Festival in Taiwan based on his well-equipped experience in organizing international film festivals. He stated, "Taiwan and Singapore share common cultural languages. Through the film festival, we not only strengthen our bonding but also look forward to expanding new opportunities for international co-productions in the film industry. We hope to see more successful co-productions like Ilo Ilo in the future."

Culture is the foundation of society and daily life, and art is a core presentation of culture, especially film productions that are able to represent cultural diversity precisely. The films selected for this Singapore Film Festival are not only artistically significant but also reflect the rich multiculturalism of Singaporean society. They help the audience understand Singapore better and promote cultural recognition and bilateral exchange.

TAEF firmly believes that the people-centered New Southbound Policy has yielded impressive results in various fields, including economic and cultural domains, over the past eight years. It has also fostered a sense of community and mutual prosperity between Taiwan and its partner countries in socio-cultural connections. As the leading think tank of the focus on New Southbound Policy, TAEF will advance its five core action plans in think tanks, youth engagement, civil society, regional resilience, and culture and arts, assisting the government in deepening the achievements of the New Southbound Policy and further promoting Taiwan's soft power on the international stage.