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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

THE TIGER FACTORY goes to Cannes Film Festival

Dear all,

The past two days had been a blur. Woo Ming Jin's THE TIGER FACTORY, which I produced and co-wrote, had been selected for The Directors' Fortnight section in next month's Cannes Film Festival.

Preggers Ping (Lai Fooi Mun) bathing pigs in The Tiger Factory

Principal photography of THE TIGER FACTORY started in March, and I mentioned back then how I spent my birthday in the pig farm because of the shoot. It's all worth it!

THE TIGER FACTORY is the third Malaysian film, after U-Wei Haji Saari's KAKI BAKAR (in the Un Certain Regard section, 1995) and Chris Chong's KARAOKE (in Directors' Fortnight, 2009), to be chosen for Cannes. (... and also the first Malaysian film in Cannes that doesn't start with a 'k' in its title)

Ming Jin also becomes the first Malaysian director in history to participate in all three of the 'Big Three' film festivals: Berlin Film Festival (his feature debut, MONDAY MORNING GLORY at the Forum section in 2006), Venice Film Festival (the award-winning WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, which I also produced and edited, at the Orrizonti section in 2009) and now THE TIGER FACTORY in the Directors' Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival.

THE TIGER FACTORY, starring Lai Fooi Mun (Charlotte Lim's "MY DAUGHTER") and Pearlly Chua (Tsai Ming Liang's "I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE") is a Malaysian-Japanese co-production, it marks the first collaboration between Malaysia's Greenlight Pictures and Japan's Waseda University Ando Laboratory (who were also behind my short film, KINGYO), and hopefully, the first one for many more to come.

It was on Sunday, when I was following Golden Rock's live blog of the Hong Kong Film Awards, that I received a long-distance phone call from Ming Jin regarding our selection. It was overwhelming! I couldn't really pay attention to the rest of the major awards being announced as I was already starting to make phone calls.

Being picked for Cannes is an unbelievable honour, but it also comes with a new set of issues. For example, yesterday was spent entirely on coordinating the screening print for the film (in the Digital Cinema Package format), meeting and thanking some of our sponsors with my professor Ando (executive producer of the film). The festival is less than a month away, so we had to do things quick. Ming Jin is flying in to Tokyo next week so we can get everything finalized.

For now, I would like to also thank the cast and crew of THE TIGER FACTORY, this would never have happened without you guys. We did it! If I don't get crushed underneath the pile of work that I'll be going through for the next few days, you will be hearing some updates from me.