What: The fourth edition of Singapore’s biggest arts festival with a packed performance calendar of locally and internationally acclaimed acts across film, theatre, dance, music and visual arts.
Why: After reviving the festival in 2014, Ong Keng Sen will be stepping down as festival director this year after a four year-tenure. Even if you are an arts rookie, you’ll have heard of the 54-year-old theatre veteran, Cultural Medallion winner (2003) and the artistic director of local group Theatreworks. Known for pushing interdisciplinary, avant-garde works for more than two decades, Ong has left his mark on SIFA (as the festival is commonly known) with a calendar of progressive, experimental works that challenge prickly topics such as censorship in Singapore. Not to be missed this year: a rare chance to be one of the first to catch best-selling comic artist Sonny Liew’s new graphic novel, which he’ll debut through live illustrations on stage. Never more timely for the world at large: local theatre group Pangdemonium’s Dragonflies, which addresses social issues caused by global warming, far-right politics and worldwide paranoia. Also, the audience is invited to observe a film in the making: Henrico’s Farm, the next work by Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival) award-winning director Lav Diaz.
When: Aug 5-Sept 9.
Where: Various locations.