SINGAPORE - Local film-maker Boo Junfeng's psychological drama Apprentice is still going strong on the festival circuit almost a year after it premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
It won two major awards at Switzerland's Fribourg International Film Festival which ended on April 8, namely the Grand Prix (Grand Prize) as well as the Critics' Choice Award.
The Grand Prix, formerly known as the Regard d'or, is the festival's top accolade and it comes with a cash prize of 30,000 Swiss francs (S$41,800). Previous recipients include Eric Khoo's Tamil language drama My Magic in 2009 and Lee Chang Dong's South Korean drama Poetry in 2011.
Boo, 33, tells The Straits Times: "It's a huge honour to be in such illustrious company." Khoo was executive producer for Apprentice, which stars Fir Rahman as a young prisons officer who befriends the chief executioner played by Wan Hanafi Su.
In the video acceptance speech that Boo sent to the organisers, the writer-director said: "I saw so many good films at the festival and this was really quite unexpected.
"It's good to know that the film stays with people who have seen it. So thank you very much to the jury for honouring the film in such a way."
Apprentice has won a total of nine awards thus far, including the Netpac award at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, and has travelled to sixty film festivals around the world.