A couple of weeks ago, while reading up to prep for the Perspectives Film Festival, I discovered that Jan Uhde and Yvonne Ng Uhde had already compiled a comprehensive account of the Singapore Film Society’s history since 1958, in their book Latent Images: Film in Singapore. I contacted them, and they were kind enough to allow the SFS to reproduce the section online.
However, records from the 1960s and 1970s suggest the Film Society might have been active even before 1958. A January 1961 Sunday Times article noted that the Singapore Film Society had been “in existence for six years.” Similarly, in February 1971, film critic Koh wrote that the society “had been in existence for some 16 years.” In the 19 March 1985 edition of The Singapore Monitor, Wong Sing Yeong claimed that “the Singapore Film Society was formed in 1956 to complement the commercial cinema by screening less popular art films.”
Latent Images is a key academic work on the history and development of Singapore cinema. I recommend the CD-ROM version, released 3 years after the book with some updates. It also contains video clips – interviews and footage of the former Shaw studios at Jalan Ampas.
If you’re interested, you can get it online from the Asian Film Archive.