City of Small Blessingsby Wong Chen-Hsi
Produced by Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia), Gary Goh (mm2 Entertainment), Teh Su Ching (Purple Tree Pictures)
With a new subway line planned to cut through his city, Prakesh, a retired civil servant must vacate his home with his beloved wife. A small error in state planning has included his home for demolition, and he appeals to government officials and people of influence with increased desperation. The retiree cannot afford to live elsewhere. He must save his house and garden at all costs. No one responds. His streams of e-mails become oneway conversations. Construction advances. Prakesh becomes a national cause celebrity, even as his wife secretly makes her own plans, and his estranged son returns home. Then, he receives an invitation to meet the Prime Minister on National Day, but falls mute at the critical moment. Leaving the ceremony, an accident befalls him in the glass and metal city he no longer recognizes. He falls into a coma as he is taken to the hospital. He dreams of the city he had dedicated his life to. Perhaps he wakes, perhaps he does not.
Based on the novel of the same name by Simon Tay winner of the Singapore Literature Prize in 2010.
Yuniby Kamila Andini
Indonesia, Singapore, France
Produced by Ifa Isfansyah (Fourcolours Films - Indonesia), Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia), Birgit Kemner (Manny Films - France)
Yuni is a smart teenage girl with big dreams. She thinks everything is possible until one day she gets proposed by a man she barely knows. She rejects the proposal and it becomes the talk of her town. The second proposal comes but Yuni still believes in her dreams, so does her family. But something bigger comes up this time. A myth that you cannot reject more than two proposals otherwise you will never get married. Facing the pressure, there are two things that Yuni can choose to: a relationship with Yoga, a younger boy from her school; and poetry reading from the literature class her favorite lecturer, Pak Damar, teaches. With poetry, Yuni feels she can disappear and hide from the world. Until Pak Damar comes to her house and becomes the third person that proposes to her. Yuni still has two options: to run away with Yoga, or to get married to Pak Damar. Both of the options sound like a good deal. But does marriage always have to be a “deal”?
World Sales: Cercamon
Tomorrow is a Long Timeby Jow Zhi Wei
Singapore, Taiwan, France
Produced by Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia), Jeremy Chua (Potocol - Singapore), Stefano Centini (Volos Films - Taiwan), Xavier Rocher (La Fabrica Nocturna - France)
Chua, a middle-aged widower does not seem to have much of a connection with anyone, except for his teenage son, Meng, to whom he returns home every morning after his night shift at the shipyard. The long hours meld into an endless draining cycle of labour and overwork, just to survive. Chua hides his increasing vulnerabilities beneath his powerful appearance, while Meng, a deeply sensitive boy, and unable to measure up to his father, acutely feels their difference in stature. In the dense, confined spaces of contemporary Singapore, this relationship between father and son - created by a sense of dependency and tension from the outside world - becomes slowly unbearable... Chua, in a bid to free themselves from this vicious cycle, performs a 'mercy release', freeing a captive animal into the wild. Believing this ritual will create good karma for the person and their child, in this life and the next, Chua lays down an unexpected path for his son.
Tiger Stripesby Amanda Nell Eu
Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, France
Produced by Foo Fei Ling (Ghost Grrrl Pictures - Malaysia), Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia), Yulia Evina Bhara (KawanKawan Media - Indonesia), Jonas Weydemann (Weydemann Bros - Germany), Juliette Lepoutre (Still Moving - France)
An 11-year-old girl reaches puberty when her body begins to morph at an alarming and horrifying rate. In fear of being labeled as a demon, she struggles to maintain being normal at school by trying to conceal her grotesque self... that is until she decides that she no longer wants to hide from the world.
Oasis of Nowby Chia Chee Sum
Produced by Lee Yve Vonn (Afternoon Pictures - Malaysia), Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia), theCommonist (Malaysia)
After secretly meeting her daughter who lives with the local adoptive parents, Hanh (30s), an undocumented Vietnamese continues her door-to-door housekeeping in an apartment area in Kuala Lumpur, where the decades old buildings are home to both locals and foreign. Hanh has lived in Malaysia for many years, with her ability to speak multiple local languages, she is able to make ends meet working for the diverse local ethnic groups. During an immigration raid, she escapes to an elderly Malay stranger’s apartment. While waiting for the raid to end, the stranger mistakes Hanh as if she was his daughter who left home. Hanh plays along like she is in a home she longs for, as if they are a family. However, such impressions only last until her return to the apartments after the raid, she realises the people and places she once felt like family and home, have always been seeing her differently. Needing to belong somewhere, Hanh decides to leave with her increasingly stranger daughter.
Winner of the Locarno Open Doors 2020 - Prix Arte Kino International, and the Talents Tokyo 2020 Award.