Dated: 28 August 2006

The first ever Italy-Singapore feature film The Missing Star will make its world premiere and ompete for the prestigious Golden Lion award for best film at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival from 30 August to 9 September. The film will then make its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival one week later where it will be screened out of competition in the Masters section. 

The Missing Star is a co-production between Italian film companies Cattleya and Rai Cinema, French company Babe, Singapore production company Oak3 Films, and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). Following its success, MDA has begun discussions with Italy’s Ministry of Culture on a Singapore-Italy co-production treaty to pave the way for further collaborations.

At the Venice International Film Festival, The Missing Star will be competing against 20 films for top honours in Venezia 63- In Competition, the main section of the festival, which is organised by the Venice Biennale. In Toronto, Canada, it will be screened in the Masters programme, which exhibits new works by the world's most established and renowned filmmakers. The 31st Toronto International Film Festival runs from 7 to 16 September 2006.

Helmed by award-winning director, Gianni Amelio, The Missing Star is about an Italian worker, who goes to China in search of a steel mill in the hope of preventing a fatal industrial mishap. Accompanied by a young Chinese university student, he travels through China on a voyage enriched by discoveries and emotions. The film features an international cast including Sergio Castellitto (Don’t Move) and newcomer Tai Ling. Please refer to the Annex for more details.

Apart from Cattleya, Rai Cinema, Babe and Oak3 Films, the project is co-produced by Swiss company Carac Film and Italian company Achab Film, and is backed by an international slate of investors, including the Council of Europe’s Eurimages fund, US and international film distributor Lakeshore, Italian distributor 01 Distribution as well as MDA, which provided funding as part of an MDA-Oak3 Films Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2005.

Ms Zaihirat Banu, Oak3 Films’ Chief Executive Officer said: “At Oak3, we are very thrilled to have our first international co-produced film invited to the Venice Film Festival in its main competition section. I am pleased, as a producer, that Oak3 is able to identify and co-develop projects, such as The Missing Star, that are gaining international recognition.

“The journey to complete this film has been an enriching experience for us. It will be a great opportunity for Oak3 to be at such a prestigious festival;not just as an observer but as a participant.”

Commenting on the success of The Missing Star, Mr Man Shu Sum, Director of Broadcast and Film Development, MDA and Director, Singapore Film Commission, said: “We are delighted that The Missing Star has been selected for competition at the renowned Venice International Film Festival. Singapore’s efforts to partner international companies to produce quality feature films have caught the attention of the global festival circuit.

“The exposure at Venice and Toronto will serve to further raise the profile of Singapore films among the international film fraternity and enhance the craft of Singapore’s filmmaking community.” 

For the complete line-up of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival please visit

For more information on the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival please visit

For more information, please contact:

Ms Nicole Batchelor

Assistant Manager, Communications

Media Development Authority

Tel: (+65) 6837 9957


Ms Phoebe Seow

Assistant Director, Communications

Media Development Authority

Tel: (+65) 6837 9369




Title: The Missing Star

Produced by: Oak 3 Films, Cattleya

Directed by: Gianni Amelio

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 100 minutes

Format: 35mm

Language: Italian / Mandarin

Cast: Sergio Castellitto, Ting Zhou


A Chinese delegation arrives in Italy to purchase a large piece of equipment from a steel mill in the process of being dismantled.

Vincenzo Buonavolontà, an Italian maintenance worker at the mill, specialized in machinery, is convinced that the blast furnace up for sale is not in working order, and he stubbornly insists on working to correct the flaw so that no harm may come to the workers using the furnace as has happened in the past.

Vincenzo manages to determine the cause of the defect, but the Chinese have already left for their home country, bringing the machinery with them.

He does not have to think twice about it –Vincenzo flies to Shanghai to delivery personally the new hydraulic control unit he has modified to operate the blast furnace properly. But an unpleasant surprise awaits him: the Chinese firm which bought the Italian equipment has already resold it;the head of the delegation, whom he met in Italy, has moved on to new duties;and, most importantly, no one knows or wants to say where the blast furnace has been installed.

Thus begins Vincenzo Buonavolontà’s odyssey through a China that in no way resembles the image he had had of the country. Accompanied by Liu Hua, a university student in her early 20’s who is studying Italian and is a guide as willing as she is inexpert, Vincenzo travels the full width and breadth of this great country searching for “his” blast furnace.

Traveling from one city to another, following the Yangtze River, and then on up to Southern Mongolia, the voyage is enriched by discoveries, emotions, tantrums and incidents. It is a route of extraordinary new experiences in which the young Liu Hua plays a key role, while behind her tender face hides many secrets...

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023