Utter 2013 Returns with a First-Ever Short Film Showcase


Pre-festival Programmes, Passages and Poetry of Song, bring the written word alive in different ways


Singapore, 19 August 2013 – For the first time, Utter 2013 presents some of the best Singapore literary texts in the form of short films, made by well-known Singapore filmmakers - Kat Goh, Lillian Wang, Pok Yue Weng & Ric Aw, and Royston Tan. Past editions of Utter have featured Singapore literary works through the genre of theatre. The literary texts featured this year include works by Singapore writers Arthur Yap, David Leo, Foo Chen Loong, Suratman Markasan and Liang Wern Fook. The four short films created for Utter 2013, are jointly presented by the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) and Objectifs Centre for photography and Filmmaking, and is a key pre-Festival programme. The premiere screening of these films will take place from 24 -25 August 2013 at Objectifs’ premises. (Please refer to Annex A  for details on the films, writers and filmmakers.)


2          Mr Paul Tan, Festival Director for the Singapore Writers Festival says, “The SWF always strives to reach new audiences while surprising those who are familiar with and enjoy Singapore literature. For this edition of Utter, we felt it would be interesting to explore Singapore texts through a highly accessible medium such as film. We partnered with Objectifs, tapping on their expertise in filmmaking and access to a strong pool of local talent. The selected filmmakers read and considered a wide variety of literary texts, to understand which works were most suitable for on-screen dramatisation. I enjoyed watching our young filmmakers bring the written word alive, and I hope our audiences would gain fresh perspectives and a deeper appreciation for our home grown authors as well.”


3          Kat Goh, one of the filmmakers, adds, “It has been a really exciting experiment, crossing mediums with the same concept. Shooting Bak Kut Teh has pushed my creativity and limits and I was forced to explore deeper and darker emotions within myself. All of these made possible with the inspiration from 'Soup of the Day' by David Leo. It has been really fun!”


Other pre-Festival programmes

4          Similar to the past few years’ of the festival, SWF works with partners to organise two other pre-festival programmes, as a lead up to the main Festival in November. Passages, a unique community project curated by well-known Singapore writer, Yong Shu Hoong, continues to unearth personal stories that would have otherwise gone unheard and puts them into fiction writing. Passages 2013 features the personal stories of former offenders and their families. Through a series of face-to-face meetings and conversations, a select group of Singapore writers pen fictional work inspired by the real-life stories of these former offenders. The aim of this year’s Passages is to create new work that would help Singaporean readers appreciate the challenges these former offenders face in their efforts to reintegrate back into society.


5          To commemorate the third edition of the Passages initiative, an anthology comprising the best works from the past three editions, will be published and launched at the SWF in November. Published by Ethos Books, the anthology will be on sale at retail outlets island-wide, and proceeds from the book sale will be donated to charity.


6          The final pre-festival initiative is Poetry of Song. Organised by Timbre Music Academy, Poetry of Song is another annual programme that focuses on the relationship of poetry and music. Also in its third edition, this year’s Poetry of Song explores the contradictions of love, through the theme of “Love You / Hate You”. Selected entries will be put to song, giving the writers of these entries the privilege to work with some of Timrbre’s well-known English and Chinese singer-songwriters. The public may also vote for their favourite song, when these shortlisted entries are released on the SWF website on 15 October 2013. The final songs will be performed at a live showcase at Switch, Timbre’s bilingual live music restaurant, during the Festival. Writers of the winning entries stand to win attractive cash prizes of up to S$1,000.