A record 11 films from Singapore have been officially selected to screen at the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam (27 Jan – 7 Feb), the mecca that showcases the most exciting filmmakers in the world. 13 Little Pictures is honoured to have co-produced 4 of them: 2 feature films, FLOODING IN THE TIME OF DROUGHT (Sherman Ong) (my review here but that was for a different cut) and MEMORIES OF A BURNING TREE (Sherman Ong. Shot in Tanzania, Africa) and 2 short films, TICKETS (Sherman Ong) and ONE DAY IN JUNE (Daniel Hui). Ho Tzu Nyen will have 2 works presented: Earth (short feature) and Newton (short). Other short films are made by acclaimed filmmaker Royston Tan, as well as up and coming filmmakers Kirsten Tan, Ng Wai Ha, Vladimir Todorovic and Wesley Leon Aroozoo.
How Sherman Ong managed to make 2 feature films and a short film in a year, the film programmer of Rotterdam, Gertjan Zuilhof, expressed his admiration on the programming notes:
"A film maker who makes friends quickly settles in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Because he can't afford to pay any actors, he teaches his new friends to act. Because he hasn't written the screenplay, he asks his new actors for stories. Because he can film, the result looks great...The secret is in his approach. Previously, Ong showed in his film HASHI (2008), shot in Japan, that he was able to improvise a feature in a strange country where he doesn't speak the language. MEMORIES OF A BURNING TREE also came about in improvisations. Ong loves the approach of dancers and theatre makers who put together a show step-by-step. Here, all the performers were amateurs. Most had no acting experience at all. Ong's answer to that is to rehearse calmly and patiently and to involve his actors in building up the story and situation."
Other participants from Singapore include Philip Cheah (Jury for Tiger Awards), Fran Borgia and James Leong (both for the Rotterdam Lab), Lim Song Hwee and Hee Wai Siam (film scholars researching on contemporary Singaporean/Malaysian filmmaking).
The Media Development Authority is supporting several Singapore filmmakers to attend the festival through the INSPIRE grant.
LIST OF SINGAPORE TITLES IN ROTTERDAM 2010
FLOODING IN THE TIME OF DROUGHT by Sherman Ong
MEMORIES OF A BURNING TREE by Sherman Ong
EARTH by Ho Tzu Nyen
LITTLE NOTE by Royston Tan
KISSING FACES by Wesley Leon Aroozoo
MAY by Ng Wai Ha
NEWTON by Ho Tzu Nyen
ONE DAY IN JUNE by Daniel Hui
SINK by Kirsten Tan
SNAIL ON THE SLOPE by Vladimir Todorovic
TICKETS by Sherman Ong
* A detailed list with synopses and links can be found here: http://13littlepictures.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/11-singapore-films-rotterdam-2010/
About 13 Little Pictures
13 Little Pictures produces and presents innovative feature films by filmmakers who love cinema. Hailed by critics as the “real New Wave” from Singapore, the collective completed 7 feature films in 2009 and is developing 7 new feature films for 2010. For more information, please visit 13littlepictures.com.