Three films with Singapore involvement to debut at Cannes Film Festival
Three feature films made with Singapore participation will make their world premieres at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
This marks the highest number of films with local involvement that has appeared at the French event in a single year since 1997.
The 76th Cannes Film Festival opens on Tuesday and ends on May 27.
The films are the drama The Breaking Ice by Singapore film-maker Anthony Chen, the horror work Tiger Stripes by Malaysian film-maker Amanda Nell Eu and the drama Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell by Vietnamese film-maker Pham Thien An.
According to a press statement by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Tiger Stripes and Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell were co-produced by Singapore companies and partly funded by grants from the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) and IMDA.
The Breaking Ice will screen in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, reserved for films with unique, non-traditional styles.
Chen’s first film made in China is set in the northern city of Yanji and follows the lives of three young people who meet and become friends over the course of a winter season.
His debut feature, the drama Ilo Ilo (2013), was awarded the Camera d’Or for best debut feature at Cannes.
Tiger Stripes, Eu’s debut feature, has been selected to premiere at the International Critics’ Week section of Cannes.
Among the producers of the Malay-language work of horror is Singapore-based Akanga Film Asia, while its financing includes a grant from the SFC.
Singapore talent involved in the film include sound designer Lim Ting Li and character design and special effects make-up supervisor June Goh.
In Tiger Stripes, Malaysian actress Zafreen Zairizal plays Zaffan, a 12-year-old going through puberty who discovers terrifying truths about her physical changes.
Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell has been selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section of the festival.
It tells the story of a Vietnamese man (Le Phong Vu) who must see to the well-being of his five-year-old nephew after the sudden death of his sister-in-law. To reunite the boy with his missing father, who is the man’s long-lost brother, they travel across rural Vietnam.
One of the film’s producers is Singapore company Potocol, founded in 2014 by Jeremy Chua. He has produced work such as the drama A Yellow Bird (2016) by Singapore film-maker K. Rajagopal.
Both Tiger Stripes and Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell are also in the festival’s Camera d’Or competition for best debut feature.
Mr Justin Ang, IMDA’s assistant chief executive of media, innovation, communications and marketing, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that we have the most number of Made-with-Singapore films debuting in Cannes this year, especially since 2023 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Singapore Film Commission. The commission has been instrumental in supporting our budding local directors and film talent in producing well-told stories and we are so happy to celebrate this significant milestone.”
Tiger Stripes and Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell were awarded the SFC’s and IMDA’s Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant, which comes under the Media Talent Progression Programme (MTPP).
In the IMDA press release, it states that since 2018, content grants have supported the productions that provide quality roles for local media professionals, in order to build up their portfolio and experience.
As at May 1, more than 300 media professionals and 35 projects have been supported under the MTPP. Of these, 11 have been released, with the rest still in development, it says.
It adds that the released films have garnered accolades at prestigious international film festivals and award platforms, as well as being sold to major streamers such as Netflix and Amazon.
The next run of the Call-for-Proposals for content grants will open from June 19 to July 17. For more information, go to go.gov.sg/cfp2023.
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