Singapore Writers Festival - Utter 2014 Returns with a Showcase of Films Adapted from Four Short Stories


Singapore, 7 July 2014 – Utter, the annual pre-festival programme that celebrates Singaporean literature adapted into other artforms, returns this year to spotlight four short stories made into new films, directed by local filmmakers Wee Li Lin, Sanif Olek, Don Aravind, and Kenny Tan, and produced by Nicholas Chee. The films take their inspiration from short stories by Singapore writers Gopal Baratham, Muhammad Salihin Sulaiman, Kamaladevi Aravindhan, and Lin Jin. Past editions of Utter have featured Singapore literary works through the genre of theatre. Utter 2014 is presented by the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) and produced by Sinema Media. The four short films will be screened on 30 July and 3 August at Golden Village VivoCity, followed by a post-screening discussion with the directors and writers. (Please refer to the Annex for details on the films, writers and directors.)


2          Mr Paul Tan, Festival Director for the Singapore Writers Festival says, “This partnership with Sinema has been special. They have a great network of Singapore filmmakers and a good understanding of what audiences like. By working with them to commission short films based on Singapore literature, the Festival reaches out to new audiences while surprising our writers and literature lovers with how the printed word can translate to the big screen. I hope audiences enjoy these films and gain a deeper appreciation of the original stories created by our home-grown talents. Better yet, they can pick up a book by one of these authors after the screening! A big thank you to the filmmakers for their hard work and bringing a different life to the texts.”  


3          Kenny Tan, one of the filmmakers, adds, “I think if we were to look around us rather than looking outwards for others’ stories, we can find so much good local content right here. We have Singaporean writers writing Singaporean stories that we all can relate to. Lin Jin’s ‘Going Home’ was a story that appealed to me, because of its simplicity as well as the connection with my own experiences with my grandmother. I enjoyed having this opportunity to adapt ‘Going Home’ into film, giving the story a different dimension, and bringing it to a different audience.”


4          As a lead-up to the screenings, the public can also look forward to two special Utter events in July. Join the creative minds behind Utter 2014 at library@esplanade on Saturday 19 July from 3pm for a pre-screening dialogue session, where the filmmakers will share more about the process of transforming the stories into films. Next, an encore screening of the four short films from Utter 2013 will be held at Jurong Regional Library on Sunday 20 July at 3pm.


5          This year, a limited-edition Utter 2014 festival booklet featuring behind-the-scenes content, screenplays, original texts and film storyboards has been specially produced, and all patrons at the Utter 2014 screenings on 30 July and 3 August will each receive a complimentary copy.