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The Picturehouse Ups The Ante With Film Festivals

After three years since its re-opening in 2006, The Picturehouse has shared its passion for cinema with movie fanatics by screening countless arthouse films and independent movies; and the popular arthouse cinema located at The Cathay is now taking on a more active approach towards screening the latest cutting edge movies from film festival winners.

This year, The Picturehouse had hosted the annual Italian Film Festival in June, as well as the Israel Film Festival in September. From October 2009 to January 2010, The Picturehouse plays host to a consecutive lineup of prestigious film festivals, including the German Film Festival, French Film Festival, Studio Ghibli Film Series, and Next Reel International Film Festival. (Please refer to Annex A for more information on the festivals.) These film festivals will collectively showcase a range of quality films that cover many genres for movie-goers of varying tastes and preferences.

Suhaimi Rafdi, Chief Executive Officer of Cathay Organisation says, “When The Picturehouse re-opened in 2006, we had in mind a luxurious cinema environment aimed at nurturing a genuine film appreciation culture in Singapore. Targeted at cinephiles and artlovers, The Picturehouse always provided movie-goers with an avenue to enjoy distinctive, alternative films that offer different perspectives from mainstream movies. In three years, the culture of film appreciation here has matured tremendously, and we are now looking to take the Picturehouse brand to a whole new level by becoming more involved in hosting film festivals and becoming a truly integral part of the international film buzz.”

About The Picturehouse

The Picturehouse – Singapore’s first arthouse cinema, was originally launched in 1990, at a time when film goers were exposed only to mainstream commercial films. Early independent films like Pulp Fiction, The Wedding Banquet, La Femme Nikita and Cinema Paradiso were all screened exclusively at The Picturehouse, and many Singaporeans remember experiencing their first foreign and arthouse titles there.

The original Picturehouse cinema was a stand-alone hall with one screen and 220 seats, located next to the historic Cathay Building. Gazetted as a heritage site in Singapore, The Cathay Building was the country’s first skyscraper when it opened in 1939. The Picturehouse was eventually shut down in 2000, when the whole building complex was marked for renovations. In 2006, The Picturehouse was relaunched as part of The Cathay Cineplex at The Cathay Building. With a new logo, a new team and new cutting edge films, The Picturehouse welcomed back old friends and new guests.

The Picturehouse is currently owned and operated by Cathay Cineplexes Pte Ltd, and managed by Cathay-Keris Films, the distribution arm of the cinema chain. The Picturehouse Cinema is a luxurious 82-seater with masterfully-crafted designer seats. With plenty of leg-room to spare, patrons can sink back into the chairs and enjoy state-of-the-art sound and visual technology.

The Picturehouse Preview Lounge is connected to the cinema via an exclusive entrance and features a full service bar, with standing capacity of more than 50 people, for functions, pre-movie drinks or post-movie talks and film-related events. Guests can also make use of free internet facilities while waiting, or watch upcoming movie trailers on the plasma screens in the lounge.

For more information on The Picturehouse, please visit www.thepicturehouse.com.sg



Annex A: Film Festivals hosted at The Picturehouse


25TH SINGAPORE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Date: 3 – 11 October 2009

For the past 25 years, the Singapore French Film Festival has brought the French language, arts, history, culture and daily lives to audiences in Singapore. From 2 to 11 October 2009, the first-ever foreign film festival in Singapore will celebrate its 25th anniversary. French Director Christophe Barratier of Les Choristes fame will grace the opening night of the festival at The Grand Cathay while French director Marina De Van will be present at the closing ceremony of the festival at the Alliance Française de Singapour. Her film Ne te retourne pas (Don’t Look Back) will be screened as the closing film. This year’s festival will also feature an Anthology of Works by First-Time Directors.


13TH GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL 2009
Date: 11 – 22 November 2009

Expect the best, most successful and highest rated German films made in the current and past year! A total of 26 German and German-international film productions entertains you with outstanding movies screened at this year’s Berlinale as well as at Cannes Festival, and other famous international Film Festivals. The film selection includes an excellent choice of movies honoured with mostly more than just one German and/or international award. Therefore the Goethe Institute Singapore proudly presents its 13th German Film Festival.


STUDIO GHIBLI FILM SERIES
Date: 17 – 23 December 2009

Studio Ghibli’s films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture, in much the same way that Disney's animated works have been embraced in modern Western culture. Cultivating a creative force of many talented directors, animators and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli's films have inspired a long line of box office successes that are truly works of art. From classics such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988) to Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (2008), this inaugural Studio Ghibli Film Festival presented by Encore Films and Cathay-Keris Films, will feature a selection of imaginative animated treats full of wonder, heart and magical adventure. The Studio Ghibli Film Festival is an event perfect for the festive season and promises a delightful experience for the young and old.


NEXT REEL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Date: 31 January 2010 – 4 Feb 2010
The Next Reel International Film Festival at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts started in 1994. Since then, it has become a premier film festival showcasing the work of the best young filmmakers around the world. The biennial festival, the oldest of its kind in the United States, has been held in New York, Florence, and Singapore. Next Reel will be held in Singapore, home to Tisch School of the Arts Asia, January 31 – February 6, 2010. For more information, please visit www.nextreel.org.

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