Singapore Imagined

  • February 11, 2023 | 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Saturday
  • Oldham Theatre

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Singapore Imagined is a panel discussion that will take place in-person at Oldham Theatre on Saturday, February 11 at 1:30pm and will be free. Please check out a free ticket to register your place. Please note that the guest curators of the Constellating Histories programme Abby Sun and Keisha Knight will be joining us remotely. All of our other panellists will join us in-person at Oldham Theatre

About the Panel Discussion
A discussion presented as part of Constellating Histories: Encountering Asian American Diasporas on Onscreen, where the panellists will explore how Singapore is viewed and interpreted internationally as a cultural and physical space via the lens of the Asian American media imaginary.

Although unique in their trajectories and experiences, the diasporic Asian communities of Singapore and the United States share commonalities vis-a-vis their representations on film, with a legacy of exoticisation, obscurity, and forced assimilation led by colonial and imperial forces.

Through efforts to position Singapore as a modern, globalised Asian city that intersects with the rising prominence of mainstream Asian American narratives, there have been increasing movements of talent and shared ideas across the two nations. Tethered to the flows of economic and cultural capital, Singapore sits within overlapping spheres of influences, identities and aspirations.

Assembling filmmakers, programmers, producers, actors and personalities from Singapore and the United States, the panel embodies a plurality of perspectives to unpack the opportunities and faultlines within this transnational media relationship.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Viknesh Kobinathan, programmer at the Asian Film Archive.

Get tickets for the Constellating Histories screenings here. Screenings at Oldham Theatre run from 6 January – 19 March 2023.

About the Panellists

Abby Sun (Curator)
Abby Sun is the Director of Artist Programs at the International Documentary Association (IDA). As a graduate researcher in the MIT Open Documentary Lab, she edited Immerse, a publication designed to spark creative dialogue around emerging forms of nonfiction media. Most recently, Abby curated the DocYard and co-curated My Sight is Lined with Visions with Keisha Knight. Abby has bylines in Film Comment, Filmmaker Magazine, Film Quarterly, and other publications, and has served on numerous festival juries and nominating committees. Her latest short film, Cuba Scalds His Hand (2019), premiered at Maryland Film Festival.

Freddie Yeo (COO, Infinite Studios/Producer)
Freddie is the Chief Operating Officer of Infinite Studios and has more than 25 years of media industry experience. As a film and television producer, his credits include My Magic (2008) which was in competition for the Cannes Palme D’Or, Be With Me (2005) and Tatsumi (2011), all of which were directed by Singaporean director Eric Khoo and premiered at Cannes. He is currently a Committee Member of the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) and a member of Republic Polytechnic’s Board of Governors.

Keisha N Knight (Curator)
Keisha Knight is the Director of Funds at the International Documentary Association (IDA) and Creative Director of Sentient. Art. Film, a creative distribution initiative. Keisha has a BA in Comparative Religion from Barnard College, an MA in Media Studies from Pratt Institute, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University. Keisha has been part of the programming teams at the New York African Film Festival, and the Maryland Film Festival.

Tan Kheng Hua (Actor/Producer)
Tan Kheng Hua is an award-winning actor and producer from Singapore. She most recently played Kerry Chu in Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and Emily Gemmill in The Garden of Evening Mists (2019). Kheng is at the forefront of Singapore’s art scene and was one of 20 Singaporean representatives in the travelling showcase Singapore: Inside Out. When not acting, Kheng is a prolific theatre, television and festival producer in Singapore and Malaysia.

Leon Cheo (Writer/Director)
Leon Cheo is the writer and director of the Emmy®-nominated short form series People Like Us. Most recently, he was selected for the Hillman Grad/Indeed Rising Voices programme and was mentored by Destin Daniel Cretton. His short SIN-SFO (2018) won Best Live Action and Best Director at the National Youth Film Awards, while Nuts (2016) received honourable mention for the YOMYOMF Interpretations 2.0 competition founded by Justin Lin.

Preetipls (Content Creator/Social Media Personality)
Preeti Nair, better known as Preetipls (Singapore’s TOP everything), is best known for her satirical comedy videos on social media. She believes that being an ‘influencer’ means having the opportunity to use her platform and influence to spread positive social change and raise awareness about causes that are close to her heart.

Moderator

Viknesh Kobinathan (Programmer, Asian Film Archive)
Viknesh Kobinathan is a programmer at the Asian Film Archive (AFA), where he curates film screenings and discursive events that explore the art of Asian cinema, and further the preservation mission of the AFA. Viknesh holds an MA in Film Studies, Programming and Curation from the National Film and Television School in England and was previously the programme manager at independent cinema venue, The Projector.