Lion City Dance Film Festival 2023 – Celebration Of Art, Heart, And Innovation

Returning bigger than ever, the Lion City Dance Film Festival dazzled audiences with cinematic brilliance, showcasing ‘ROUGH DRAFT’ as the standout fusion of dance, elements, and creativity.

In the heart of Singapore’s creative community, the Lion City Dance Film Festival (LCDFF) once again brought together the most passionate dancers and filmmakers to celebrate the blend of film and dance.

This year’s edition, sponsored by Shaw Theatres, elevated the experience by showcasing the top 10 films on a grand cinema screen!

As the festival continues to grow, it not only reaffirms Singapore’s artistic prowess but also provides a unique platform for local talent to shine.

Related read: LION CITY DANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2022 — A REFRESHING BLEND OF FILM AND DANCE

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The festival’s top 10 dance films, carefully selected from a pool of 19 submissions, offered a kaleidoscopic view of fear’s emotional spectrum.

Each film unveiled a unique narrative, from spine-tingling suspense to the nuances of existential anxiety. As the audience embarked on a journey through these fear-infused creations, they witnessed the dance community’s ability to convey raw human emotion through the language of movement.

With a keen eye on the intricate fusion of dance and film, LCDFF’s judging criteria for this edition maintained its rigour.

The submissions were evaluated based on three main components: 40% for dance, 55% for cinematography, and 5% for theme adherence.

Emerging as the triumphant dance film of the festival was ‘rough draft‘ created by the visionary collaboration between choreographers Anne Wang, Eve Tan, and Joseph Lim.

The film masterfully navigated the shadows of fear with a haunting elegance. The dance sequences, coupled with their cinematic finesse, brought forth a visceral exploration of the fears that lurk in the recesses of the human mind.

The judging panel, including dance luminary Ryan Tan, cinematographer Jasper Tan, and Sunny Lee, unanimously commended ‘rough draft‘ for its ability to create an immersive experience that transcended traditional boundaries.

The film seamlessly intertwined fear’s physical manifestations of our expectations with its psychological intricacies, leaving the audience spellbound.

rough draft‘ has also been received an international award nomination as Dance Filmmaking’s Top 10 Films of 2023. To show your support, click here to vote for them.

Alongside the champion, the festival showcased a diverse array of fear-driven narratives. ‘threadbare‘ by choreographers and dancers Lauren Blair Smith and Joan Dwiartanto depicted our complex relationship with our baggage.

As per the title, the duo achieved this simply through movement and incorporation of fabric. Their piece helped articulate how our baggage holds us back but also keeps us steady and going as it is ultimately a part of who we are.

Outbreak‘ was presented by choreographer Hams Luminiq, cinematographer Clemens Chua, and dancer Zuhri, was one that truly hit home.

Showcasing both the fears of a growing and experienced dancer, it highlights the familiar pressure to move away from dance and settle into the reality of getting a “real job” and starting a family. But are these responsibilities only attainable if we stop doing what we love?

This year’s festival undeniably marked a significant step up in both creative direction and visual storytelling, setting a new standard for future choreographers and filmmakers. “This year was more difficult to judge due to higher standards, concepts, and variety,” Jesper shared.

Ryan added, “This year’s films are indeed more adventurous and pushed boundaries. However, in a world of resources, it is a good reminder that creativity comes from restrictions. What can you make of the things that you have? There will be more you can offer and explore then.

That aside, be reminded that the element of dance should remain centric. While most of the films were powerful and held deep meaning, the dancing was very detached. It should have a good flow and remain fundamental. Most importantly, be proud of the things you do because your work represents you.”

As the curtains draw on the Lion City Dance Film Festival 2023, the lingering question echoes: What else does the future hold for the intersection of dance and film in Singapore?

The festival, under the visionary leadership of Richard Prayoga, continues to be a platform for innovation and artistic exploration. It stands as a testament to Singapore’s unwavering commitment to fostering a vibrant and boundary-pushing arts scene.

For more dance reads, click here.

All images courtesy of Lion City Dance Film Festival 2023, unless otherwise stated.

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