Focus on Daniel Hui


Aperture/Director Focus: Daniel Hui

11-14 Sep 2019


DEMONS: UK premiere + director Q&A

11 Sep 2019, Genesis Cinema, London




Daniel Hui is a filmmaker and writer from Singapore, and is the subject of Aperture/Director Focus 2019. His films have been screened at film festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Busan, Yamagata, DocLisboa, FIDMarseille, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, Bangkok, Manila and Vladivostok. He is one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, an independent film collective whose films have garnered critical acclaim internationally.

We’re delighted to welcome Daniel Hui to London for the first complete show of his full body of work to date, including:



DEMONS: Wed 11 Sep: Genesis Cinema, London +Q&A

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2018, 83 mins, English/Singlish/Mandarin + English subtitles, UK Premiere

Ambitious young actress Vicki lands the lead part in a new theatre production. What appears to be the opportunity of a lifetime turns out to be the beginning of a story of abuse of power at the hands of director Daniel, for whom sadistic violence and artistic practice are inseparable. However, power dynamics can change, and ultimately Vicki rises above the persistent abuse and exacts her revenge.

World Premiere: Busan International Film Festival 2018

European Premiere: Berlinale 2019


11 Sep: Asia Through the Aperture Workshop #3

Join us for a panel discussion with Daniel Hui and Daniel Mattes, Cambodia based producer of Last Night I Saw You Smiling (Kavich Neang, Cambodia/France 2019) on documentary filmmaking and collectives in Southeast Asia. Two short films by Daniel Hui will be shown at this event:

Animal Spirits (2013, 9 mins)

Wanderlust (2009, 5 mins)

This is a free event but advance booking is essential.


14 Sep: Drinks Reception, The Horse Hospital

(for ticketholders)

Join the Aperture team and Daniel Hui for drinks with a ticket for a screening of Daniel’s shorts and/or his first feature documentary Eclipses. A complimentary drink will be offered in between the two screenings, and a pay bar (with discounted drinks) will operate thereafter.


And of course join us for Q&As with Daniel Hui at each of his screenings 11-14 Sep!

SNAKESKIN: Fri 13 Sep: Close-Up Cinema, London +Q&A

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2014, 105 mins, English, UK Premiere

Hui’s acclaimed second feature is a fascinating interrogation of Singapore’s mythic narratives of national history and collective identity. Purporting to be old film footage from 2014, as pieced together by the survivor of a cult in 2066, Snakeskin weaves together a series of individual reflections on Singaporean class and society and the nation’s film industry, to present an unsettling psychogeography of the contemporary city state. Reminiscent of the work of Chris Marker, this hypnotic essay film reveals the ghosts of oppression and control that haunt present day Singapore.

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2015: New Asian Currents – Award of Excellence

Torino Film Festival 2014: Special Jury Award for Internazionale.doc

Q&A with Viknesh Kobinathan (National Film & Television School)


ECLIPSES: Sat 14 Sep: The Horse Hospital, London +Q&A

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2011, 104 mins, English, UK Premiere

Deploying the director’s signature ambiguous blend of documentary and fiction, Eclipses is both an exploration of Singaporean family, class and race, and an experiment in film form. Initially focusing on a woman as she slowly begins to re-engage with society after the death of her husband, the film then branches out to document the different characters surrounding her, including the director’s own family. Elliptical and quietly affecting, Hui’s debut feature signalled the emergence of a distinctive new voice in Singaporean cinema.

Official selections: Doclisboa 2013, Singapore International Film Festival 2011

Q&A moderated by Erika Tan

Erika Tan is an artist (From Singapore/Based in London) whose work has evolved from an interest in received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movements of ideas, people and things. Her work has been shown in The Tate Artist & Empire Exhibition (National Gallery Singapore 2017), The Busan Biennale (2014), There Is No Road (LABoral, Spain 2010); Thermocline of Art (ZKM, Germany 2007); Around The World in Eighty Days (South London Gallery / ICA 2007); The Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move (Hayward Gallery, London). Erika is the 2018-2020 Stanley Picker Fellow in Fine Art and teaches at Central Saint Martins, UAL.

This screening will be preceded and followed by drinks at The Horse Hospital


DANIEL HUI SHORTS: Sat 14 Sep: The Horse Hospital, London +Q&A

Intimate and impressionistic, Hui’s early shorts exhibit the director’s longstanding concerns with the history of Singapore’s film industry and the country’s complex class and racial dynamics. Gently questioning and observing, these films demonstrate the development of a unique filmmaking talent.


No Images (2011, 9 mins)

One Day in June (2010, 11 mins)

Rumah Sendiri (2010, 21 mins)

Sayang (2010, 8 mins)

Dreams of Youth (2008, 24 mins)

Animal Spirits (2013, 9 mins)

Q&A moderated by Helen de Witt

Helen de Witt is a Programme Advisor for the Experimenta strand. She is a curator and lecturer in Film Studies at Birkbeck and University of the Arts London. Helen was previously Head of Cinemas at the BFI.

This screening will be followed by drinks at The Horse Hospital