g The Film Panel Notetaker: SOLOS, First Singaporean Film to Be Selected by AFI Fest, Screens November 4 & 6, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

SOLOS, First Singaporean Film to Be Selected by AFI Fest, Screens November 4 & 6, 2007

My friend Florence from Singapore told me some good news about a film she produced there called SOLOS that will have its U.S. premiere at AFI Fest in November. SOLOS is the first Singaporean film to be selected by AFI Fest. If you will be in Los Angeles during the festival, please check out the film on either Nov. 4 or 6 at the ArcLight Theatre. For more info on SOLOS, read the press release below or go to http://www.solosmovie.com/.

SOLOS is the first Singaporean Film to be Selected by AFI Fest

Gay-themed feature film SOLOS will have its U.S. premiere at AFI Fest in November 2007 following international premiere at Pusan International Film Festival

BUSAN, Korea, 9 October 2007 - Following its successful international premiere at Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) where the film screened to two full house audiences, the producers of SOLOS are proud to announce that SOLOS has achieved further distinction by being the first film from Singapore to be invited to AFI Fest in Los Angeles – the annual film festival organized by the American Film Institute. SOLOS has been selected for the International Feature Competition section where first and second-time feature filmmakers from the global filmmaking community present the US premiere of their films.

SOLOS will screen alongside new films by veteran creative artists such as Hou Hsiao-hsien, Julian Schnabel, Robert Redford and Lee Chang-dong at AFI Fest. The festival takes place at the Arclight Hollywood complex and historic Cinerama Dome.

Inspired by true events surrounding an illicit student-teacher relationship, SOLOS explores the relationship between three individuals as they struggle to open up their feelings towards each other. Directed by Singaporean directors Kan Lume and Loo Zihan, Solos is the second feature film by Kan and first feature film by Loo, who also wrote the script and plays the part of the boy. The film also stars Lim Yu-Beng and Goh Guat Kian, both veteran theatre actors in Singapore.

Now celebrating its 21st anniversary, AFI Fest is the longest-running film festival in Los Angeles and the only film festival in the United States accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF). AFI Fest features new films from emerging filmmakers, as well as new work from great film masters and provides a significant US platform for international cinema. Some of the recent films premiered at AFI FEST include WALK THE LINE, TRANSAMERICA, TSOTSI, SOPHIE SCHOLL, THE SEA INSIDE, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, HOTEL RWANDA, and BAD EDUCATION.

SOLOS eschews traditional story structure. The film has no dialogue, but relies on strong visual imagery and sound-design to convey the story. Each scene in SOLOS is at once highly stylized and painfully realistic, the silence between the characters symptomatic of their emotional isolation.

“We are very excited that SOLOS is the first Singapore film ever to be accepted at AFI FEST and we believe its story of love has the potential to garner attention from local and international audiences,” said Florence Ang, producer. “What makes it more special is the cast and directors were all Singaporean and we were such a small team working on the film with most times just the two directors on set with the actors. It is a very honest but modest film – a labour of love by all involved,” Ang added.

With regards to SOLOS being selected for AFI Fest, producer Gerald Herman said “I think they recognized that SOLOS is a very a brave film. Brave for two young filmmakers to attempt a realistic and non-judgmental portrayal of an inter-generational gay relationship. And brave to make the film in Singapore, where even normal homosexuality is generally condemned, and not entirely legal.”

SOLOS has not had a screening in Singapore yet due to local censors requesting for three cuts despite an R21 rating when it was scheduled to screen at the Singapore International Film Festival in April earlier this year. The producers and the film festival organizers jointly decided to withdraw the film, to preserve the principle that films at the festival should be shown uncut.

SOLOS is produced by Florence Ang of Red Dawn Productions Pte Ltd and Gerald Herman of Discovery Communications Pte Ltd, with Ricardo Uncilla as Executive Producer and Kan Lume as Co-Producer. Ang and Uncilla are both first time producers and SOLOS is their first feature film production . Sound design and music was composed by Darren NG, one of Singapore ’s most respected and acclaimed sound artists.

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