Friday, June 22, 2007

BECOMING ROYSTON to be released at The Picturehouse

"Becoming Royston" the first film from local production house Originasian Pictures gets its Singapore release on 2 August 2007, one week before Royston Tan's new film - 881. Having garnered over 350,000 hits their website since the short version of the film was release free to view June last year.

"When we started the website, we broke break new grounds in gaining a cult status online almost instantaneously, where we knew where most of our audiences are spending their time, by offering for free the short version of "Becoming Royston" (about 30 minutes in length). There was overwhelming support coming from the internet community all over the world and people were writing in with suggestions on plot developments and what they wished to see happen to our characters." says executive producer and art director Randy Ang. "We then managed to secure more funding to produce the full length feature which has brought more than 50 minutes of unseen material for the theatrical release. It was a fresh approach to the filmmaking process, as it involves the audiences from all over"

This story is a coming of age tale of Tan Boon Huat (ALVIN NEO), the child of a prawn farmer whose family resides on an island town and whose adolescence was one filled with much oppression. Boon Huat eventually leaves the island with the help of his friend and confidant, the island boatman (TAY KAY CHIN) and on the mainland, he meets a girl (OON SHU AN) while working in a video shop. Boon Huat starts to discover his dream of becoming a filmmaker with the help of his newfound love. "In some sense, it is rather autobiographical for me. I could only tell stories I knew, much like Boon Huat. Life, is meant to be lived, not to be understood. You can't learn about life in the classroom or a textbook and even if you could learn the theories, you have to pretty much mess up a few times to get it right. I think we are obsessed with doing everything right the first time that we forget about living at all." Says first time director Nicholas Chee.

"Becoming Royston" was nominate in the 2nd Asian Festival of First Films for three(3) awards for BEST SCRIPT - Nicholas Chee and Terence Teo, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER - Ken Minehan and a BEST ACTOR nomination for the film's leading man, first time actor Alvin Neo. Oon Shu An, also a first time actress, who plays Alvin's love interest, also received rave reviews from the festivals in Europe. "The story speaks of very common characters and relationships in Singapore. Also because Singapore already has an international appeal, in fact by showing the non-conventions of Singapore, the film worked better," says director, Nicholas Chee. The film was also in the main competition at the CINEASIA FILM FESTIVAL in Germany, up against productions like "Paprika" by Satochi Ken (which is also slated for release by The Picturehouse) and Zhang Zimou's "Curse of the Golden Flower". The film has just received a direct invitation from Berlin's ASIAN HOT SHOTS FESTIVAL, held in 2008 in January. The festival aims to "explore new avenues for frequent projection of Asian films besides annual film festivals, to enhance western perception and appreciation of Asian themes."

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