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Boo Junfeng’s second feature Apprentice gets international help

SINGAPORE — Hey Film Fans. Great news! Celebrated Singaporean film-maker Boo Junfeng’s second feature Apprentice will begin shooting this September with locations in both Singapore and Sydney, Australia. And he’s getting international help for this long-awaited follow-up to his debut, Sandcastle (2010 Official Selection: Cannes Critics’ Week, Toronto, Busan Film Festivals)

SINGAPORE — Hey Film Fans. Great news! Celebrated Singaporean film-maker Boo Junfeng’s second feature Apprentice will begin shooting this September with locations in both Singapore and Sydney, Australia. And he’s getting international help for this long-awaited follow-up to his debut, Sandcastle (2010 Official Selection: Cannes Critics’ Week, Toronto, Busan Film Festivals)

This multi-country co-production which spans three continents has confirmed Germany’s Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion and France’s Cinéma Defacto as co-producers. Producer Rachel Higgins’ Birdcage Films has signed on as associate producer and will coordinate the Australian shoot.

This tense psychological drama follows the story of Aiman, a 28-year-old correctional officer who is transferred to the territory’s top prison. Inside, he strikes up a friendship with 60-year-old Koon, who is soon revealed to be the chief executioner of the prison. When Koon’s assistant suddenly quits, Koon asks Aiman to work under him…and perhaps to take over as his successor.

Eminent Singapore auteur Eric Khoo serves as the film’s Executive Producer with Zhao Wei Films’s Tan Fong Cheng, Akanga Film Asia’s Fran Borgia and Peanut Pictures’ Raymond Phathanavirangoon serving as producers.

Malaysian film and stage veteran Wan Hanafi Su (Dain Said’s Bunohan) and Singaporean newcomer Firdaus Rahman are attached to star. French cinematographer Benoit Soler (Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo) and British Production Designer James Page (Aaron Wilson’s Canopy, Ho Tzu Nyen’s Earth) have also signed on.

“We are delighted to have the various international partners come together to support this very talented Singaporean filmmaker. Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice script is such a page turner that I can’t wait to watch it unfold on screen,” said Eric Khoo.

Junfeng, a 2009 Young Artist Award recipient and 2011 Singapore Youth Award recipient, told TODAY: “I’ve been writing and researching for 3 years. I’m glad we are finally gearing up for production!”

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Here is the breakdown of the international funds Apprentice received:

 

CNC World Cinema Support Fund (France)

The World Cinema Support fund is a scheme established for foreign films and co-managed by the CNC (National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image) and the Institut français. Open to all countries, this highly selective fund aims to foster collaboration between French professionals and film directors worldwide, with a view to co-producing projects that would promote cultural diversity. APPRENTICE was one out of 11 projects selected to be funded in October 2013, and the only Singapore project to have ever been awarded the grant.

 

ZDF Das Kleine Fernsehspiel (Germany)

Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) is a public-service Germany television broadcaster. Every year, it commissions a small number of foreign films on a pre-sales basis under its Das Kleine Fernsehspiel scheme. APPRENTICE was the only international project commissioned under the scheme in 2013, and the only Singapore film to have been sold to a European broadcaster before it is made.

 

Film und Medienstiftung NRW P2 (Germany)

Film und Medienstiftung is a state-owned company based in Dusseldorf, Germany. It funds a small number of culturally-significant German and international films annually. APPRENTICE is the only feature film project selected in 2013.

 

Asian Cinema Fund (Korea)

Organised by Busan International Film Festival, the ACF’s Script Development Fund aims to assist Asian filmmakers in the completion of their feature film scripts.

 

 

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