Thursday, November 12, 2009

5th Asian Festival of First Films Announces Nominees and Jury

For the first-time since its inception, the 5th Asian Festival of First Films (AFFF) has a slew of multi-award winning nominees vying for the top awards and admirably, 4 Singaporeans have been nominated out of 30 nominee hopefuls from 28 countries.

First-time actress Joey Leong (Singapore) has been nominated for her role in Blood Ties while Derrick Loo (Singapore) has been nominated for Best Cinematographer. ‘Blood Ties’ deals with a favourite genre of Singaporeans – horror and the afterlife – and will screen in Mandarin. ‘Cashless’ features music by local bands The Lilac Saints and RustyNailz and focuses on yet another aspect familiar to Singaporeans – money and the pursuit of it, albeit with a twist. Actor Danny Low (Singapore) has been nominated for Best Actor.

Mohd Akbar Bin Tabare Alam (Singapore) has also been nominated for his directorial work for Best Short Film, ‘Certain Chapters’ in Tamil. It is an experimental film which unveils the unforgiving and wanton world of gangsters in Singapore, inspired by a series of true event.

Films to look out for include ‘Frontier Blues’ from the UK, filmed in Persian by Iranian Babak Jalali (UK, Best Script/Screenplay nominee) and ‘Closed For Winter’ an Australian film by Ben Grant & Kent Smith. Babak Jalali’s graduation film for his MA in Film-Making from the London Film School has screened at 60 film festivals worldwide and received a BAFTA nomination as Best Short Film in 2006. ‘Frontier Blues’ takes place on Iran’s northern frontier with Turkmenistan and is made up of 4 stories of desperate men, from a man with a pet donkey to a tailor whose clothes never seem to fit anyone and a Turkmen minstrel whose wife was stolen by a Sheppard in a green Mercedes.

‘Closed For Winter’ is based on Georgia Blain's critically acclaimed novel of the same title and tells of a sister’s grappling with her past on the discovery of her sibling’s mysterious disappearance when they were children and features a stunning performance by international star Natalie Imbruglia (Australia, Best Actress nominee) in the title role. Ana Kokkinos (Australia), Chris Lee (Hawaii) and Kabir Khan (India) will grace the AFFF as celebrated jury members.

Nominated films will be screened at Golden Village Marina and The Arts House from 28th November to 3rd December 2009. Tickets are available from the respective box offices and online (only Golden Village) at $10 each. Film synopses and schedules will be listed on the festival website

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