There To Document: A Decade of FreedomFilmFest in Singapore

They were there to document. An intergenerational community reflects on the 10-year history of Freedom Film Festival in Singapore. Started by Malaysia’s Pusat Komas in 2003, activists in Singapore brought the festival here in 2010. Over the last decade, the festival has brought plural perspectives from around the world to local audiences and sparked discussions about unjust laws, inequality, migrant rights and under-represented communities.
The whole festival has continuously and fearlessly presented the struggle towards justice, especially in Southeast Asia.

This film celebrates the festival as part of Singapore's shifting landscape, examining its place in the changing sociopolitical realities we live in.

  • Celeste Tan
  • Sharmeen/Sifar
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 9, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Southeast Asia Center’s SEAxSEA: Southeast Asia x Seattle Film Festival
    United States
  • Freedom Film Festival
    Petaling Jaya
    September 10, 2022
    Screen Premiere
Director Biography - Celeste Tan

Celeste is an aspiring documentary filmmaker and mutual aid organiser outside of her bullshit day job. Her interest in Anthropology and Southeast Asian studies have shaped her approach to listening and stories.

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Director Statement

I felt inspired to make this film because of the people in it. Freedom Film Festival has lasted ten years in Singapore through the solidarity and hope of organisers, supporters and friends who continue to believe that a better world is possible. At the same time, I want to honestly show the challenges of being an activist, filmmaker and organiser in Singapore. These can easily lead to burnout. By facing this reality, we can figure out how to keep going together.