Local film-maker wins prestigious grant from International Film Festival Rotterdam

A Land Imagined, one of the winning projects selected for script development, follows two policemen's search for a Chinese migrant worker who had disappeared at a Singaporean land reclamation site. PHOTO: AKANGA FILM ASIA
A Land Imagined, one of the winning projects selected for script development, follows two policemen's search for a Chinese migrant worker who had disappeared at a Singaporean land reclamation site. PHOTO: AKANGA FILM ASIA
Director Chris Yeo Siew Hua. PHOTO: PHILIPP ALDRUP PHOTOGRAPHY
Director Chris Yeo Siew Hua. PHOTO: PHILIPP ALDRUP PHOTOGRAPHY

SINGAPORE - Singaporean film A Land Imagined is one of the winning projects selected for script development by the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)'s prestigious Hubert Bals Fund.

Under this scheme, writer-director Chris Yeo Siew Hua can receive a grant of up to 10,000 euros (S$15,600) to further hone the script for his Chinese-language thriller through various ways, such as hiring translation or script consultant services.

A Land Imagined follows two policemen's search for a Chinese migrant worker who had disappeared at a Singaporean land reclamation site. It is Yeo's third feature after he made the experimental film In The House Of Straw (2009) and music documentary The Obs: A Singapore Story (2014).

Yeo, 32, tells The Straits Times: "I'm very honoured to be selected for the fund. This film comes from my meditations on the land of Singapore, which is forever changing due to land reclamation. How those physical changes impact us in a psychological way - that was interesting to me."

The Hubert Bals Fund, which was established in 1988, is designed to support films by innovative film-makers. Yeo's win marks the third time that a Singaporean film has gotten support from the fund, after Han Yew Kwang's Pinball in 2001 and Le Hoang's The Long Journey in 1996.

A Land Imagined was previously awarded the Info-communications Media Development Authority's New Talent Feature Grant, worth S$250,000, and the Grand Prix at Vietnam's directing and production workshop Autumn Meeting 2016. The film is scheduled to go into production in late 2017 and slated for release in 2018.

A Land Imagined is produced by Akanga Films, the production company behind critically acclaimed Singapore films such as Boo Junfeng's Apprentice (2016) and K. Rajagopal's A Yellow Bird (2016).