From Ramchander’s desk:
It all began with a photo card. Last year, I watched Austrian filmmaker Mirjam Unger’s documentary Vienna’s Daughters, and was keen to interview her. I was asked to come to the Austrian embassy. Right before the interview, I realised I did not have a name card as the co-editor of The World of Apu. I quickly designed one and ran to the nearest printing shop, where I was told they only printed photos. So I got the name card printed on a 4R photo card(!) and passed one to Mirjam.
A few days later, Shirlene from Phish Communications reached out to us, asking if we would like to meet and interview Finnish filmmaker Paavo Westerberg, who was in Singapore at the time to present his film The Violin Player at the European Union Film Festival (EUFF 2018). This was a surprise because we are the ones who usually send out emails requesting for interviews. We agreed of course. I asked Shirlene how she came across our magazine. Turns out she had met Mirjam immediately after my interview with her and spotted the photo card I had left! And that is how it began.
It was even more surprising when Shirlene asked us this year if The World of Apu could be an official media partner of the EUFF. This film festival, organised by the European Delegation in Singapore along with the Singapore Film Society, has been happening every year for the past 29 years. The festival is multilingual (27 films from 27 different European countries were screened this year), and we are a multilingual magazine.
[Read more about this festival’s history and growth in our interview of Kenneth Tan, the chairman of Singapore Film Society.]
Anusha and I were excited, to say the least! This was yet another time when I wished Anusha were here to join me. She lives in the US and I live in Singapore, we have never met in person, but here we are, with the eleventh issue of this magazine.
We wanted to hand out limited edition bookmarks to everyone attending the EUFF screenings this year. We thought it would be nice to print bookmarks featuring quotes from interviews and articles published thus far.
While waiting for the first screening to begin, I spotted one of the filmgoers walk towards the welcome desk, pick up a bookmark, turn it around, read the quote, pick up another one, turn it around and then pocket the second. Which ones did she read? I don’t know, but watching her made me beam.
Once I was seated inside the National Gallery auditorium, before the film screening began, the trailer for the film festival was played. This was the first time I saw The World of Apu’s logo on the big screen; it was mentioned as one of the festival’s media partners. The feeling of having created something that was not there before is always a special one.
What’s in this issue?
Here’s the trailer:
Reports from film festivals
Rose Dymock was at Cannes this year. She also had the opportunity to attend a discussion between British filmmaker Ken Loach and his collaborators.
Ramchander shares his experience attending EUFF 2019, and writes about impactful scenes from the films he was able to watch at the festival.
Konstantinos analyses the movie 300; he looks into its source material, the graphic novel, and the computer graphics that propelled the film.
Henrik writes about the Spanish film La Novia; featuring art work by Carla. They caught the film at EUFF 2019.
Ramchander met Romanian filmmaker and motivational speaker Tedy Necula when the latter was in Singapore.
Paula Ortiz and Javier García Arredondo, director and screenwriter of La Novia, had a leisurely chat with Ramchander as well.
Latvian filmmaker Anna Viduleja allowed us to know her a little better, over email exchanges.
Elayabharath made a painting after watching The Little Comrade.
Jayanthi Sankar painted a few posters, one for each film she watched at EUFF 2019.
Our special thanks to Shirlene Noordin from Phish Communications, Deepika Shetty and Carlota Fontaneda from the European Delegation in Singapore. They were more than happy to guide as we covered the festival.
We would like to thank our patrons on Patreon and Ko-fi: John Praveen, Sakkaravarthi Kaliannan, Inian Parameshwaran, Ramya Sethurathinam, Shilpa Krishnan, Amarnath Ravikumar, Jowber K, Monika, and everyone else. The caffeinated beverages you buy for us keep us going!
Cover art by Upasana Agarwal
About the artist
Upasana is an illustrator, photographer, and designer based out of Kolkata. When they are not drawing, they organise LGBTQ art spaces in the city. Their work is largely influenced by the nostalgia and history of urban landscapes, and the fabric of life that ties them together. They are obsessed with tea, cats and plants.
Note from the artist
When I was five years old, I’d refuse to let my great grandmother watch TV. I would constantly obstruct her view by throwing my legs around. It has been over seven years since she passed away. But those days will always stick with me. I have tried to share bits and pieces of my world with her. Same television, same screen, different cat, and a whole lot of queer.