"...you see people as themselves. The fact that these women have come such a long way in realising their dream is moving people and encouraging them to watch it"
- Philip Cheah, Festival Director (Singapore Int'l Film Festival) on the popularity of the documentary

About the Documentary

One of the few documentaries ever made about lesbians in Singapore, this documentary, filmed in 2006 uses interview footage with three Singaporean lesbians -Amanda Lee, Sabrina Renee Chong and Gea Swee Jean, to get a rare glimpse into lesbian lives in Singapore.

Intimate and often candid, these lesbians share about their lives and loves and their views on topics such as coming out and relationships. Sometimes heartbreaking, and often times, funny, the documentary captures the lives of lesbians who have chosen to live authentically and is a testament to the courage, tenacity and experiences of lesbians living in Singapore.

For more information, to join the mailing list or to RSVP for screenings, please email womenwholovewomensingapore@yahoo.com

Watch the Documentary Here!

Monday, April 28, 2008

More good news!

More good news!

More screenings of Women who Love Women will be presented at Sinema in May! :) Well, pending MDA's reply to our application which we hope to receive by 2 May 08. This will be part of a Singapore Panaroma Encore series where some of the local films in the recent SIFF will be brought back.

Here are the dates and times for the 4 screenings:
- Saturday, 17 May 08, 9 pm
- Sunday, 18 May 08, 3 pm
- Sunday, 25 May 08, 7 pm
- Saturday, 31 May 08, 9 pm

There will also be a Q&A session at the end of each screening where the docu team will be there.
So please note the screenings in your schedules if you're interested to come watch, and please help spread the word around! More information coming your way soon.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Review by Stefan from anutshellreview.blogspot.com

[SIFF08] Women Who Love Women: Conversations in Singapore

Just for the record, Women Who Love Women was the last of the films in the Singapore Panorama section to have its tickets released for sale. I had all the tickets for the other films ready, but of course an In Camp Training stint meant that when the tickets were available, I couldn't get any. And they were sold out in record time too! Then another screening was available, and that was also sold out faster than you can say "Women". Finally, I managed to get a ticket for the last screening, which was tonight, and even then, the film played to a sell out crowd.

Which brings me to wonder, whether the crowd was going to be primarily made up of the GLBT community, and looking at the rate at which tickets have been sold out, there's no denying that the numbers are increasing / coming out of the closet / niche market / etc, but there were of course, the curious souls like me, besides the fact that I'm doggedly persistent in wanting to watch every movie in the Panorama, who want to know and understand more, but having no clue how to, and this documentary allowed for the shedding of some insight. Granted it's rated R21, but no, it's a fairly serious subject, and allowed for the opening of minds.

Of course I would say that it is stupid if anyone were to remotely suggest that after watching this, one would completely change their lifestyle, or be immensely affected by it to want to do so. Good thing it wasn't censored or banned, and was allowed to play during the SIFF in its entirety. It's presentation as a documentary was simple, featuring solely the talking heads of 3 Singaporean lesbians - Amanda Lee, Sabrina Renee Chong and Gea Swee Jean. Shot in 2006, they offer very honest, candid views of their lives, the discovery of self, and of course, the inevitable discrimination and the grappling of issues such as relationships and the defining moment when they chose to come out of the closet.

However when the documentary started, I thought that there could possibly be something that was a little off, as accounts of failed relationships from a very young age, or from a traumatic experience, seemed to have put the community in bad light, or provided a portrayal that relationship matters were treated casually and trivially. Of course it was easy to pass judgement on the attitudes and trivalities placed towards relationships, but as the documentary went on, it set to clear this up, and you get embarassed that you'd have fallen into convention, and have judged, prematurely and incorrectly.

It's not all deadpan serious, as there were enough comical anecdotes to lighten up the mood, despite the discussion on real issues that real people face, and the raising of awareness on things like how labelling and the provision of terms both help and sometimes box mindsets for those who are coming out. Little things become distinguishing factors too, and you're bound to obtain new insights, such as how easy it is to be mistaken in salutations. And I thought it covered good ground with the various age groups covered, and touching on religion and the penal code were inevitable too.

But if I had some minor gripes, it would be the initial presentation style of the interviews. I guess the subjects might not have spoken in complete, fluent sentences, but the cuts employed to join sentences and words together were too fast and furious that.it.made.it.sound.like.that. I would've preferred to have allowed the dialogue to play out as it was, or at least cut sparingly. Later on however it became smoother, especially with the use of fading in/out, but prior to that, the cuts were too excessive.

The other peculiar observation I had made was, and I've to determine this from the filmmakers (if I can!), was why no family members were interviewed on screen. We've seen their friends (though not necessarily their partners, who might make interesting subjects themselves, but probably will dilute the focus on the 3 representatives) talk about their feelings and reactions to discovery, but for the family's reaction, we're only given an account from the interviewees themselves. I guess it could be either the filmmakers were unsuccessful in engaging them, or the families were reluctant to say anything on record in front of the camera because they were still disapproving.

If there was anything that a straight guy like myself could get out of this documentary, that would be to not pass fast judgement on others who are different. We should be celebrating diversity, not discriminating against differences. Everyone has feelings, like it or not, and it's easy to hurt people without sometimes even knowing it, and it's easier to do so when you don't seek to first understand. While we think we know some of the issues they face, nothing beats hearing it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, and if you don't have lesbian friends, then I guess the next best thing to begin with, is through this documentary. Watching it with the correct audience helped too, because if there was any hint of inaccuracies, pretentiousness and the likes, you can be sure you're gonna get an instant reaction from the audience, and probably hear a boo or two. This one passed with flying colours.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Review by Mervyn Tan

I attended the screening of WWLW at Sinema on Saturday, and I found it to be an extremely moving, honest piece. I really appreciated the manner in which you approached the film from an angle that seeked to create greater awareness on gay relationships, and in the process, normalise people's warped thoughts on gay relationships. I think this is the key point in which your film differs from most of the lesbian awareness films out there in that it doesn't seek to drive a point, or push an agenda too hard. Instead, it just presents a peek into the lives of these brave and interesting women, and asks questions which everyone would love to know the answers to but never dared to ask.

I would really like to thank you for your creative direction in making this film as I feel that it was a really masterfully produced and directed piece of work, and there was wonderful editing that maintained most of the integrity of the characters' feelings.

Thanks for the great film!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

ST Article - Love Ladies (April 6, 2008)

April 6, 2008
Love ladies

A documentary about three lesbians has become a quiet hit at the Singapore International Film Festival

By Deepika Shetty

When Su-Lin Ngiam posted an online call in 2006 asking lesbians to share their experiences for a documentary she wanted to make, no one came forward.

'It shows there is a lot of fear when it comes to talking about same sex relationships in public,' says the theological studies student.

Given the lack of response from the community, Ngiam, 34, turned to her friends and three agreed to talk on camera.

Ms Sabrina Renee Chong, 40, a freelance events consultant and photographer, Ms Amanda Lee, 24, a student, and Ms Gea Swee Jean, 24, a business & IT marketing professional are featured in the 65-minute documentary, Women Who Love Women: Conversations In Singapore.

The documentary, which has an R21 rating, has proven to be a small hit at the Singapore International Film Festival. Four screenings have already sold out and tickets to the fifth screening today are selling fast.

The documentary is being screened at Sinema, Old School, in Mount Sophia, which has a seating capacity of 130.

Mr Philip Cheah, 50, the festival director, says the documentary has made an impact because 'you see people as themselves. The fact that these women have come such a long way in realising their dreams is moving people and encouraging them to watch it.'

Director Lim Mayling, 28, an events coordinator who studied film-making, says she is surprised at the warm response. The documentary was screened privately last year at the Pelangi Pride
Centre in Tanjong Pagar.

She says she shot the three women talking about their lives and the 'talking heads' technique goes against what she was taught in her media studies course at the University of Buffalo in the United States.

'But in this case, it works, it is the story of their lives and my idea was to get it across as honestly as I could.'

Ms Chong says she agreed to appear in the documentary because she wants to share her experience with other people who are in the same situation.

'When I was growing up, the Internet was non-existent, there were Hardly any support groups, you couldn't come clean.'

She says that she never came out to her family 'officially' . Her parents Split up when she was two years old and she was brought up by her grandmother and other relatives. Her father later died and her mother is in Canada.

'My grandmother knew about my sexual orientation but we never talked about it. But she and my relatives accepted it.'

Her girlfriend, a 30-year-old producer, joins her family at family events.

Ms Lee, an undergraduate at the Australian National University, Canberra, had a harder time with her family when she told her mother that she is gay.

There were 'a lot of tears, angry words' and her mother, an office administrator, refused to accept her sexual orientation.

'Our relationship deteriorated because I could not share an important part of my life with her.'

But her mother has since come around and comforted her when one of her relationships failed, she says.

The third woman in the documentary, Ms Gea, declined to be interviewed.

Ms Chong thinks that the climate has become more tolerant of gay people in recent years. Government leaders have spoken of treating homosexuals like everybody else and employing them in the civil service. She says: 'People don't fall backwards when they see gay women holding hands.'

But the biggest comfort for her has been the acceptance of her family.

'When my grandmother passed away when I was in my late 20s, my girlfriend and I were by her side. I think what was important for me was the fact that my grandmother loved me unconditionally through all of it.' Sabrina Renee Chong


Women Who Love Women: Conversations In Singapore is showing at
the Singapore International Film Festival. For details, visit www.filmfest.org.sg

http://www.straitstimes.com/ print/Lifestyle/Hot/Story/ STIStory_ 224109.html

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

5th Screening Confirmed

Yup! The 4th screening has sold out. Check the sidebar for details on the 5th screening and also look out for an article with us in this week's Life!

See ya! :)