The Progress of Singapore Cinema


Another interesting feature was that both studios owned cinema halls across the country and showed their own films in addition to Hollywood films. What was worth praising was that much of the creative cinema was made during this period with collaborative efforts of Malay, Chinese, and Indian talent. Hussein Hanif was an extraordinary talent who worked as a director for Cathay studios while P. Ramlee was a great actor who worked for Shaw studios and even won the best Asian Actor award during Asian Film Festival in 1957.
Malay, Tamil, and Chinese films were made through a collaborative effort. The coming of television to Singapore in 1963, death of Loke Won Tho, the head of Cathay studios, and leaving of P. Ramlee to make films in Malaysia were three events that jolted the film industry in Singapore that could not be revived till 1990’s when government took upon itself to do something for the film industry. Films made in 1990’s achieved commercial success leading to new talent coming into film making and since then, there has been no looking back with dozens of Singaporean films getting released every year in the last decade or so. The grand success for Singapore cinema came in 2008 when My Magic, a Tamil movie made in Singapore competed at the Cannes Film Festival.

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