Ilo Ilo's win at the Golden Horse Awards last year stirred renewed interest in Singapore's film industry but, a decade ago, a girl of 10 blazed the trail as the first Singaporean to win a Golden Horse trophy.
Megan Zheng's solemn, yet heartrending, performance in Jack Neo's Homerun (2003) won her the best new performer award.
The film, a remake of Iranian drama Children Of Heaven (1997) set in a kampung, also starred child stars from his earlier hit I Not Stupid (2002) - Shawn Lee and Joshua Ang.
They are just some of the young talents spotted by Neo in his long and illustrious career in the TV and movie industry here.
Zheng "was picked from 1,006 girls who came to the auditions", Daniel Yun, who was executive producer of I Not Stupid and Homerun, told My Paper.
There is a long list of notable names in the local entertainment industry who matured from Ah Boys To Men (Neo's 2012 hit army movie) under the film-maker's wing. From comic actor and host Mark Lee, to the Ah Boys Tosh Zhang and Wang Weiliang, his penchant for using fresh faces is well-known.
How he spots talent and brings out the best in fresh actors is one of the insights the director will share next Friday at a talk - Discovering the Actor.
The first in a planned series that will feature other directors and actors, including director Tony Aryres, action star Yuen Woo-ping and Chinese film-maker Peter Chan, the seminar will focus on discovering new talent.
As host, veteran film-maker Yun, who has collaborated with Neo for over a decade, will be chatting with him about discovering and developing actors, and sprinkling the talk with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from their film-making experiences.
The talk is organised by ACT Academy @ ERC Institute, a school for aspiring actors which aims to immerse its students in the industry.
The highlight of the programme is a reality-TV show in which the students take part. It is a collaboration between ACT Academy and StarHub.
WHAT: Discovering the Actor
WHEN: Aug 22, 7pm
WHERE: Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, Symphony Room
TICKETS: Free Admission. Seats are limited. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6349-5906/07 to register.
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