Roy Payamal is the wildest busker of a country ranked the world’s most emotionless society. He takes his undermined line of work as a serious art- but is his faith impossible idealism or an admirable conviction? Singapore Minstrel is an invitation into his beautiful mind, a magical, trying universe where art and life dialogue in a tropical dream.
An old-time pioneer of the local scene, sometimes dubbed the ‘Silver Man’, Roy creates spectacular installations for his mind-boggling acts. His street colleagues are a troupe of offbeat, seasoned buskers– from a 70-year-old man who dances Gangnam Style with vitality, to a lovable guitarist trying to pass the busking auditions. The film flows kaleidoscopically from interviews to fantasy sequences, to raw footage of everyday life Roy captures on his mobile phone.
Unraveling Roy's busking journey and the nation's bureaucratic reaches, the film spotlights a gang of eccentric underdogs, examining what culture means in a hard-fisted, glittering metropolis. Singapore Minstrel is about trying to paint the meaning of freedom and magic. It is about being human.
Featuring original music by Roy, Lee Wen, and AhLian Rok Minah Rolll.
(( SMALL MOON PROJECTIONS ))
Directed & Produced by Ng Xi Jie
Assistant Director & Producer: Esmonde Luo
Featuring Roy Payamal & buskers of Singapore
- Columbia River Correctional Institution, Portland, Oregon, USA
- Likewise, Portland, Oregon, USA
- 5th Ave Cinema, Portland, Oregon, USA
- St. Luke's Eldercare, Singapore
- National University of Singapore Centre for the Arts
- Jaipur International Film Festival, India: nominated for best documentary feature
- Film Fest Dokumenter, Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Asian Doc Showcase
- Indian Cine Film Fest, Mumbai; Winner: best director of documentary feature
- The Projector, Singapore
- Cebu International Documentary Film Fest, documentary feature competition
- Singapore Film Festival, New Delhi
- International Premier: Asian American International Film Fest, New York City: International Showcase. Nominated for emerging director of documentary feature.
- *SCAPEMEDIA screen, Singapore
- Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, Singapore: Stories That Matter
- World Premier: Official Selection, 26th Singapore International Film Festival, Singapore Panorama