Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Mr Benjamin Alexander Slater

Associate Chair (Students)

Email: baslater@ntu.edu.sg
Mr Benjamin Alexander Slater

Biography
Ben Slater is a screenwriter, script editor and critic with considerable experience working across various creative fields, including film production, theatre, performance, publications and digital and audio art.

His writings on film have appeared in many publications including Screen International and Cahiers du Cinema. He’s authored chapters on film in several books, was the founder/editor of the National Museum of Singapore's film journal Cinematheque Quarterly, edited 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014), and is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), the definitive account of the film Saint Jack (1979), directed by Peter Bogdanovich. He also produced two documentaries and a commentary track for the US and French editions of the Saint Jack Blu-ray disc in 2017 and 2018.

Ben continues to research American and European films made in Singapore, and curated a 10 film season on this theme for NUS Museum in 2015, a day-long event as part of the Asia House Film Festival, London in 2016, and Singaporeana! for the Asian Film Archives in 2019, which included a day-long academic symposium.

He's credited Script Editor on the award-winning feature film Helen (2008), Mister John (2013) and the highly acclaimed Rose Plays Julie (2019), all directed by Joe Lawlor & Christine Molloy, and was Script Consultant on Ho Tzu Nyen's HERE (2009), which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight during the Cannes International Film Festival.

Ben wrote the script for the short film The Legend of the Impacts (2012) about Singapore's music scene in the 1960s, which premiered at the Southeast Asian Film Festival, and co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film Camera (2014) with director James Leong, premiering at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in competition. Ben's first sole-authored feature screenplay, the 'tropical noir' MALAM, will hopefully emerge from the shadows in 2020!

He's the co-director (along with Sherman Ong) of Tony's Long March, a 40 minute documentary portrait of the late Singaporean film producer Tony Yeow, which premiered at the the Singapore International Film Festival in 2015, and screened at the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore's National Library and The Arts House. He's also the director of a 60-second film for The Film That Buys The Cinema (2014), alongside Peter Strickland, Nicholas Roeg, and many more, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival before touring Europe.

In 2016, Ben edited the inaugural issue of NANG magazine, and dedicated the issue to Screenwriting in Asia, through interviews with leading screenwriters in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Iran, Indonesia, and more. As a teacher of narrative, and screenwriting, he's interested in screenwriting methodologies and pedagogies.

As a practitioner in contemporary theatre and performance in the UK and Singapore, Ben's co-created several site-specific audio works (Desire Paths in 2003 and Ghostwalking in 2010), most recently Under The Five Trees (2019), commissioned by the National Gallery of Singapore. He consulted on the redesign of the National Museum of Singapore's History Gallery in 2005-6, and authored the Childrens' Audio Guide in 2009. His short stories have been published in Fish Eats Lion (Math Paper Press, 2012) and Lontar #3 (Epigram, 2014).

Ben is also an accomplished publications editor, starting in the mid-1990s when he co-founded cult arts magazine Entropy. He was the editor of the Singapore Biennale guidebook and catalogue in 2006 and 2008, working under Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum.

You can read some of his writings here: http://sporeana.blogspot.com

His film credits are here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2603952/
Research Interests
Singapore Cinema
Screenwriting Craft and Practice
Fiction, Narratives & Storytelling
Interactive & Experiential Narratives
Urban Space, Psychogeography
Film Histories & Criticism
Creative Writing
Current Projects
  • The Impact of Visual Effects and Special Effects on the Art of Contemporary Narrative Filmmaking
  • Virtual Reality for the Lost Singaporean Film Pontianak (1957). A Case Study to Explore Virtual Reality Environments for Singapore’s Cinematic Heritage.
Selected Publications
  • Ben Slater. (2006). Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore. Marshall Cavendish.

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