Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Mr Benjamin Alexander Slater

Associate Chair (Students)
Senior Lecturer, School of Art, Design and Media

Mr Benjamin Alexander Slater

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 critical writings on film have appeared in many international publications including Screen International and Cahiers du Cinema. He’s authored chapters on film in several books, was the founder and 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 culmination of research into the making of the adaptation of Paul Theroux's novel in 1978. He also produced two documentaries and a commentary for the US Saint Jack Blu-ray disc in 2017.

Ben continues to research American and European films made on location in Singapore, and curated a 10 film season on this theme for NUS Museum in 2015 and a selection of these films at the Asia House Film Festival, London in 2016. A related programme is forthcoming in September 2019.

He's the credited Script Editor on the award-winning feature film Helen (2008), Mister John (2013) and Rose Plays Julie (2019), all directed by Joe Lawlor & Christine Molloy, and 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, which premiered at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. Ben's first sole-authored feature screenplay, the 'tropical noir' MALAM, directed by Leonard Yip is due in late 2019.

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. This premiered at the the Singapore International Film Festival in 2015, and has since been 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 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.

Aside from film, Ben has been a practitioner in contemporary theatre and performance (including working with Uninvited Guests and spell#7) in the UK and Singapore. He'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 speculative fiction anthology Fish Eats Lion (Math Paper Press, 2012) and the journal 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.
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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