Royston Tan's new film 3688 draws inspiration from Taiwanese singer Fong Fei-fei

Royston Tan's last two films, 12 Lotus (2008) and 881 (2007), revolved around the lives and loves of getai performers. This time, he takes inspiration from the late Taiwanese singer Fong Fei-fei, the Queen of Hats whose hits include Knock On The Door
Royston Tan's last two films, 12 Lotus (2008) and 881 (2007), revolved around the lives and loves of getai performers. This time, he takes inspiration from the late Taiwanese singer Fong Fei-fei, the Queen of Hats whose hits include Knock On The Door and Applause. -- PHOTO: CHUAN PICTURES

Award-winning director Royston Tan is back with a new movie, 3688, that is slated for release in June 2015.

His last two films, 12 Lotus (2008) and 881 (2007), revolved around the lives and loves of getai performers. This time, he takes inspiration from the late Taiwanese singer Fong Fei-fei, the Queen of Hats whose hits include Knock On The Door and Applause.

Tan, 38, says: "Fong Fei-fei songs have always been an inspiration to me, they're timeless." He adds that 3688 is "not exactly a musical though" as it has only one song-and-dance segment.

The movie is about a parking attendant named Fei Fei. She dreams of becoming a singer like her famous namesake but she has other concerns in her life, including supporting her elderly father who has dementia. Eventually though, she decides to take part in a talent contest. On the day of the finals, her father disappears.

According to the press release from co-distributor Golden Village Pictures, 3688 is a celebration of Singapore's everyday heroes from kopitiam workers to "summon aunties". It also harks back to the 1980s when Rediffusion and Fong's songs were very much a part of Singapore's musical landscape.

Filming on the $1.8 million movie started in November and cast details will be unveiled at a press conference on Dec 9.