Local films to debut on iTunes Singapore

Ilo Ilo, starring Angeli Bayani and Koh Jia Ler, is one of at least 10 home-grown films which will be available on iTunes from June.
Ilo Ilo, starring Angeli Bayani and Koh Jia Ler, is one of at least 10 home-grown films which will be available on iTunes from June.PHOTO: SINGTEL

Critically acclaimed Singaporean films such as Anthony Chen's family drama Ilo Ilo (2013), Boo Junfeng's coming-of-age drama Sandcastle (2010) and SG50 omnibus film 7 Letters (2015) will soon be available on iTunes Singapore.

They are among a slate of at least 10 local films that will debut on the digital media store from June, thanks to home-grown film-maker Chai Yee Wei's new venture, A Little Seed. The company works as an iTunes aggregator, which formats and delivers content to iTunes.

Chai, 40, made the announcement at Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (Filmart) on Monday. He says: "A Little Seed was set up with the goal to work with many independent film-makers, especially those in Asia, many of whom had wonderful works which are not available on any platform.

"I feel that iTunes would be a great platform to ensure that people around the world can have access to them easily."

Handling content creation for the company is Objectifs Centre For Photography & Film, a non-profit visual arts centre dedicated to photography and film in Singapore.

Ms Yuni Hadi, director of the centre, says: "Digital platforms like iTunes help broaden the audience base for Singapore films, especially for independent films that want to find exhibition beyond the festival circuit and a limited theatrical release.

"We are passionate about growing the audience for these films that we love."

Other Singapore films that will be added to iTunes include Raihan Halim's sports dramedy Banting (2014), Ken Kwek's black comedy thriller Unlucky Plaza (2014) and Eric Khoo's heartland drama 12 Storeys (1997).

Khoo, 51, says: "It's absolutely wonderful that the restored version of 12 Storeys will be available on iTunes this year as it's the 20th anniversary of the film. A whole new generation will be able to watch the first Singaporean film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival 20 years ago. How time flies."

Chai tells The Straits Times that beyond Singapore films, he is working on rolling out films from around the region on iTunes in the months to come.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2017, with the headline 'Local films to debut on iTunes Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe