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Singaporean director Boo Junfeng awarded Rising Director at Busan International Film Festival

BUSAN — Singapore filmmaker Boo Junfeng has received the Rising Director award at the Busan International Film Festival’s Asia Star Awards 2016 on Friday evening (Oct 7).

Singaporean director Boo Junfeng awarded Rising Director at Busan International Film Festival

Singaporean director Boo Junfeng received the Rising Director award at Busan Film Festival tonight.

BUSAN — Singapore filmmaker Boo Junfeng has received the Rising Director award at the Busan International Film Festival’s Asia Star Awards 2016 on Friday evening (Oct 7).

During his acceptance speech, Boo said, “Busan was actually the first festival I attended back in 2005. This is a wonderful honour. I want to thank Busan Film Festival for championing cinema, especially Asian cinema.”

The 21st Busan International Film Festival held the Asia Star awards to commemorate impressive movie talent in Asia for the year. The relatively new and coveted Rising Director award was previously given to Indian filmmaker Mozez Singh in 2015 for his directorial debut coming-of-age musical drama Zubaan, which opened the internationally renowned 10-day film festival last year.

Boo has been receiving a lot of attention this year for his film Apprentice, currently being screened under the Asian film category A Window on Asian Cinema alongside 54 films, at the Busan International Film Festival running from Thursday (Oct 6) to Oct 15.

“Busan has meant a lot to me as a film-maker as it was here 11 years ago where I attended the first Asian Film Academy. The festival has been very supportive of my films since then. It’s very meaningful to be recognised this way by the festival,” Junfeng told TODAY.

Apprentice premiered at the international Cannes film festival’s more progressive Un Certain Regard section in May and was also selected by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) to be Singapore’s official selection for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The psychological drama focuses on the relationship between Aiman, a young correctional officer, and Rahim, the chief executioner of the prison. Their friendship becomes more difficult after Aiman finds out that the executioner was the one who hanged his father.

Other than BIFF, the film is also showing at film festivals in London, Tokyo, Chicago, Philadelphia, Manila, Hong Kong and Mumbai this month. There are plans to have a second run of Apprentice at the Projector in Singapore starting on Nov 13.

This year’s BIFF has a strong showing of Singapore’s films. A Yellow Bird by home grown director K Rajagopal is also being screened as part of the Asian film showcase. The film debuted at the International Critics’ Week at Cannes in May and will be competing at the Silver Screen Awards at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) in November this year.

BIFF also saw the world premiere of Art through Our Eyes, an omnibus film by award-winning South-east Asian directors including Singaporean film-maker Eric Khoo. These directors each created five-minute films inspired by artworks from the National Gallery Singapore.

This project was initiated by Khoo who is Singapore’s first film-maker to have his films shown at overseas festivals, and produced with the support of the Singapore film commission. It will be premiering at SGIFF 2016 in November.

Zhang Wenjie, programme director for SGIFF, shared, “Singapore filmmakers and the Singapore International Film Festival have a long friendship with the Busan International Film Festival and it is wonderful that Junfeng is honoured for his remarkable achievements at Asia’s biggest film festival.”

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