SINGAPORE - Seven local top directors are coming together to make a film to celebrate Singapore's 50th anniversary next year.
Led by Royston Tan, the movie will be an omnibus of seven short stories to celebrate the country and its people.
The other award-winning film-makers involved in the project are Eric Khoo (12 Storeys, 1997), Jack Neo (Ah Boys To Men, 2012), Kelvin Tong (It's A Great Great World, 2011), Tan Pin Pin (Singapore GaGa, 2006), Boo Junfeng (Sandcastle, 2010) and K. Rajagopal (I Can't Sleep Tonight, 1995).
Royston Tan, 37, whose works include youth drama 15 (2003) and getai flick 881 (2007), says: "All seven of us hope that this collaboration can inspire everyone to reflect on our nation's journey, revel in how far we have come and look forward to a brighter future."
On its genesis, he says: "The idea was first mooted a few months back among the directors. We are all very excited about it and decided to make it happen."
As Tong, 41, puts it: "We always make our own films in isolation so it's a very nice change to have company for once. And what great company it is."
The project is fully funded by the Media Development Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Film Commission. More details on the film, such as the stories, cast and production budget, will be announced at a later date. The film is set to be released in the middle of next year.
Royston Tan adds: "I like to think that the project is a microcosm of the Singapore story. We all have diverse filmmaking styles, we all see different aspects of Singapore and its 50-year journey in our unique ways and yet it has given us a common sense of purpose."
His own segment, which he is still developing, will "likely be an exploration of relationships in our community as, ultimately, Singapore is about its people".
The project is the first time the seven are working together, although Boo and Rajagopal were previously involved in the indie omnibus Lucky 7 (2008), which was also a collaborative effort of seven local film-makers.
Khoo, 49, is planning a tribute to "our pioneer generation of film-makers" while Tong is inspired by the idea of memories and "how powerful they can be".
Neo, 54, is also working on his own film to mark Singapore's golden jubilee, one that will cover the era of independence from 1965 onwards, "to see how we have walked this long road over 50 years and how we have grown".
As for his part in the collaborative project, he says: "Royston said that as I'm more familiar with the 1960s, he suggested that I work on a story set in that period."
Neo adds that the two projects will not clash because the styles will be "completely different" and his film will feature his "usual style".
This article was first published on August 21, 2014.
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