Singapore made quite a splash at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival, held from Dec 6 to 14.
Local director Tan Pin Pin, 43, scored a win for Best Director at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival. Her documentary To Singapore, With Love is about Singaporean political exiles ruminating about their lives away from home. Some of them have not been back in over 50 years.
Her win was in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary section.
Also recognised with a Special mention in the same section were Singapore film-makers James Leong and Lynn Lee's Wukan: The Flame Of Democracy, which is about a rural community in China which held democratic elections.
And in the Muhr Asia Africa Feature section, Anthony Chen's family drama Ilo Ilo was named Best Film while Yeo Yann Yann took home the award for Best Actress.
Tan, who served as director and producer, thanked "all crew, supporters and the people who shared their stories with her" on the film's Facebook page.
She tells Life!: "Dubai is an important festival featuring the best cinema of Asia, Africa and Arabia, so I am particularly pleased that I won there."
The head of the three-person panel for Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary Tony Rayns said that the decision was unanimous. Tan wins a cash award of US$15,000 (S$18,800).
Tan adds: "Though this film is about Singapore, the award means that it has connected with international audiences. I suppose everyone can identify with the themes of home and one's primal connection to it, themes I have been exploring in my other films Moving House (2001), Singapore GaGa (2005) and Invisible City (2007)."
Previously, To Singapore, With Love had been withdrawn from the 11th World Film Festival of Bangkok 2013 on a technicality. It was not submitted to the Thai Film Board prior to shooting on location in Thailand.
Tan hopes to release the film in Singapore next year.
She says: "Like all my other films, I made this film with a Singapore audience in mind so I look forward to having it seen here."
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