International Storytelling Festival Singapore 2020



What is it about stories that thrill and captivate us, and is there room in this crowded world to engage in active and imaginative listening?
The Heart of Story is about excavating the spirit of storytelling. While the theme was decided long before the pandemic, it is more resonant than ever as the arts begin to adapt to new conditions. StoryFest Online 2020 is an opportunity to question how traditional art forms can retain our timeless essence even as we adopt other mediums, and how the virtual sphere can also be a space to connect more intimately to others and, ultimately, ourselves.

Throughout the course of history, culture and creativity have faced numerous threats, yet always remained resilient in the face of a crisis. Despite the challenges, we have continued to tell stories to guide us through testing times. Undaunted by travel restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing, we are happy to bring you StoryFest Online 2020!

Presented by The Storytelling Centre Ltd and The Arts House, The Heart of Story invites audiences to experience the power of stories and be inspired to build their own community as they listen to the messages at the core of stories. From the comfort of your home, we invite audiences to enjoy our high quality storytelling videos for FREE between 17-27 July on our YouTube channel.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the arts industry this year. Stories have always helped us understand the world around us, soothe and calm fears, as well as provide comfort as we glide on the wings of Imagination. StoryFest Online 2020 not only celebrates the timelessness of the oral tradition, it proudly honours our artists and creative teams as we reconfigure the Festival and continue to present on the digital sphere.

Creative Producer Kamini RamanchandranThis year, we embrace the digital medium with exciting retellings of traditional stories, Asian folktales reimagined, fabulous fables for families, and presentations that explore applied storytelling. Now in its fourth iteration, StoryFest looks inwards with The Heart of Story, specifically the healing and rejuvenation that stories are able to provide for us. As we enter a new decade with 2020, what new stories will we discover and what stories will guide us for the next ten years?

The Singapore Showcase shares stories from the recent past all the way to the time when gods walked amongst men. A family tale as bittersweet as a pomelo, the sinister antics of a shapeshifting fox, the origin of the covenant of Singapura, the truth of a misplaced heroine and the tragic love story of a serpent maiden await you. The Young Storytellers Showcase will bring you on a dance of deception and bravery intertwined with love. Encounter tales of cursed monkeys, silly demons, flying horses, exiled princesses and forbidden love as you travel from the mystical lakes of Vietnam and all the way to the scorching deserts of Persia. Come and join us to explore the passages of time.

Family audiences with young children are in for a treat! Get ready to go on a Story Picnic full of song and dance. Join the teddy bears on their annual picnic, and bring along your snacks and favourite toys too! Discover Asian folktales as you sit under The Story Tree and help Momotaro fight the oni ogres, cheer on Hua Mulan as she leads the army to battle, take an adventurous walk with The Boy & the Drum, ward off The Attack of the Swordfish and learn the secret name of The Magic Tree!

The Festival video presentations explore the many facets of applied storytelling within literature, art therapy and competitive platforms. Experience the healing powers of narratives through meditative art-making in Mandala Storytelling as you reflect on your personal stories using natural materials. Tales with Tails unpacks the appeal of animal fables and anthropomorphism, and its relevance in the modern world. Get an insider’s view of competitive storytelling in How to Tell Personal Stories for a Story Slam and come away with tips for engaging the listener’s attention.

Step into the wonderful world of puppetry as seen through the eyes of a pioneer puppet master in A Puppeteer’s Journey. Find out his motivations and aspirations for the future in this candid sharing session.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement. Join us for StoryFest Online 2020 as we bring you the best of Singapore’s storytelling this July!

Kamini Ramachandran
Creative Producer, StoryFest


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Media Release (PDF)