Movies About Singapore (List)

Movies About Singapore (List)

Singaporean films have beautifully captured the essence of Singapore’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes on the silver screen. From the early days of cinema to the present day, movies set in Singapore have offered diverse stories and perspectives that showcase the rich tapestry of Singaporean culture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Singaporean films have depicted the country’s culture and landscapes through storytelling and visual artistry.
  • Early films set in Singapore from the 1930s to 1950s explored themes of adventure, romance, and cultural identity.
  • Modern Singaporean films from the 1990s to 2000s tackled social issues, family dynamics, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Acclaimed films of the 2010s delved into themes of identity, relationships, and societal issues.
  • Singaporean genre films showcased the versatility and range of storytelling within the industry.

Early Films Set in Singapore (1930s-1950s)

In the early days of cinema, several films were set in or depicted Singapore. These movies provide a valuable glimpse into life in Singapore during different time periods and explore various themes such as adventure, romance, and cultural identity. Let’s take a look at some of the notable films from the 1930s to the 1950s that captured the essence of Singapore.

1. “Rich and Strange” (1931)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, “Rich and Strange” is a British film that tells the story of a couple who inherit a large sum of money and decide to embark on a voyage around the world. As part of their journey, they visit Singapore, showcasing the city’s vibrant atmosphere and bustling harbor. This film provides a fascinating glimpse into Singapore’s historical landscape during that era.

2. “Road to Singapore” (1940)

“Road to Singapore” is a romantic comedy film starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. The movie follows two friends who escape their conventional lives and set off on a series of adventures, including a stop in Singapore. This film not only showcases the beauty of the city but also reflects the spirit of exploration and adventure associated with Singapore during that time.

3. “Putri Bertopeng” (1957)

“Putri Bertopeng” is a classic Malay film that revolves around the story of a masked princess. Set in Singapore, the film takes viewers on a journey through the city’s cultural and historical landmarks while unraveling the mysteries surrounding the princess. It offers a unique perspective on Singaporean culture and traditions during the 1950s.

These early films set in Singapore not only provided entertainment but also became windows into the history, culture, and everyday life of Singaporeans during the 1930s-1950s. Through their captivating stories and visuals, these movies form an integral part of Singapore’s film heritage.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we explore modern Singaporean films that gained recognition in the 1990s-2000s.

Modern Singaporean Films (1990s-2000s)

In the 1990s and 2000s, Singaporean filmmakers gained recognition on both local and international platforms. This period marked a significant growth in the Singapore film industry, with movies like “Mee Pok Man” (1995), “I Not Stupid” (2002), and “Money No Enough” (1998) becoming box office hits. These films showcased the unique storytelling and perspectives of Singaporean filmmakers, capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide.

One notable film from this era is “Mee Pok Man” (1995), directed by Eric Khoo. This dark romantic drama explores the themes of loneliness, desire, and human connection in urban Singapore. With its evocative visuals and raw performances, “Mee Pok Man” captivated audiences and marked a turning point in Singaporean cinema.

“I Not Stupid” (2002), directed by Jack Neo, is a satirical comedy that delves into the pressures faced by students and their families in Singapore’s education system. The film cleverly combines humor and social commentary to highlight the flaws and challenges within the system, resonating with audiences of all ages.

Another notable film of this period is “Money No Enough” (1998), directed by Tay Teck Lock. This comedy-drama revolves around the struggles of three friends as they navigate financial hardships in Singapore. Through its relatable characters and witty dialogue, the film shed light on the realities faced by the average Singaporean and became a cultural phenomenon.

These films, along with many others from the 1990s and 2000s, tackled a wide range of themes including social issues, family dynamics, and the pursuit of happiness. They not only entertained audiences but also provided insights into the evolving Singaporean society. Through their storytelling prowess, Singaporean filmmakers showcased the talent and creativity that flourishes within the local film industry.

These films opened doors for the Singaporean film industry, capturing the attention of international film festivals and critics. The success and recognition garnered during this period laid the foundation for future Singaporean filmmakers to tell their stories on a global stage.

Acclaimed Singaporean Films of the 2010s

In the 2010s, Singaporean cinema experienced a renaissance, with a wave of critically acclaimed films that garnered international recognition and awards. These movies captivated audiences with their captivating storytelling, poignant themes, and exceptional craftsmanship. Let’s explore some of the standout Singaporean films from the 2010s:

“Ilo Ilo” (2013)

“Ilo Ilo”, directed by Anthony Chen, is a moving drama that depicts the struggles and dynamics of a Filipino maid working for a Singaporean family during the Asian Financial Crisis. The film beautifully portrays the complexities of familial bonds, the challenges of economic turmoil, and the resilience of the human spirit.

“A Land Imagined” (2018)

In “A Land Imagined”, director Yeo Siew Hua explores themes of identity, isolation, and alienation in modern Singapore. This neo-noir mystery follows a detective as he investigates the disappearance of a construction worker and delves into the underbelly of Singapore’s ever-changing landscape. The film’s atmospheric visuals and thought-provoking narrative earned it recognition at various film festivals.

“Wet Season” (2019)

“Wet Season”, directed by Anthony Chen, is a heartfelt drama that explores the complex emotions and relationships of a Mandarin teacher in Singapore. Set against the backdrop of the monsoon season, the film delves into themes of loneliness, desire, and personal growth. With its poignant storytelling and exceptional performances, “Wet Season” resonates with audiences on a universal level.

These critically acclaimed Singaporean films of the 2010s showcase the creativity, talent, and distinct cultural perspectives of Singaporean filmmakers. Through their exploration of identity, relationships, and societal issues, these movies not only solidify Singapore’s place on the global film stage but also provide a glimpse into the diverse and rich tapestry of Singaporean cinema.

Film Director Year
Ilo Ilo Anthony Chen 2013
A Land Imagined Yeo Siew Hua 2018
Wet Season Anthony Chen 2019

Genre Films Set in Singapore

Singapore’s rich and diverse film industry extends beyond dramas and documentaries. The country has also served as the backdrop for genre films that explore different themes and storytelling techniques. These genre films highlight the versatility and range of Singaporean cinema, showcasing captivating narratives from supernatural folklore to gripping crime dramas.

Supernatural Tales: “Revenge of the Pontianak” (2019)

“Revenge of the Pontianak” combines horror and folklore in a chilling tale set in Singapore. This film delves into the legend of the Pontianak, a female ghost of Southeast Asian folklore known for her vengeance. Directed by Glen Goei and Gavin Yap, this supernatural genre film provides a unique glimpse into Singapore’s rich mythology and traditions, captivating audiences with its atmospheric storytelling and spine-tingling scares.

Exploring the Dark Side: “Apprentice” (2016)

“Apprentice,” directed by Boo Junfeng, takes viewers on a gripping journey into the depths of Singapore’s prison system. This psychological drama explores the moral complexities faced by a young correctional officer, grappling with his own conscience and the weight of his role in the execution process. The film delves into the darker side of society, showcasing the tensions and dilemmas that emerge within the prison environment. Through its thought-provoking narrative and compelling performances, “Apprentice” offers a powerful exploration of systemic issues and the human condition.

These genre films set in Singapore demonstrate the diverse storytelling techniques and themes within the country’s cinema. From supernatural tales to gripping crime dramas, Singaporean filmmakers continue to push boundaries and captivate audiences with their unique perspectives and imaginative storytelling.

Singapore Films with International Recognition

Over the years, several Singaporean films have received international recognition and acclaim. These movies have not only put Singapore’s film industry on the map but have also showcased the immense talent and creativity of Singaporean filmmakers. From heartfelt dramas to thought-provoking documentaries, these films have captivated audiences around the world and garnered critical praise at prestigious film festivals.

“Shirkers” (2018)

“Shirkers” is a documentary film directed by Sandi Tan. It tells the story of a group of teenage friends in 1990s Singapore who set out to make a movie. However, the project takes a dark twist when their enigmatic mentor vanishes with all the footage, leaving them devastated. Decades later, the film’s unedited footage resurfaces, and the group revisits their past to solve the mystery.

“Pop Aye” (2017)

“Pop Aye”, directed by Kirsten Tan, is a heartfelt drama that explores themes of identity, nostalgia, and the human-animal connection. The film follows a disillusioned architect who encounters his long-lost childhood elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Together, they embark on a transformative journey across Thailand to find their place in the world.

Both “Shirkers” and “Pop Aye” received critical acclaim and have been recognized internationally. These films showcase the unique storytelling and perspectives of Singaporean filmmakers, shedding light on diverse narratives and capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide.

The Impact of Singaporean Cinema

Singaporean cinema has made a lasting impact on the local film industry and has played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of the country. Through compelling storytelling and visual artistry, Singaporean filmmakers have been able to showcase the richness of Singapore’s history, culture, and diversity. Their movies have become a powerful medium to convey the Singaporean experience, both past and present.

One of the key impacts of Singaporean cinema is the ability to spark conversations and provide insights into the unique perspectives and challenges faced by Singaporeans. These films delve into themes such as cultural identity, social issues, and the complexities of everyday life. By presenting authentic narratives and relatable characters, Singaporean filmmakers have successfully resonated with both local and international audiences, promoting a deeper understanding of Singapore’s society and its people.

Moreover, Singaporean cinema has also played a vital role in preserving and celebrating the rich history and heritage of the country. From period dramas to documentaries, these films offer glimpses into significant historical events and traditions, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the stories that have shaped Singapore. By capturing these moments on film, Singaporean filmmakers have contributed to the preservation of the nation’s culture for future generations.

The international recognition received by Singaporean films has further reinforced the impact of Singaporean cinema on a global scale. Movies like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ilo Ilo” have not only achieved critical acclaim but have also been successful at the box office, drawing attention to Singaporean talent and culture worldwide. This recognition has opened doors for Singaporean filmmakers to collaborate with international partners and bring Singaporean stories to a wider audience.

To further illustrate the impact of Singaporean cinema, here is a table showcasing some of the notable achievements and milestones in the history of Singaporean films:

Year Movie Awards
1995 Mee Pok Man Best Asian Feature Film at Tokyo International Film Festival
2013 Ilo Ilo Camรฉra d’Or at Cannes Film Festival
2018 Shirkers World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival
2019 Wet Season NETPAC Award at Singapore International Film Festival

These achievements highlight not only the artistic excellence of Singaporean filmmakers but also the impact their films have had on the global film community.

In conclusion, Singaporean cinema has left an indelible mark on the local film industry and has been instrumental in shaping the cultural landscape of Singapore. Through their storytelling prowess, Singaporean filmmakers have brought the stories, history, and diversity of Singapore to the forefront, initiating meaningful conversations and fostering a deeper appreciation for the Singaporean experience.


  • “Mee Pok Man”. (1995). Retrieved from [insert source]
  • “Ilo Ilo”. (2013). Retrieved from [insert source]
  • “Shirkers”. (2018). Retrieved from [insert source]
  • “Wet Season”. (2019). Retrieved from [insert source]


The diverse and ever-expanding collection of movies about Singapore captures the essence of the country’s culture and landscapes. From the early days of cinema to the present day, Singaporean filmmakers have played a vital role in showcasing the rich tapestry of stories and perspectives that make up Singaporean cinema.

These films, including critically acclaimed dramas, genre films, and documentaries, have made significant contributions to the local film industry and the country’s cultural landscape. Through powerful storytelling and visual artistry, they have provided insights into the Singaporean experience, both past and present.

With the list of movies about Singapore continuing to grow, filmmakers are constantly exploring new stories and perspectives. The enduring legacy of Singaporean films lies in their ability to captivate audiences and celebrate Singapore’s vibrant culture. As these movies continue to captivate audiences worldwide, they ensure that Singaporean cinema remains a dynamic and influential force in the global film industry.


What are some early films set in Singapore?

Some early films set in Singapore include “Rich and Strange” (1931), “Road to Singapore” (1940), and “Putri Bertopeng” (1957).

Which Singaporean films gained recognition in the 1990s and 2000s?

Singaporean films that gained recognition in the 1990s and 2000s include “Mee Pok Man” (1995), “I Not Stupid” (2002), and “Money No Enough” (1998).

What are some critically acclaimed Singaporean films of the 2010s?

Some critically acclaimed Singaporean films of the 2010s include “Ilo Ilo” (2013), “A Land Imagined” (2018), and “Wet Season” (2019).

Are there any genre films set in Singapore?

Yes, there are genre films set in Singapore, such as “Revenge of the Pontianak” (2019) and “Apprentice” (2016).

Which Singaporean films have received international recognition?

Singaporean films that have received international recognition include “Shirkers” (2018) and “Pop Aye” (2017).

What impact has Singaporean cinema had?

Singaporean cinema has had a significant impact on the local film industry and the country’s cultural landscape.

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