Painting With Light: Festival of International Films on Art




Painting with Light is the Gallery's annual film festival which examines the significance of art in society by looking at how people live and work with art around the world.


This year’s festival unveils a carefully curated selection of over 30 thought-provoking feature-length and short films, as well as single-channel video works, many of which are premiering here. These films bring to light the reality and experience of displacement, an issue that is central to today’s most critical global debates. In telling such stories, filmmakers reveal their responses to the issues of the day, their desire to stage an intervention, and their dreams for humanity. The films will be presented across four sections: Holding Space, Ways of Seeing, Special Focus and Southeast Asian Shorts.







Explore the different film screenings by clicking on a section.

You can also view all film listings at the link below.



  Ways of Seeing
Special Focus  

Painting with Light 2018 - Southeast Asian Shorts



In Jackson Heights

By Frederick Wiseman

In Jackson Heights - Frederick Wiseman

Sat 27 Oct | 7.30pm

USA | In English, Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles| 2015 | 189 min | M18 (Some mature content)


Jackson Heights in Queens, New York City, is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse neighbourhoods in the United States. There are immigrants from every country in South and Central America, as well as large communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Nepal and Tibet. Some are citizens, some have green cards, some are undocumented. Together, they speak 167 languages and represent the new wave of immigrants to the United States.

Veteran director Frederick Wiseman quietly observes the residents as they go about their daily lives at their businesses, community centres, religious institutions and street festivals. In doing so, he captures their struggle to uphold traditions from their countries of origin while adapting to American ways and values. The social and economic issues that they face in their efforts for assimilation, integration and inclusivity parallel those of their counterparts in other major cities around the world. As with all his films, Wiseman adopts a direct cinema approach to documenting life in Jackson Heights, painting a broad and complex portrait of contemporary life.

In Jackson Heights has been screened in prestigious festivals worldwide including the Venice Film Festival (2015), Toronto International Film Festival (2015), Busan International Film Festival (2015) and Copenhagen International Documentary Festival (2015). It garnered the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Non-Fiction Film (2015).


Frederick Wiseman (b. 1930) has directed over 40 documentaries since 1967 that explore the human experience in a wide variety of contemporary social institutions. His first film, Titicut Follies (1967) saw him venturing inside a Massachusetts hospital for the criminally insane. Since then, his subjects have included a ballet company in New York and National Gallery London. He received the IFDA Living Legend Award in 2009, the Golden Lion for Career Achievement in 2014 and the Academy Honorary Award in 2016.





Asian Premiere

By Paul Wright

Arcadia - Paul Wright

Sun 28 Oct | 7.30pm

United Kingdom | In English | 2017 | 79 min | M18 (Nduity and drug use)



“Once upon a time, in the heart of the British countryside, there lived a fair maiden who, try as she might, could not fit into the world around her […] and was told that the answers to all her problems lay within the land around her.”


Director Paul Wright draws from a century of audio-visual archives to construct an extraordinary film essay on the British people’s complex and ever-shifting relationship to the land. Arcadia begins with a voiceover recounting the tale of “a fair maiden” whose search for answers takes the viewer through imagery that characterises the four seasons, which gives the film its structure. The film employs this allegory to illustrate how the British people’s intimate connection with nature—and with each other—have gradually disintegrated: Spring’s pastoral idylls pass into Summer’s village fêtes from Britain’s pagan past, before leading to Autumn’s mechanised depletion of the land and Winter’s political extremism and death.

Arcadia sets a blend of footage from the BFI National Archive, regional archives and British films like Winstanley (1975) to an original score that weaves together new compositions by Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, with Anne Briggs’ folk songs and sounds from nature. The result is a hypnotic experience; visceral cinema that invokes the magic and madness of rural Britain. With this look back at history, Arcadia reminds us that we may yet find a way to (re)write the future.

Arcadia was part of the official selection at the BFI London Film Festival (2017) and the Glasgow Film Festival (2018).


Paul Wright (b. 1981) studied photography before developing an interest in cinema. After enrolling in Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he was talent spotted by the head of directing at the National Film and Television School and offered a place on its Masters in Directing Fiction course. He won the BAFTA for Best Short for his 2011 work, Until the River Runs Red.


Explore more films from Special Focus.




To view all the films, please click the link below


Painting with Light 2018 Festival Schedule



Tickets are available from Gallery and SISTIC websites and ticketing counters

Ticket Type Standard Concessions1

General Admission

Includes booking fee

$10 $8.50

Early Bird Promotion

Valid from 13 to 27 Sep 2018

$8 -
Gallery Insiders2 $8 -

Group Bookings

4 tickets or more in a single transaction

$8 per ticket -
Singapore Film Society3 (SFS) $8.50 -

1 Concessions apply with valid verification to:

     • Local and international students, NSFs, and seniors aged 60 and above

     • Please bring a valid ID for checks at the door. Patrons unable to present proof of eligibility are required to upgrade their concession tickets to full price tickets.

2 Please bring a valid ID for checks at the door. Patrons unable to present proof of eligibility are required to upgrade their concession tickets to full price tickets.

3 Available only at Gallery and SISTIC ticketing counters upon presentation of valid card:

     • SFS Reel Card

     • SFS Membership Card




All Painting With Light ticket holders are entitled to 15% off house drinks, cocktails and beer at Aura Sky Lounge, and 10% off food and drink and Gallery-exclusive merchandise at Gallery & Co. Simply present your ticket at these venues to redeem this offer

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions apply. Valid for 2 months from screening date, subject to venue availability. Not valid with other promotions and discoounts. Not valid on eve of public holidays, public holidays and blackout dates. Not valid for group and event bookings.



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