Dated: 10 May 2007
Animated feature film about the coming-of-age story of a girl who makes true her dreams is set for June 2008 release
The animated feature film, Sing to the Dawn, co- produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), Infinite Frameworks (IFW) and a new financing partner, Scorpio East Pictures, is set to hit the big screens in June 2008! This inspirational animation is based on the award-winning novel of the same title by Minfong Ho.
Sing to the Dawn tells the story of an amazing young girl from a rural village fulfilling her life-long dream by winning a scholarship to study in the big city. In the process, she will also rally her entire village together to preserve a way of life that they have always cherished. Stylistically, this film will be unlike other computed animated movies, where beautiful lighting will be used to vignette the characters and designs are inspired by Balinese paintings. It will also introduce animals indigenous to Southeast Asia as supporting characters, such as a Sunbear, a Mousedeer, a Mynah and even a couple of Mosquitoes.
The director of the film, an animation veteran with over 20 years of experience, Mr Phil Mitchell, comments “Sing to the Dawn is a combination of techniques and influences from many parts of the world: in utilising 21st century picture-making technology to blend Southeast Asian design sensibilities within a contemporary Western story structure, we think we are creating something truly fresh and unique".
In addition to an unique visual style, this 3D animated film will also contain five original and memorable songs that are an integral part of the story and the characters’ journey. Music composition and scoring is by Schtung Music Singapore.
Production for this US$5 million animation film is currently ongoing at IFW Studios located in Batam. It is the first animation studio in Asia to use high end asset management system and centralised collaboration system.
Mr Daniel Yun, Managing Director of MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, comments “Sing to the Dawn is special to Singapore for many reasons. As a book and a musical, it has been read and enjoyed by many Singaporeans. Now the anticipation is high for it as an animated feature. This anticipation is not only within Singapore, it will soon be an anticipation around the world when marketing for this animated feature starts at the Cannes Film Market this year. As our first animated feature, Raintree Pictures is encouraged by both the overseas interest in this project and by the progress of the production so far. This movie will be released in Singapore in June 2008. The progress is on track and preparation work for the marketing of this movie is starting to gain momentum. We are proud to produce alongside MDA, IFW and Scorpio East, this animated movie that will make Sing to the Dawn even more special to Singapore. We will work hard to make it equally special for the rest of the world”.
Mr Seto Lok Yin, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry) of MDA, comments “The MDA is delighted to have forged this partnership with Raintree Pictures and Infinite Frameworks to jointly realise this project. Sing to the Dawn is a good example of a Made-by-Singapore project that is created and produced by a Singapore company for the world market. We believe Sing to the Dawn has the potential to be a unique animated film that will strike a chord with audiences around the world”.
Mr Mike Wiluan, Managing Director of IFW, comments “Sing to the Dawn is a wonderful award-winning Singaporean novel which has seen many adaptive reincarnations over the years since it was written in the 1970s and we have had the opportunity to transform this historic narrative into a 3D animated feature film. The 'East meet West' treatment integrates the core story elements of the original narrative with a more western storytelling structure, adding in a good dose of comedy and adventure which is visually played out through a very unique look and animation style. Although it is a pioneering first for South East Asia, I believe it would be one of those small movies that would make a very big impression. It's a good beginning for a great franchise and fun for all the family to enjoy.”
Mr John Ho, Chief Executive Officer of Scorpio East Pictures comments “We are proud to invest in our first ever major animation production. As a leading and sole distributor for TVB International and Disney Home Video programmes, we are confident that the local success of this award-winning novel produced for the big screen, will be a product that can go beyond our shores.”
Jointly issued by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, Media Development Authority, Infinite Frameworks and Scorpio East Pictures.
For more information, please contact the following:
Ms Ang Hwee Sim
Snr Manager, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures
DID: +65 6350 3211
Mobile: +65 9732 7905
Fax: +65 6251 1916
Mr Mike Wiluan
Tel: +65 6222 7888
Fax: +65 6227 7557
Assistant Manager, MDA
DID: +65 6837 9364
Fax: +65 336 4142
Mr Sherman Tan
Asst General Manager
Tel: +65 6282 4776
Fax: +65 6282 7061
About MediaCorp Raintree Pictures
The pioneer in Singapore movie industry, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures was set up in August 1998. Working with local and regional talents, it has produced over 20 movies of diverse genres, including the award-winning I Not Stupid, The Eye, Infernal Affairs II, Turn Left Turn Right, Homerun (which won the first Golden Horse Award for Singapore) and The Best Bet. Its latest productions include the internationally acclaimed horror film The Maid, I Not Stupid Too, One Last Dance (which competed in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival). MediaCorp Raintree Pictures is focused on producing an international hit that will break into key markets all around the world.
MediaCorp Raintree Pictures is part of MediaCorp. As the largest broadcaster in Singapore and one of the region’s most renowned broadcasters, MediaCorp offers a complete range of media businesses: TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services. MediaCorp’s vision is to become one of Asia’s top media companies by delivering valued content to the world.
For more information, please visit: www.mediacorpraintree.com
About Media Development Authority of Singapore
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to champion Media 21, a blueprint to transform Singapore into a global media city. Media 21 seeks to create a vibrant media environment by establishing Singapore as a media exchange, exporting Made-by-Singapore content, internationalising local media companies, nurturing local media talent and developing digital media.
For more information, please visit: www.mda.gov.sg
About Infinite Frameworks
Infinite Frameworks (IFW) is an award winning post-production and animation facility based in Singapore specialising in editing, visual effects, animation and design for TV commercials feature films, documentaries, broadcast design and long form 3D animation. A full-fledge HD facility, its in-house talent pool have been involved in crafting numerous award winning projects such as Eric Khoo’s Be With Me, Kelvin Tong’s Love Story and Saga Picture’s epic documentary Ghost Fleet – Zheng He. IFW has also been recognised for its craft in advertising awards such as D&AD, New York Festivals and Cannes.
For more information, please visit: www.frameworks.com.sg
About Scorpio East Pictures
Scorpio East Pictures - A subsidiary of Scorpio East Holdings Ltd, was incorporated in year 2004 for content-production (co-investment in film productions), acquisition and distribution of films for video and theatrical releases. Our first collaboration, with MediaCorp Raintree Pictures for the film – I Not Stupid Too – saw huge success as the 2nd film in history to gross more than $4million in Singapore box office alone. Indeed, we are very honoured and proud to have been part of this project. We believe that our next collaboration with MediaCorp Raintree Pictures on the movie, 881 along with Eric Khoo, will also see resounding success. Building on our network of strong relationship with our partners, suppliers and customers, Scorpio East Pictures strives to entertain the world of film viewers by bringing in more exciting films from around the world.
For more information, please visit: www.scorpioeast.com.sg
SING TO THE DAWN – STORY OUTLINE
Based on the award-winning novel by Minfong Ho, Sing to the Dawn is the coming- of-age story of a girl fighting for her right to basic education and making true her dreams. DAWAN is an average teenage girl growing up in a small Southeast Asian village. But she has bigger dreams and wants more than her small town and traditional way of life can offer. One day everything is turned upside down when her family gets the news that they must pay new taxes or they will lose their home. The entire village is at risk.
SOMCHAI, Dawan’s father, has a solution. He insists that Dawan tutor her brother KAI so that he can win an upcoming scholarship. Dawan herself will be engaged to BENZ, the brutish son of the village landlord, PAIROTE. Pairote’s family money would surely protect her, but the idea of marrying Benz is more than she can accept.
Dawan decides that her only option is to win the scholarship herself which will enable her to study in the big city. She succeeds but instead of gaining recognition and respect, her actions only cause more strife for her family. Alone and distraught, Dawan seems to have nowhere to turn when OLD WITCHIEN, the village fool and crazy puppeteer, reveals a secret to her. The Ancient Decree giving Pairote and his family ownership of the land is a fake. An authentic decree hidden inside a haunted temple states the land really belongs to the villagers. She also discovers that Pairote has created a lie about the new taxes in order to oust the villagers from their homes where he plans to build a casino.
Dawan must selflessly act to find this decree and stop Pairote and his henchman from knocking down the village, as her father and friends stall the inevitable destruction.
With the aid of some clever animals and the reluctant help of Kai, Dawan will overcome dangerous obstacles and the traditional limits placed upon her. She saves the village and at the same time, receives her father’s consent to study in the big city, making true her dreams.
DIRECTOR – PHIL MITCHELL
Phil Mitchell was born in 1962 and raised in Warwickshire in the heart of the English Midlands, a region steeped in history, ancient architecture and natural beauty. He developed an early appreciation for the rich history of the area, and began studying art history in high school. As a teenager he assisted his father in the complete restoration of a water mill and windmill, both historically significant local structures, during his summer holidays.
Phil attended DeMontford University in Leicester, England to pursue a Fine Arts degree, but switched majors to eventually graduate with an Honours degree in Graphic Design under the mentorship of John Grace. His career began in 1985 as a pioneer in computer animation at Electronic Arts and Array Productions in London and led to work at London post-production facility The Mill, where he introduced 2-D morphing to the London industry. Phil has won numerous international awards (Golden Arrow, Spot Italia, Imagina-Pixel INA, etc.) for his work on animated commercials.
After immigrating to Canada in 1993 to co-found Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. Phil was part of the team that created ReBootTM, the first-ever computer animated television series. Until recently, he was a senior executive at Mainframe, which has consistently produced award-winning television productions and movies for young audiences around the world.
In November 2005 Phil joined Singapore’s Infinite Frameworks to work on their CG feature film project, Sing to the Dawn, as director.
Phil began painting again with acrylics in 2000 as a creative pursuit and to keep his hands busy after quitting smoking. Oh yeah – and I just married a beautiful Indonesian lady at the end of April 2007.
LIST OF KEY CREATIVE &PRODUCTION PERSONNEL
- Daniel Yun – Executive Producer
- Mike Wiluan – Executive Producer
- John Ho – Executive Producer
- Phil Mitchell – Director
- Chan Pui Yin – Producer
- Seah Saw Yam – Producer
- Philip Stamp – Scriptwriter
- Elsa Santos – Art Director
- Steven Read – CG Supervisor
- Lawrence Ang – Supervising Editor
- Daniel Harjanto – Technical Director
- Jindol Inderaprana – Lighting and Compositing Supervisor