Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2012 Projects

2012 Script Development Fund Projects

Project Apprentice
Category Asian Project
Project Apprentice
Director BOO Junfeng
Country Singapore
Director's Profile BOO Junfeng made his feature-length directorial debut in 2010 with SANDCASTLE, which premiered at the International Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival. The film was subsequently invited to film festivals including Toronto, Busan, Vancouver and London, among others. It won several awards, including Best Film, Best Director and NETPAC Jury Award at the Vietnam International Film Festival, Best Cinematography and Special Jury Mention at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival, Best Local Film & Best Local Director at the Singapore Entertainment Awards 2011, and was listed by The Wall Street Journal as one of Asia’s most notable films of 2010. Trained in film schools in Singapore and Spain, Boo Junfeng′s award-winning short films include UN RETRATO DE FAMILIA (2005), STRANGER (2005), THE CHANGI MURALS (2006), KATONG FUGUE (2007), KELUAR BARIS (2008) and TANJONG RHU (2009).
Aiman is a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer who is recently transferred to the territory’s top prison. His parents have long passed away, leaving only his older sister Suhaila as his sole family member. At his new workplace, Aiman seems to take an unusual interest in another colleague ? a 65-year-old Chinese sergeant named Koon. Aiman begins following and observing him from afar. Soon, it is revealed that the charismatic and jocular Koon is actually the long-serving chief executioner of the prison, and one of the most prolific in the world. Koon also takes notice of the smart and diligent Aiman, and the two strike up an unusual friendship. When Koon’s assistant suddenly quits after a botched execution, the powerful and influential sergeant begins to make plans for Aiman to become his new apprentice. Can Aiman overcome his conscience and a traumatic past to become the next chief executioner?
Director's Note
The mandatory death penalty in Singapore for cases of drug trafficking remains in the law books. But this film isn’t about that. While researching on capital punishment worldwide, I realised that there is a missing character in the narratives made. We seem to have neglected the perspective of the executioner. What does it mean to be empowered to kill? How does he see himself in the moral and ethical equation? These are some of the questions that haunt Aiman, our protagonist. It has been a fascinating (often tormenting) journey trying to put myself in his shoes. At a much more visceral level, it has forced me to examine the issues surrounding the capital punishment ? issues we have all too often chosen to put out of sight and out of mind.
2016 Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard
2016 Busan International Film Festival - A Window on Asian Cinema
2016 St. Louis International Film Festival - Best Feature
2016 QCinema International Film Festival - Best Picture
2016 Hawaii International Film Festival
2017 Fribourg International Film Festival - Critic′s Choice Award, Grand Prix
Still Cut