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Singapore names seven for 50

Singapore names the seven directors who’ll contribute to an omnibus title being made to help mark Singapore’s half-century of independence next year.

While 9 August is the actual anniversary of independence, the city state is planning a programme of celebrations running throughout 2015. While the directors for the omnibus feature have been announced, no premiere screening has been set as the project joins many others, artistic or otherwise, jockeying for a suitable spot in what’s going to be a very busy calendar.

All the directors are, naturally, well-known award-winning Singaporean directors although there’s one very obvious omission, Anthony Chen, director of Ilo Ilo and winner of Singapore’s first Cannes gong (Camera d’Or, 2013) and 20 other awards on the international film festival circuit.

Those who will contribute segments are:
Boo Junfeng, whose 2010 Sandcastle became the first Singaporean feature selected for Cannes Critics Week;
Eric Khoo, twice a Cannes nominee with 2008’s My Magic and 2011’s Tatsumi;
Tan Pin Pin, the list’s only documentarian and only female filmmaker, best known for 2005’s Singapore GaGa and last year’s To Singapore, with Love, and (for lovers of martial arts films, also the director of 2004 made-for-TV doco Crossings, a portrait of John Woo);
Jack Neo, director of Singapore’s local box office champion Ah Boys To Men. Neo also has a 50th anniversary feature project in development;
K Rajagopal, three-time winner at Singapore’s IFF with 1995’s I Can’t Sleep Tonight, 1996’s The Glare and 1997’s Absence;
Royston Tan, also a three-time winner at SGIFF; and
Kelvin Tong, the third triple-winner at SGIFF, for Dai yat gaai/Rule Number One, Love Story and Eating Air, although he’s best-known for 2005’s The Maid.

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Khoo, whose 1997 12 Storeys was the first official Singaporean selection at Cannes, was also named over the weekend as the leader for the Singapore International Film Festival’s (SGIFF) first ever Southeast Asian Film Lab, which will run 8 – 13 December alongside SGIFF.

The omnibus film, presently untitled, is supported by Singapore’s Media Development Authority and the Singapore Film Commission. Check out shorts by most of the directors involved at Viddsee.