6 items from 2017
Golden Village Multiplex was born of a common vision 25 years ago to develop theatrical cinema in Singapore. And, while that period has seen numerous changes, the ambition has endured largely intact.
At a time when Singapore’s movie theaters had, for the most part, been dynastically controlled, the joint venture was formed by Village Roadshow group, looking for expansion beyond its native Australia, and by Hong Kong’s Golden Harvest. For more than two decades, Golden Harvest had been one of Asia’s most prolific and globally known film production studios, famous for its series of Bruce Lee action films in the early 1970s. With the decline of Hong Kong’s preeminence as a cinema production superpower, expansion of exhibition and distribution was a way forward.
The palimpsest of Gh’s and Vr’s theatrical expansion dreams can still be seen across Asia. The “Gv” in Malaysia’s No. 2 cinema »
- Patrick Frater
Directors Boo Jun-feng, K. Rajagopal and Kirsten Tan have taken the unbeaten path in their artistic endeavors, reflecting their individualism, moral complexity and empathy for outsiders. Their films “Apprentice,” “A Yellow Bird” and “Pop Aye,” respectively, have done Singapore proud, earning accolades at key fests such as Cannes and Sundance.
They are also expressing a global mindset in their focus on diversity in Singaporean society, and through a small-scale but personalized model of co-production across Asia. This is a path and attitude leading the way in the island state’s burgeoning independent film industry — shared by other upcoming film projects releasing in 2017.
Anthony Chen, whose “Ilo Ilo” was the first Singaporean film to win the Camera D’Or in Cannes, was exec producer on “Pop Aye.” His company, Giraffe Pictures, was founded in 2014, as a result of the lessons learned from having to co-produce his own film. The company has also completed an omnibus film, »
- Maggie Lee
Exclusive: First titles to be featured on digital platform include Plame d’Or winner Ilo Ilo [pictured].
Mocha Chai Laboratories founder Chai Yee Wei’s new company A Little Seed has announced it is linking up with iTunes Singapore to showcase Singaporean films.
The first batch of 12 acclaimed Singaporean titles will be launched on the digital platform from June onwards, including Anthony Chen’s Palme d’Or winner Ilo Ilo [pictured], Boo Junfeng’s Sandcastle, Eric Khoo’s 12 Storeys, Ken Kwek’s Unlucky Plaza, 7 Letters by seven directors including Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong, and Banting by Raihan Halim (who is presenting new project La Luna at this year’s Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf)).
In addition to the Singaporean titles, Chai has plans to bring more southeast Asian films on itunes at a later stage. Chai set up A Little Seed with Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking. The latter company, headed by Yuni »
- email@example.com (Silvia Wong)
Good Move, which is screening the film at Efm today [Feb 12], has rights outside of Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore. Astro Shaw is handling Malaysia, where a May release is scheduled, while MM2 Entertainment is handling Taiwan and Singapore.
Set in 1970s Penang, the Hokkien-language drama tells the story of a mother and her son who suffers from mental health issues. Crew on the film also includes pan-Asian talents such as editor Liao Ching Song (The Assassin), while Taiwanese singer Zhao Chuan has contributed to the soundtrack »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Liz Shackleton)
This first feature of Kirsten Tan premiered in Sundance ‘17 World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Its provenance is Singapore but it takes place in Thailand. It continued onward to the Hivos Tiger Competition at Iffr (R’dam).
The thrill of interviewing here in Sundance is that you see a film; you have an impression and while it is still fresh you meet the filmmakers without having much time for any research or reflection. And then you get to see them again as “old friends” when you meet again in Rotterdam.
As Kirsten, her producer Weijie Lai and I sat down at the Sundance Co-op on Main Street here in Park City, I really had little idea of where the interview would take us, somewhat analogously to her film in which an architect, disenchanted with life in general, being put aside as “old” in his own highly successful architectural firm and in a stale relationship with his wife, »
- Sydney Levine
It takes gumption, or downright foolhardiness, to shoot a debut feature in a foreign land, let alone one that depends on a giant animal in the title role. Yet, Singaporean writer-director Kirsten Tan has pulled off “Pop Aye” with candor and laid-back aplomb. A road movie set in Thailand, where a burnt-out architect tries to take his elephant back to their rural hometown, this bucolic escape from big-city life is anchored by a solid script filled with characters who, despite reaching the end of the road, find ways to make peace with the world.
Warm yet unsentimental, graced with the lightest touch of surrealism, this opening-night offering from Sundance’s world cinema dramatic competition is a joy for patient viewers, special enough to find a small but appreciated life beyond festivals — a fate heightened by the involvement of executive producer Anthony Chen (director of Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Ilo Ilo »
- Maggie Lee
6 items from 2017
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