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Singapore films making waves at Locarno International Film Festival

Dated: 1 August 2006

In the latest affirmation of growing overseas interest in Singapore films, a record number of nine Singapore productions or co-productions will be featured at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival (LIFF), including two funded by the Media Development Authority (MDA) and Singapore Film Commission (SFC). Of these nine productions, two films will be screened in competition at the prestigious Filmmakers of the Present Competition section, while three films and four developing film projects will be showcased under the Open Doors programme, a section of the main festival. LIFF runs from 2 to 12 August in Switzerland and is one of Europe’s leading film events.

Screening in competition at LIFF is Love Story, a meditative tale of love and loss which won Kelvin Tong a Best Director Award at the 19th Singapore International Film Festival this April. The film has been selected as the closing title for the Filmmakers of the Present Competition section. Also in competition is Talk To Her, an anthology of three digital short films, namely No Day Off (Eric Khoo, Singapore), About Love (Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan) and Twelve Twenty (Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand).

Outside of competition, there will be a strong Singapore element at the LIFF’s Open Doors programme, which provides a platform for filmmakers from countries with relatively nascent film industries to network, present and pitch new film projects to potential partners and investors from around the world. Currently into its fourth edition, this year’s Open Doors has thrown its spotlight on Southeast-Asian cinema. Out of over 50 entries, 11 film projects from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have been selected for participation in the networking workshop, including two Singapore productions –132 (Royston Tan) and Maid to Order (Djinn) –and two Singapore-Thailand co-productions –Armful (Wisit Sasanatieng) and Pleasure Factory (Ekachai Uekrongtham).

To increase the understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asian cinema, the Open Doors programme will organise screenings of films from the region. Three Singapore films Perth (Djinn), Be With Me (Eric Khoo) and 4:30 (Royston Tan) have been selected for showcase at the Open Doors Screenings.

Armful is supported by SFC’s Project Development Scheme while Perth is supported by MDA’s Scheme for Co-Investment in Exportable Content. Please refer to Annex for more information on these schemes.

Commenting on Singapore’s strong presence at Locarno, Mr Man Shu Sum, Director of Broadcast and Film Development, MDA and Director, SFC, said,

“We are excited that a number of Singapore films have been selected for competition and showcase at the prestigious film event. Although relatively young, Singapore’s budding film industry is brimming with diversity and dynamism and this has caught the attention of the global film festival circuit.

“From Cannes to Shanghai, from Puchon to Toronto, Singapore filmmakers have achieved recognition for the creative retelling of Asian stories that are concomitant with our multi-cultural and cosmopolitan background. The exposure at Locarno will serve to further raise the profile of Singapore films among the international film fraternity and enhance the craft of Singapore’s filmmakers.”

For more information, please contact:

Ms Chia Pei Siang
Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (+65) 6837 9010
HP: (+65) 9368 9920

Ms Phoebe Seow
Assistant Director, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (+65) 6837 9369