Local movie wins prestigious grant

Chris Yeo Siew Hua
Chris Yeo Siew Hua

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

Under this scheme, writer-director Chris Yeo Siew Hua can receive a grant of up to €10,000 (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 was last seen 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 work by innovative film- makers. Yeo's win marks the third time that a Singaporean film is receiving 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 $250,000, and the Grand Prix at Vietnam's directing and production workshop Autumn Meeting last year.

It is scheduled to go into production late this year and slated for release next year.

The film 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).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Local movie wins prestigious grant'. Print Edition | Subscribe