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‘Sunday’ Shines a Light on Singapore’s Migrant Workers – SGIFF

Naman Ramachandran “Sunday,” which has its world premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, marks the feature directorial debut of Sean Ng. Ng previously directed a few shorts and his producing credits include feature documentary “André and His Olive Tree” (2020), which was Taiwan’s highest-grossing documentary that year. “Sunday” was developed at TorinoFilmLab.

The film follows the lives of two migrant workers in Singapore. Lily is a Filipino domestic worker for the affluent Lees, who are experiencing turbulence in their marriage. She finds solace in Minh, a Vietnamese busboy.

With the house to herself, Lily starts to explore the limits of her connection with Minh, fostering a romance, but one that has repercussions. The cast includes Rhen Escano, Ho Thanh Trung, Adrian Pang and Michelle Saram. “Growing up very close to a domestic helper, and my father working in construction had me exposed from a very young age to the lives migrant workers live.

These observations never went away, and as I grew older the realizations of the disparities grew too,” Ng told Variety. “I decided to tell a love story based on everyday events in the migrant community that’s always swept under the rug. I also wanted to create a film that dignifies migrant workers through juxtapositions with luxury experiences, showing that they deserve that sort of liberty and opportunity too.” The film takes its title from the day when Singapore’s migrant workers have time off and mingle with each other.

“Sunday” is based on Ng’s conversations with them on Sundays. “There are a ton of stories amongst their community, that many are afraid to share or let be known to the public. They always fear repercussions of failing their employers’ standards.

It varies a lot, the depth and degree of these stories to be told, especially for domestic helpers. There are many love stories that people were willing to share, only anonymously,” Ng said. Along with producer Caleb Quek, Ng is the co-founder of film and video production house Amok.