Singapore Film Festival Shakes Up Leadership Team

Singapore Media Festival  - H 2015
Angelo Cavalli/Corbis

The city-state's event is set to kick off in late November, with incoming executive director Emily Hoe "developing contingency plans" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Singapore International Film Festival has brought in a new leadership team ahead of its upcoming 31st edition, currently scheduled to kick off in late November.

"SGIFF has restructured its festival team to better position itself for the challenges facing film festivals in the future," the cinema event said in a statement.

Emily Hoe, a veteran regional arts manager, has been appointed executive director of the festival. She replaces Yuni Hadi, who had overseen the event since 2014.

Kuo Ming-Jung, meanwhile, has been promoted to artistic director from the position of programming director, a role she assumed just last year. Prior to joining SGIFF, Kuo was program director at the Taipei Film Festival.

Hoe previously held key roles at Esplanade, Singapore’s national performing arts organization, and was general manager of the city-state's popular arts center The Substation.

"Emily’s experience and track record in the arts make her the perfect candidate who will take the SGIFF further into the future," said the festival's chairperson, Sebastian Tan. "We are all aligned on the importance of film as an art form and in film’s power to inform, transform and inspire. There is so much potential in expanding the role of films in our lives, and we are excited to have Emily on board this journey with us."

The 2020 edition of SGIFF is currently scheduled to take place Nov. 26-Dec. 6, with submissions to the main competition and other programs opening later this month.

But Hoe was quick to recognize the fraught timing of her takeover amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "Given the current uncertainty that has arisen from the development of COVID-19, we are developing contingency plans for the festival and looking prudently and critically at the festival program and budgets without compromising on artistic integrity or rigor," she said.

SGIFF is one of the centerpieces of the annual Singapore Media Festival, a collection of culture, industry and entertainment events organized by the city-state's deep-pocketed Infocomm Media Development Authority.