Fox International Channels will co-produce four features in Singapore, some of which adds themselves to the crop of titles marking the city state’s 50th anniversary of independence later this year.
The red dot stickers, which began appearing all across the city last year, promote anniversary events and celebrations. The official date for the anniversary is 9 August, but the territory is taking advantage and running celebrations under the SG50 umbrella all year.
Singapore has already confirmed an omnibus feature from seven popular directors as part of the celebrations, although the city state subsequently banned exhibition of To Singapore, With Love by one of those directors, Tai Pin Pin.
Three of the four films Fox will co-produce come from two directors of segments for the omnibus.
Two titles are from the very successful Jack Neo, whose all-time box office champion Ah Boys to Men provides the springboard from which Ah Boys To Men: Frogmen will be spun off. More directly relating to the anniversary is Neo’s second film under the deal, Long Long Time Ago, which looks back across the last half-century.
Royston Tan, also a contributor to the omnibus feature and whose last feature (2008’s 12 Lotus) wasn’t well-received, contributes 3688 to the Fox deal. Announced late last year the film is “a musical comedy about a parking warden who dreams of becoming a singer”. The final film is set around the time of independence in 1965. Titled 1965, it will be directed by Randy Ang (re:solve).
Fox International Channels gets pay-TV rights for several territories as part of the deal. As 2015 is a year Singapore will attract plenty of international awareness and attention, it makes sense to try to parlay some of that into international exposure for its films.