Human (sold out)

{Closing Film }

SAT 24 SEP  | 5:45pm  /  Singapore Premiere

200 mins
M18 (Some Mature Content)
English and French with English subtitles
Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand


Kakuzeho-NAMIBIA_webOver a span of three years, emotional life stories were collected from more than 2,000 women and men in 60 countries in an attempt to answer the question: What is it that makes us human?

The result is Human, a documentary film that weaves together heartfelt testimonies from freedom fighters in Ukraine, farmers in Mali, death row inmates in the United States, and more — on the struggles and triumphs that unite us all: love, death, happiness, homophobia, war, poverty, and the future of our planet.

Through exclusive aerial footage showing our planet Earth at its most sublime, this epic record of our collective human experience allows us to embrace the human condition and redefine the meaning of our existence.

Director’s Bio

Walaa-LEBANON_webFrench photographer, filmmaker, journalist and environmentalist, Yann Arthus-Bertrand started his career photographing lions in Kenya in the 1980s. In 2006, he started the television documentary series Vu Du Ciel, exploring environmental problems, before embarking on his debut feature film, Home (2009), about the state of our planet. He directed Forest (2001) and Desertification (2012) for the United Nations, and co-directed A Thirsty World (2012) which narrates the history of water and the water crisis of our century. For Rio + 20, Yann co-directed the film Planet Ocean (2012). Terra (2015) retells the incredible story of life on Earth. A renowned specialist in aerial photography, Yann is recognised worldwide as one of the most important and respected environmentalists of our time.

Director’s Statement

I dreamed of a film in which the power of words would resonate with the beauty of the world. Putting the ills of humanity at the heart of my work – poverty, war, immigration, homophobia – I made certain choices. Committed, political choices. But the subjects talked to me about everything: their difficulty in growing as well as their love and happiness. This richness of the human word lies at the heart of Human. This film relates the voices of all the men and women who entrusted me with their stories. And it becomes their messenger.

长江图 Crosscurrent

SAT 24 SEP  | 3:10pm  /  Singapore Premiere 新加坡首映

CHINA 中国 2015
116 mins
M18 (Sexual Scenes 性相关画面)
Mandarin with English Subtitles 华语对白附英文字幕
Director: Yang Chao 导演:杨超


2_webCrosscurrent follows the winter journey of a small cargo boat sailing up the Yangtze River.

Gao Chun, the young captain, disembarks at every port on his journey in search of love. However, he gradually realises that the women he meets at different ports appear to be the same person, except that they get younger and younger as the ship sails upstream. Bewildered, he sails upriver alone to the snow-capped mountain, where the Yangtze River begins. There, he unveils the mystery of the woman and the secret of the river.

A breathtaking, poetic travelogue up the Yangtze River, Crosscurrent captures the stunning landscapes of modern China, together with her melancholic knots of yearning, mourning and the shifting sands of time.



Director’s Bio 关于导演

poster_webYang Chao, a graduate of the Directing Department of Beijing Film Academy, is a director and writer who is known for Run Away (2001), his debut short film, which won the Film Fund Young Directors Award at the 54th Cannes Film Festival. Passages (2004), his writing and directing feature length debut, won the Camera d’Or Special Mention at the 57th Cannes Film Festival and was screened at some other festivals. He also directed Yulai Little Hero in 2008.


冬蝉 Winter Cicadas


SAT 24 SEP  | 1:00pm  /  Singapore Premiere 新加坡首映

CHINA 中国 2015
86 mins
Mandarin with English Subtitles 华语对白附英文字幕
Director: Zhou Hongbo 导演:周洪波


winter2_webA young filmmaker returns to China after his brother dies in a fire back home. He travels from the bustling metropolis of Shanghai to a remote monastery on the snowy Tian-Mu Mountain, where he reunites with his mother. His encounters with different people in the monastery become a subtle, intimate and mysterious study on the human condition.

Depicting the revival of life through the metaphor of the winter cicada, this film paints a poignant portrait of family, loss and guilt along with the steady beat of Buddhist chants.




Director’s Bio 关于导演

winter3_webZhou Hongbo graduated from the Beijing Film Academy with a master’s degree in 1999. His graduation film, A Fish Who Wants To Fly, was selected for the 53rd Cannes Film Festival, Cinéfondation category. Since then, Zhou has made several features and documentaries. They were screened at various international film festivals. Winter Cicadas is his second feature film. His works focus on the transitions of Chinese urbanisation, exploring not only the physical but also the spiritual change of contemporary China and her people.


From A Pimple To Nirvana

SAT 24 SEP  | 10:30am  /  Singapore Premiere

130 mins
NC16 (Coarse Language)
Thai with English subtitles
Director: Amorn Harinnitisuk
There will be a post-screening discussion with the Director


Alone in her room, 20-year-old Nuknik wallows in her frustrations with her divorced parents and a failed relationship with her boyfriend. She attempts to commit suicide, but gets distracted by a large pimple on her nose. Being obsessed with how others view her, the discovery of her pimple sets Nuknik on a journey into the imperfections of the world and herself, where she battles with the core of her existence.

With slight horror elements, this experimental film is a mirror for the modern viewer to recognise our restless state of anxiety, the constant preoccupation with our self image, and the vicious cycle of being caught up in our self-absorbed neurosis.

Director’s Bio

Film-Photo-3_webPrior to being a filmmaker, Amorn Harinnitisuk was an avant-garde creative director during his 19 years of TV work. He directed commercials for international advertising agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, and Ogilvy & Mather. After that, he devoted his creative energies to making experimental films such as Made in Heaven (2008), and Sperm Saves the World (2010) which was in competition at I’ve Seen Films IFF in Italy and was screened at Gogolfest in Ukraine. He went on to develop feature films, one of which is Doggod & Full Water (2011).

Golden Kingdom

THU 22 SEP  | 7:15pm  /  Singapore Premiere

USA 2014
103 mins
Burmese with English subtitles
Director: Brian Perkins


GOLDEN-KINGDOM_webFour orphan boys, all novice monks, live in a Buddhist monastery in the remote mountains of Northeast Myanmar. The head monk departs on a long journey from which he may never return. Once the boys are on their own, magical phenomena begin to occur. Witazara, the eldest, realises he must protect the three other boys, as a series of peculiar events threatens to unravel the fabric of the young monks’ reality.

Shot entirely in Myanmar with non-actors, this surreal coming-of-age story unfolds from a forgotten part of the world where there is neither electricity nor telephone. Merged with elements of ethnographic documentary, Golden Kingdom opens insights into a previously unseen Myanmar that is transforming by the moment.

Director’s Bio

0347617_webAmerican filmmaker Brian Perkins has traveled extensively through the remote parts of Asia and India.  After creating a network of relationships in the monasteries and villages of Myanmar — picking up conversational Burmese along the way — he was in a unique position to bring Golden Kingdom to audiences.

While a graduate student at UC-Berkeley, Brian received the Eisner Prize in Film and Video, and was recipient of numerous acknowledgements during his studies at New York University.  Born in 1980 in Portland, Oregon, USA, Brian currently lives in Berlin and Asia. Golden Kingdom is Brian’s debut feature film.

Director’s Statement

The origins of Golden Kingdom date from my first contact with the Swel Tal monastery in Myanmar.  Encountering the young boys there – often orphans – living as monks, I was overwhelmed.  I had never met anyone with such radically opened hearts.  And these were children, living largely self-sufficient amongst each other (yet still up to the tricks of children), with no possessions, no family present. All of this was set against the compelling backdrop of a nation in radical transformation, convulsion, and often violent self-discovery.

The story at the root of Golden Kingdom came to me. I needed to honour the structure and form of their lives, spirit, and Buddhist traditions, and I found in film a willing partner.

Monk With A Camera

WED 21 SEP  | 7:15pm  /  Singapore Premiere

USA 2015
90 mins
English with no subtitles
Directors: Guido Santi & Tina Mascara


827_webThis feature documentary chronicles the life and spiritual quest of Nicholas “Nicky” Vreeland, grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. A glamorous social photographer at the age of 30, he walked away from a life of privilege and pleasure to become a monk at the Rato Monastery in India.

A disciple of Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, one of the spiritual teachers of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Nicky’s journey from photographer to monk, and most recently, to the abbot of the monastery he helped rebuild, forms the core of the story.

This film is also about the deep bond between a teacher and his disciple, between East and West, and about finding balance in a world of impermanence.

Director’s Bio

Guido Santi started his career working as an apprentice with Ipotesi Cinema. He wrote and directed Concertino, a film about four teenagers living in the suburbs of Rome, for RAI, Italy’s national television network. After receiving his Master’s degree in Film Production at the University of Southern California, Guido has produced and directed documentaries and TV specials, as well as a feature film.

After studying journalism and photography at the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, Tina Mascara graduated from the film programme at the Los Angeles City College, and then wrote, produced and directed two award-winning independent feature films: Jacklight (2000) and Asphalt Stars (2002). In 2008, Tina and Guido Santi together produced, directed and edited Chris & Don: A Love Story, on the life-long relationship between a British writer and American painter.

Production Note

A man who is not afraid of committing to a spiritual path, and in the process finds a greater reason to pursue his work as an artist – this is an original story that can appeal, not only to people interested in religion and photography, but also to an audience who is passionate about stories of exceptional individuals who defy their times.

Nicky’s story can help us to better understand ourselves, the time in which we live, and the way we perceive monasticism, specifically life in a Tibetan monastery. It also offers us a historical perspective on Tibetan Buddhism from the point of view of a monk who is deeply engaged in preserving its message and tradition.

Happiness (sold out)

TUE 20 SEP  | 7:15pm  /  Singapore Premiere

80 mins
Bhutanese with English subtitles
Director: Thomas Balmès


1-Happiness-Peyangki-bow_webPeyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk who has never left his Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. At last, electricity is going to arrive in his tiny village, a decade after their ruler opened up Bhutan to television and the internet. He treks for three days to the nearest city in search of a television. But will television bring happiness?

Capturing the majesty of an isolated world on the brink of great change, Happiness provides a vivid glimpse into a vanishing way of life. This film is a witness to the moment where an ancient society falls to the seduction of technology, illuminating how complicated and bittersweet the arrival of progress can be.

Director’s Bio

2-Happiness-monks_webThomas Balmès has been working as an independent director, cinematographer and producer of non-fiction films since 1992. His initial projects included studies of filmmakers James Ivory and Michelangelo Antonioni.

His first film, Bosnia Hotel (1996), was the story of UN Kenyan peacekeepers in Bosnia. This was followed by Maharajah Burger; Mad Cows; Holy Cows, about the mad cow crisis as seen from the Indian perspective. The Gospel According to the Papuans (2000), tracking the conversion to Christianity of a Papuan Chief, was honoured with the Silver Spire Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. He then directed a sequel in Papua, Waiting for Jesus (2000), and captured the stories of infants across the globe in the acclaimed 2010 documentary Babies.

Proudly presented by

Royal Bhutan Airlines

Tashi And The Monk (sold out)

MON 19 SEP  | 7:15pm  /  Singapore Premiere

INDIA 2014
40 mins
Hindi, Tibetan, English with English subtitles
Director: Andrew Hinton & Johnny Burke


Jhamtse-27_webOn a remote mountaintop a brave social experiment is taking place.

Former Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok was trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2006, he left a life as a spiritual teacher in the United States to return to the Himalayan foothills near Bhutan, where he creates a unique community rescuing orphaned and neglected children.

Five-year-old Tashi is the newest arrival. Her mother recently passed away and she was abandoned by her alcoholic father. Wild and troubled, Tashi is struggling to find her place amongst her 84 new siblings.

This documentary follows Lobsang as he struggles with limited resources and increasing demands in the process of building the community, capturing a journey of finding love and compassion where there is no hope.

Director’s Bio

TATM_Poster_v8_A2_webAndrew Hinton began his career in filmmaking working on documentary and drama productions for Pawel Pawlikowski and Marc Isaacs, before moving on to performance films and musical feature documentaries. He lived on an Indian train to document the Jagriti Yatra, a journey around India with 500 young social entrepreneurs; then followed a paperboy in Jamshedpur for a day, creating the short film Amar (2011) which won the Vimeo Documentary Award.  He also worked with an NGO to make a film about hand washing, It’s In Your Hands (2011), that went viral on Youtube.

Johnny Burke learned his craft at Cinecontact Productions under the guidance of renowned observational filmmakers such as Sean McAllister and Kim Longinotto. Johnny spent the next ten years editing documentary films for broadcast, including Boys From Baghdad High (2007), The Yes Men Fix the World (2009). In 2009 he began to broaden his skills into producing, and directed his own short and mid-length films.

Director’s Statement

I was originally drawn to India by a bank manager bringing about social change, and then kept being pulled back to that strange, magical and chaotic country by inspirational stories and people.

I first visited Jhamtse Gatsal in April 2012 to shoot a piece for the Thiel Foundation. My three day visit turned into three happy weeks and I left promising to return one day to make a longer film about the community. In October 2013 I went back and was joined by old friend and fellow filmmaker Johnny Burke to document the quietly remarkable lives of Lobsang and the Jhamtse family.

Andrew Hinton

The Mindful Revolution (sold out)

MON 19 SEP  | 7:15pm  /  Singapore Premiere

58 mins
Multiple languages with English subtitles
Directors: Samuel Stefan & Nick Oakley


the_mindful_revolution_still_3_webIt sounds like the perfect antidote to our hectic lives: less stress, better concentration, increased productivity. No wonder mindfulness meditation has become an attractive addition to the boardroom agenda for global giants like Google and SAP. Backed up by science, corporate organisations are rapidly turning to mindfulness to help develop their business model.

The Mindful Revolution takes a critical look behind the façade of this global corporate phenomenon to reveal a series of burning ethical issues about the values of our economic system.

Is mindfulness a way for businesses to simply boost their profits and productivity? Or does this revolution offer an opportunity to change the way our businesses operate, creating a more equal and fair society?

Director’s Bio

the_mindful_revolution_still_7webSamuel Stefan holds a Master of Science in Psychology and has a broad range of filmmaking experience in writing, directing, producing and editing. He lives and works near Berne, Switzerland as an independent filmmaker and a lecturer in psychology. Besides working on documentary projects, he is a freelance director and editor for commercials, image films and TV reality series.

Nick Oakley is a freelance filmmaker and camera operator based in Manchester, UK. He is also studying part-time for an MA in Film & Television at The University of Warwick, UK. Having learnt his trade through working on a number of UK dramas, international documentaries and feature films, Nick’s passion is for developing independent documentary ideas which explore the boundaries between authenticity and performance.

Director’s Statement

In 2009, I came across the mindfulness method developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I found this immediately appealing because it offered an opportunity to explore meditation without prescription or dogma. As a psychologist, I am aware of the well-documented empirical effects of mindfulness-based meditation in dealing with stress and psychological disorders.

But the hype around mindfulness in the business world poses some questions for me. How is a mindful life possible in an economic world ruled by inequality and competition? Could mindfulness meditation inadvertently perpetuate this state of being, by creating a sense of harmony within the confines of the system in which it operates?

It is with these questions in mind that I investigated behind the scenes of the global phenomenon of mindfulness.

Samuel Stefan

家在水草丰茂的地方 River Road (sold out)

SUN 18 SEP  | 7:30pm

CHINA 中国 2014
102 mins
(Coarse Language and Brief Nudity 些许粗俗语言及裸露画面)
Mandarin/Dialect from Gansu province with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Li Ruijun 导演:李睿珺


boy_webTwo Yugur ethnic minority brothers embark on a road trip across desertified prairies with their camels, passing through the Silk Road to go home to their parents. They trek from their grandfather’s home near town to the distant grasslands where their parents have moved to find pastures to herd their sheep. The two boys are confronted with barren landscapes, abandoned villages, and decaying relics. Their journey becomes a search for their identity as Yugurs.

This coming-of-age film offers us an unflinching look at the grisly aftermath when natural resources are continuously exploited. Mourning the succumbing of the Yugur civilisation to environmental degradation and industrialisation, it compels us to think about what we have lost in the pursuit of modernisation.



Director’s Bio 关于导演

boy2_webLi Ruijun was born in Gansu Province, China in 1983. At the age of 14, he studied painting and music. In 2003, he graduated from the Institute of Management of China National Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. For several years he has been working as a TV director. He has directed four films: The Summer Solstice (2007), The Old Donkey (2010), Fly with the Crane (2012) and River Road (2014). Showcasing the haunting beauty and the wild abandon of north-western China, his works tend to focus on the relationship between human beings and the land, as well as the rural attitude towards family, life and death in a fast changing China.