Still from Distance

Film by Alumni Now Streaming on Vidsee

BY Cody Beltis , October 28, 2020

Distance, written and directed by Grace Swee '18 and produced by Apoorva Charan '18, is now streaming on Vidsee, as part of the Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore 2020, Out Of Competition program. Distance screened at the 29th Singapore International Film Festival in 2018, the 26th Women Makes Waves International Film Festival in 2019, and the 39th Film School Fest Munich, with Special Mention, in 2019. 


Distance concerns a lone middle-age woman, Eileen, who grapples with grief and a new chapter in life after her mother passes away. While trying to sell her family home, her mother’s spirit comes back to ensure everything remains the same, leading Eileen to face a profound truth of their intertwined lives. Set amidst the familiar space of home, Distance explores the ties that bind us to people and places.


Swee said of the film, “I have an interest in telling stories about complex family relationships. In the summer of 2017, I interviewed a few women who took upon themselves the main caregiver role to their ailing parent. They were usually unmarried and/or the eldest in the family. Through speaking with them, the main reasons were filial piety and the fulfilment of duty. As much as love was involved, there was a sense of 'carrying the burden', which they obligingly submit themselves to. Distance, was written from that space of love and hate, of wanting intimacy yet feeling trapped. That very fragile thing called – family.” 


Swee graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2010, and Columbia University School of the Arts in 2018. She pursued filmmaking independently, directing and producing short films in Singapore. She enjoys telling stories of different genres, leaning towards films that expound on family relations, deep character studies and magical realism.


Apoorva Charan is an LA-based producer who started her career at FremantleMedia Singapore, where she worked on several television series, including Asia’s Got Talent, before pursuing her MFA at Columbia University. During her time at Columbia, Charan produced multiple short films. Her credits include Life Coach, licensed to Gaia TV, Distance, which premiered at the Singapore International Film Festival, and Interiors, which premiered at TIFF 2018. Charan’s producing projects include Gulaab, a feature film set in Pakistan, which participated in the Open Doors Hub at Locarno and AKRA, a limited series set in coastal India.

Still from Distance