Film, TV + Theatre

Singapore International Festival of Arts: Malaysian artists you can watch online via SIFA on Demand this June


By Eugene Chen

Singapore International Festival of Arts: Malaysian artists you can watch online via SIFA on Demand this June

The pandemic has forced almost everything to go virtual, in an effort to encourage everyone to stay at home and to accommodate travel restrictions. The arts industry is no stranger to this phenomenon, with many exhibitions and festivals going virtual so that enthusiasts can still participate from wherever they are. From 5th to 20th June, the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2021 (SIFA 2021) will be going virtual after hosting in-person events throughout Singapore from 14 to 30 May.

SIFA featuring a whole week of live performances, special ensembles, and theatrical treats.

SIFA on Demand is a ticketed virtual arts festival featuring a list of curated programmes—from theatrical productions to dance and musical performances, to films—presented in the form of videos. Those who are interested can tune into Sistic Live at any time during the online festival period to catch performances from Singapore’s leading production houses such as Toy Factory ProductionsSingapore Dance Theatre (SDT), Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Singapore’s Nine Years Theatre (NYT), and New York’s SITI Company.

SIFA on Demand will also feature two Malaysian artists, Sukania Venugopal and Tan Guo Lian Sutton, who are both involved in the same theatrical event called The Year of No Return. A hybrid production that incorporates both video and live performances, The Year of No Return focuses on climate change and the different perspectives of it. The play hopes to “reach the hearts, and to provoke people to use their imagination to engage with the issue”.

Get to know the Malaysian artists who are featured in this production:

Sukania Venugopal

Sukania Venugopal, who is based in Malaysia, has been involved with theatre, TV and movie projects in Malaysia and Singapore including Talentime with the late Yasmin Ahmad. She performed in and co-directed various dance dramas with The Temple of Fine Arts, worked in children’s theatre and musicals, and is a pioneer performer with The Instant Cafe Theatre. In 2019, Sukania took part in the Australian theatre production Counting and Cracking at the Sydney and Adelaide Arts Festivals. She has received awards for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost Writer by The Necessary Stage at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards, and Best Supporting Role for Language Archive at the BOH-Cameronian Awards.

Tan Guo Lian Sutton

Tan Guo Lian Sutton, who is currently based in Singapore, is a graduate of the BA (Hons) Acting program at LaSalle College of the Arts. He is a core member of the theatre collective Dark Matter Theatrics and an associate artist of Pink Gajah. Lian completed his Masters in Arts Pedagogy and Practice researching the pre-performance rituals of professional actors in Singapore. As a trained martial artist from an early age, Lian strives to merge his diverse talents to tell stories in varied and engaging ways. Notable theatre mentions include Temple and Electra (in which he received the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2017 Life! Theatre Awards) directed by Natalie Hennedige, 2 Houses by Lim Yu Beng, and Those Who Can’t, Teach directed by Alvin Tan.

Watch the trailer for The Year of No Return:

Check out SIFA on Demand this 5 to 20 June by getting tickets here. Tickets for individual titles go for S$15 while the all-access bundle,  which includes all content, costs S$60.

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