I had been looking forward to the next Kan Lume film at every Singapore International Film Festival edition ever since the writer-director burst onto the scene in 2006, with his Art of Flirting. In 2007, Solos got passed with 3 cuts for an R21 rating, and as part of SIFF's strict policy of screening uncut films in its entirety, the movie was withdrawn from the festival, but was allowed to compete in the Silver Screen Awards.
Then came Dreams From the Third World last year, which was a World Premiere screened in its entirety, rated M18. This year, I was anticipating Female Games, but the latest word from the SIFF was that since it was passed with cuts required, the film is now withdrawn from the festival.
I suppose SIFF will never budge from its stance of screening films as they are meant to be, and I respect that. However, the current system also eliminates any chance of our own homegrown indie filmmakers having their more daring features screened, especially when they try to push certain boundaries and cut against the well-established commercial grain. A local film making a World Premiere in the premier film festival of Singapore, doesn't get any love I suppose, even if it's scheduled to be screened at The Substation Theatre with a seating capacity of about 80 persons (for a more comfortable ambience), we're still afraid of massive corruption of the morals of these 80 poor folks.
Is a Festival Rating then the solution, which of course would be at least an R21? I have no idea, but concessions had been made before for films to be screened uncut or despite a prevailing ban, such as Saint Jack back in 1997 in the festival's 10th edition.
Oh well, I guess unless some appeal is currently made to have some concessions granted, this is all we're gonna get to see of Kan Lume's Female Games... for now.