Anthony Chen's film to open Golden Horse

Distance stars Taiwanese actors Chen Bo-lin (left) and Tony Yang Yo-ning (far left).
Distance stars Taiwanese actors Chen Bo-lin (right) and Tony Yang Yo-ning (left). PHOTO: GIRAFFE PICTURES

Award-winning director is the producer behind Distance, which will make its world premiere in Taipei

Distance, which was executiveproduced by Singapore's Golden Horse winner Anthony Chen, will open the prestigious Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei in November.

The screening will also be the world premiere for the anthology, which stars Taiwanese A-list actor Chen Bo-lin in three roles in three shorts.

Centred on the common theme of distance, the segments are helmed separately by Singaporean director Tan Shijie, Thai film-maker Sivaroj Kongsakul and Chinese director Xin Yukun.

Closing the Golden Horse, which will run from Nov 5 to 16, is Taiwanese director Cheng Wei-hao's horror film The Tag-Along, about a well-known paranormal incident in Taiwan.

For Chen, this certainly marks a welcome return to the festival.

"I am excited to be able to return to Golden Horse to present the film," says the 31-year-old, who made history in 2013 for becoming the first Singaporean to take home the top prize of Best Feature Film for his debut feature, Ilo Ilo (2013), at the Golden Horse Awards, the prize ceremony arm of the festival.

That was on top of the Golden Horse awards he took home for Best Original Screenplay and Best New Director, while his movie's leading lady Yeo Yann Yann won Best Supporting Actress.

Chen adds: "This serves as a wonderful encouragement and affirmation for our three young, talented directors. The film is unique in that it combines creative voices from different parts of Asia, sparking and bringing forward new ideas.

"We really look forward to sharing this collective vision with the Taiwanese audience."

In addition to Chen Bo-lin, Distance also features the performances of regional stars such as Taiwanese actor and heart-throb Tony Yang Yo-ning, Chinese actress Jiang Wenli, veteran Hong Kong actor Paul Chun Pui and Singapore's Yeo.

The project was shot across Singapore, southern China, Taiwan and Thailand. For home-grown director Tan's segment in Singapore, an office building in the east was converted into a prison set for the story of two friends who reunite after many years.

Tan, 34, is known for his shorts The Hole (2011) - which won Best Film, Best Director and Best Script at the Singapore Short Film Awards - as well as For Two (2009), which was screened at the Venice International Film Festival.

Last year, his short, Not Working Today, about a foreign worker seeking redress, won Best Singapore Short Film at the Singapore International Film Festival.

Sivaroj is feted for his debut feature Eternity (2010), which won the prestigious Tiger Award for Best Film at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Xin's debut feature, The Coffin In The Mountain, about how things spiral out of control when a young man accidentally kills a local thug, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at last year's Golden Horse awards.

It was screened at the Venice International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Anthony Chen's film to open Golden Horse'. Print Edition | Subscribe