Two Singaporean movies compete at Bangkok film fest

Writer: Florey DM

"Pop Aye" (left) and "A Yellow Bird" are competing at this year's Bangkok ASEAN
Film Festival.

26 Apr – The 3rd edition of Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival kicks off today in Thailand, and a total of four films from Singapore have been selected to be part of the festival.

Two of the films, "Pop Aye" and "A Yellow Bird", will be vying for the awards in the ASEAN Film Competition while the third, "Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen", will be screened as part of the ASEAN Film Showcase and the fourth, "The Lion City", will be shown under the ASEAN Film Classic section.

The aforementioned two Singaporean films are among the ten titles shortlisted for the inaugural main competitive section of the film festival, which focuses on films made between 2016 and 2017 that feature outstanding content, approach and style.

Kirsten Tan's Singapore-Thailand directorial debut, "Pop Aye", earlier this year became not only the first Singaporean movie to compete in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, but also the first to win in it. It has also won accolades from several other international film festivals and was released in Singapore this month with an M18 rating.

K. Rajagopal's first feature film, "A Yellow Bird", is a co-production with France. It was picked for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival's 55th International Critics' Week section and nominated for Camera d'Or. It also competed in the Asian Feature Film Competition at the SGIFF Silver Screen Awards.

In the ASEAN Film Competition, the two Singaporean titles will go up against eight other films: "In the Flesh" (Thailand-Japan), "Interchange" (Malaysia), "Singing in Graveyards" (Malaysia-Philippines), "Dearest Sister" (Laos), "Turn Left Turn Right" (Cambodia), "Birdshot" (Philippines-Qatar), "Father and Son" (Vietnam), and "Solo, Solitude" (Indonesia).

Two winners will be chosen. One will walk away with the Best ASEAN Film award, which includes a trophy and USD10,000, and the other will bring home the Jury Prize, inclusive of a trophy and USD5,000.

"Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen" represents Singapore at the ASEAN Film Showcase.

Meanwhile, "Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen" has been chosen by the Singaporean embassy to represent the country in the film festival's ASEAN Film Showcase section, where each of the other eight films is also picked by its respective country's embassy.

The third "Ah Boys to Men" instalment by Jack Neo broke local box office record in 2015 when it collected more than SGD2.8 million after its release, making it the highest opening weekend for an Asian film in Singapore. It was also a hit movie in neighbouring country Malaysia, where it managed to surpass the RM3 million mark.

"Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen" will be screened alongside representative films from Thailand ("By the Time It Gets Dark"), Laos ("Kwan-Nang"), Cambodia ("Vikaljarek"), Malaysia ("Temuan Takdir"), Vietnam ("Ho Chi Minh in Siam"), Brunei ("Waris"), Myanmar ("By Coincidence"), and Indonesia ("Senjakala di Manado").

1960 black-and-white Chinese film, "The Lion City", will represent Singapore at the ASEAN Film Classic section, which features three classic films to honour the filmmaking legacy of the masters. The other two films are "Three Maidens" (Indonesia) and "The Emerald Jungle" (Myanmar).

The Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival takes place at Paragon Cineplex and SF World Cinema from today until 1 May 2017.

The closing ceremony, which also doubles as the awards ceremony, will be held on 1 May at Parc Paragon, Siam Paragon.

Cinema Online, 26 April 2017

Related Movies:
Pop Aye (Thai) (13 Apr 2017)
A Yellow Bird (English / Mandarin / Tamil) (08 Dec 2016)
Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen (Mandarin) (19 Feb 2015)

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