Based on a true story, Hilary Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell, a young, excited school teacher who leaves the safety of her hometown, Newport Beach, to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach. Her enthusiasm is quickly challenged when she realizes that her class are all “at-risk” students who are divided by their race and harbour animosity against one another. Freedom Writers is about a teacher who inspires her class of “at-risk” students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.

2007 Humanitas Prize Winner for Feature Film Category

Directed By: Richard LaGravenese
Country: USA
Year: 2007
Runtime: 123 minutes
Language: English
Rating: PG13


To ensure your safety in light of the recent COVID-19 situation in Singapore, the physical screening for this film has been cancelled.

Please stay tuned for new programmes available online at SMHFF 2021

*You may refer to for all films and panels streaming online.


COVID-19: A Pandemic Of Inequality?

Despite the seeming gloom surrounding COVID-19, there is at least one silver lining. It has explosed (and arguably even amplified) existing social fault lines. From the eruption of COVID-clusters in the migrant workers dormitories to the everyday struggles of individuals who are digitally-illiterate and those who do not have access to internet connectivity and digital devices, these have all made visible the previously hidden. Now that we have identified and made aware this inequality, what do we do about it?

Does the pandemic present an opportunity to address inequality? Or does it further deepen existing vulnerabilities? In this panel conversation, we will adopt a systemic approach to analysing the pandemic and its impact on different groups in society. We will also understand existing socio-cultural and political mechanisms that reinforce and reproduce inequality and how this impacts on mental well-being.


Live Stream on
29th May 2021 (Sat) | Time 8.00pm

^Live stream starts strictly at 8:00pm. A recorded version will be available by the end of recording day until 6 June (Sun), 11.59pm.


SMHFF SFYC 2020 (Runner-up Film) – Emit


At the doctor’s office, Emit is surrounded by cold and indifferent onlookers. He tries, but fails to pay attention to the seemingly redundant questions being fired at him. Frustrated by this unsympathetic crowd, Emit seeks solace back at home. Yet, this offers little respite as Emit’s mind and body continue to deteriorate. As daily life becomes increasingly dysfunctional, Emit finds himself struggling to reconcile the mismatch between his perception, and reality.


This Is What Inequality Looks Like


What is poverty? What is inequality? How are they connected? How are they reproduced? How might they be overcome? Why should we try?

The way we frame our questions shapes the way we see solutions. This book does what appears to be a no-brainer task, but one that is missing and important: it asks readers to pose questions in different ways, to shift the vantage point from which they view ‘common sense,’ and in so doing, to see themselves as part of problems and potential solutions. This is a book about how seeing poverty entails confronting inequality. It is about how acknowledging poverty and inequality leads to uncomfortable revelations about our society and ourselves. And it is about how once we see, we cannot, must not, unsee.