October 6, 2008
The Singapore Film Commission (SFC) selected nine filmmakers to received cash awards under its New Feature Film Fund. The filmmakers received S$250,000 each to direct their feature films. In addition, cinema chain Golden Village Pictures has committed to distribute the films. The list includes short film directors Boo Junfeng, Chai Yee Wei, Ellery Ngiam, Wee Li Lin, Yong Mun Chee, actor Alaric Tay, stage and television veteran T T Dhavamanni, as well as new faces Mika G. Yamaji and Chen-Hsi Wong. SFC director Kenneth Tan said: “The final nine stood out because they presented a balanced slate of genres – ranging from comedy to drama and social commentary, and touching on the supernatural, horror and crime.” According to the terms of the funding, the S$250,000 should not constitute 100 per cent of the production budget as the SFC wants the production companies to take a stake in their own projects. If the proposed budget is less than $250,000, the SFC will fund up to 80 per cent of it. Launched in June this year at SFC’s 10th anniversary celebrations, the New Feature Film Fund aims to nurture aspiring film talent looking for their first big break in feature-film directing. Out of 39 applications that the SFC received, 24 were shortlisted for pitching to a panel of judges comprising Tan, Michael Werner, co-chairman of Fortissimo Films, and Maria Lorenzo, general manager of Golden Village Pictures’ film distribution division.