Behind-The-Scenes of the Singapore Chinese Film Festival

By Ji Xiaoyi

Are you a fan of the Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF)? I am! [i]

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes and how the festival is run? I have!

So, when the SUSS Singapore Chinese Film Festival Internship course[1] was launched early this year, I grabbed the chance to learn from the SCFF organising team! Although the festival has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my course mates and I still gained invaluable insights into how a film festival is planned and implemented.   

So, here is an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on in the SCFF!

[1]The Singapore Chinese Film Festival Internship course is offered by the Film Studies Minor under the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences (SHBS). Ms Khoo Sim Eng is the Head of Programme for this course.

[i] About the writer: Ms Ji Xiaoyi is a primary school Chinese teacher. She is pursuing a BA Chinese Language and Literature programme at SUSS and is in her final semester. Ms Ji opted for the Singapore Chinese Film Festival Internship as a general elective. 


  • About Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF)
The Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF), which has been held annually since 2013, is co-founded and organised by the Singapore University of Social Sciences and the Singapore Film Society. Festival Director Associate Professor Foo Tee Tuan shares that the festival aims to promote appreciation of Chinese cinema, culture, and values here in Singapore. A/P Foo, who is also Director, Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS, highlighted that during the festival, audiences will get the opportunity to enjoy quality Chinese cinema from different countries in Asia as well as around the world.
  • SCFF Venue Partners

SCFF works mainly with the local cinema chains. You are probably familiar with the cinema chains below – Cathay Cineplexes, Shaw Theatres, and Golden Village. Most of the contemporary, and more mainstream films are screened in these major cinema venues.

SCFF also partners the Asian Film Archive, The Arts House, and the National Museum of Singapore, which offer a carefully curated mix of classics, and independent or arthouse films.

  • About Sponsors and Partners

SCFF is a not-for-profit event, and the success of past years’ efforts is due in largely to sponsorships. It is through the generous support of sponsors that this culturally worthy and significant event can be brought to audiences in Singapore. Sponsorship funds help with screening and film classification fees as well as venue rentals, which make up the bulk of the festival expenditure. Sponsorships also help to cover the costs of flights, land transport, and accommodation for the overseas filmmakers.

The SCFF team works very hard to keep spending manageable. One such effort is the hotel-partnerships each year, where the festival partners with a hotel that provides accommodation at a discount, in return for publicity generated by the festival.

  • About the Films

The SCFF team sources films from many places. One starting point is the prestigious Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards, and the Hong Kong Film Awards. The SCFF also selects films that have been screened at other prestigious international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tokyo Anime Award Festival, and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Furthermore, the SCFF champions films by new, independent, and local directors, and offers a rare opportunity to watch their film debuts.

  • Chinese Film ≠ Mandarin Film

A/P Foo Tee Tuan highlighted that SCFF films are selected predominantly from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. A/P Foo further revealed that these films are screened in their original languages, including the different Chinese dialects. This will definitely give you a better sense of the rich diversity of Chinese culture.

  • Pre-Festival Test Screenings

A dedicated team of SCFF members and volunteers conducts pre-festival test screenings at the actual venues to ensure that the films can be screened in optimal conditions for audience enjoyment. As the film-testing cannot interrupt cinema business hours, they often take place early in the morning before the box-office opens. This is a behind-the-scenes aspect that audiences may not know about.

  • SCFF Fringe Events

SCFF is not only about screening films. Through an exciting range of events, the festival organising committee aims to foster deeper exchange and interaction between audiences and filmmaking talents from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere. Beginning with the press conference two weeks before the start of the festival, you’ll get to enjoy topical panels, meet-the-filmmaker sessions, and post-screening Q&As. Filmmakers also enjoy these sessions, as it is an opportunity for them to learn more about Singapore-based audiences and their expectations.

2017 SCFF press conference. 12 April.

Featuring local Director Alvin Lee
李昌荣 (third from right) 本地导演李昌荣受访 (右三)

  • Key Design Artwork for SCFF Publicity Materials

Every year, the SCFF designs an original and unique key artwork to represent the festival. The festival posters are designed to be eye-catching and to give audiences an idea of the films to be screened. The first four festivals mainly portrayed images from the films or striking shots of the films’ characters. In 2019, the festival team decided to adopt a more abstract approach, using icons to represent the films. This not only gave audiences a sense of suspense, but also generated excitement as they had to figure out what the images represented. 








  • SCFF Event Countdown

Each year, the SCFF team hosts a festival countdown activity on Facebook and Instagram 10 days before the festival opening night. On each day of the countdown, a film visual will be featured with a teaser. Did you count down with previous SCFFs? If you did, you must have felt the anticipation and excitement! Do remember to follow the SCFF again this year on your mobile devices.

  • Dates for SCFF 2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation this year, SCFF 2020 has been postponed to the second half of the year.

Check out the SCFF website for updates:

  • Ticketing and Venue
    Owing to the postponement of SCFF2020, the SCFF team is still negotiating venue options for the festival. As for ticketing, here are the prices:

$13.50: General Public
$10.50: Singapore Film Society members and Singapore University of Social Sciences staff, students, and alumni (only for tickets purchased at the cinema box offices with valid membership card)

In addition, the SCFF team is also always thinking of creative ticket bundle deals so that you can watch the films you love!

Stay tuned as SCFF will be updating ticketing prices and venues for 2020.

Hope to see you soon at the Singapore Chinese Film Festival!

  • Follow SCFF on Instagram or Facebook for updates.

Instagram: SCFFEST

Facebook: Singapore Chinese Film Festival 新加坡华语电影节





[1] 新加坡华语电影节实习课是由人文与行为科学学院开办,课程主任是邱心英讲师。

  • 新加坡华语电影节介绍



  • 场地合作伙伴





  • 关于赞助商和合作伙伴




  • 关于影片


  • 包括方言的华语电影



  • 电影节前的测试放映



  • SCFF 艺穗活动


2017 SCFF press conference. 12 April.

Featuring local Director Alvin Lee
李昌荣 (third from right) 本地导演李昌荣受访 (右三)

  • SCFF宣传资料以及设计


  • SCFF倒计时活动


  • SCFF 2020日期

由于受到新型冠状病毒疫情的影响,SCFF 2020已推迟至下半年。


  • 票务和场地

由于2020 SCFF的推迟,团队人员仍然在协商电影节的场地。关于票务,价格如下:


$10.5: 新加坡电影学会会员和新跃大学的工作人员、学生以及校友(门票仅适用于在电影院售票处购买并能出示有效的会员证件)





您也可以关注SCFF的Instagram 或脸书获取更新的讯息。

Instagram: SCFFEST

Facebook 脸书: 新加坡华语电影节Singapore Chinese Film Festival

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