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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

THE TIGER FACTORY receives Jury Special Mention at Tokyo International Film Festival

The Tokyo International Film Festival ended yesterday (... or two days ago, since it's 1:37am when I'm writing this).

I went to the awards ceremony and to my surprise, THE TIGER FACTORY received a Jury Special Mention for the Winds Of Asia category! Basically it happened when the jury members were presenting the Best Asian Film award to Korean filmmaker Shin Su-Won for her film PASSERBY #3, then jury member and film director Akira Ogata mentioned that the jury would like to specially mention THE TIGER FACTORY as well. So, I realized that a 'special mention' is literally, you know, a special mention.

When the 'award winners' were invited onto the stage for a photography session, not entirely sure whether someone who got a 'special mention' is considered an 'award winner', I headed off to the toilet. Then I came out and heard people calling out my name, so I went back into the hall and people were waiting for me!

So I took some photos with the winners and was whisked off to the press conference.

Me and Su-Won addressed the press and took questions.

The Tokyo International Film Fest website quoted some stuff I said. But slightly different in both the Japanese and English pages.

In Japanese:


In English:

I'm based in Tokyo at the moment. I hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Malaysia and Japan. Just two weeks ago, the short film spin off of The Tiger Factory called Inhalation won an award at the Pusan International Film Festival. I wanted to explain about Mei in The Tiger Factory so I decided to direct the short film. The director of The Tiger Factory, Woo Ming Jin, was the producer. I have been trying to write a feature film for the past months and hope to finish it in the next year or two!

Actually, I would say that the Japanese page was a little more accurate with what I said.

Anyway, I'll give a fuller account on what I said based on what I remember.

"Two weeks ago I won an award for INHALATION, the short film spin-off of THE TIGER FACTORY. And now THE TIGER FACTORY receives the recognition in Tokyo, I'm truly very happy, and honoured. What an unbelievable month! Both INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY are co-productions between Malaysia and Japan, one of the first few productions to be like this, I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our countries."

When I asked why I decided to make INHALATION.

"During THE TIGER FACTORY shoot, I wanted to tell a story about the Mei character in THE TIGER FACTORY and explain her fate, so I decided to make INHALATION. It's an experiment in storytelling, I'm not sure whether it worked or not when both films are placed together, I hope it did. As for why we flipped roles. For the past 3 years, we have been working like this. I serve as the producer of the films he produced, and he usually produces the short films I direct."

The emcee Kuro Erikawa pointed out that I looked really familiar and that she had seen me somewhere recently. So I said that back in July, I was at the SKIP City International D-Cinema Festival where my earlier short film KINGYO was screening. And she was one of the jury members there.

A journalist commented that she really liked KINGYO and asked when am I going to make my first feature-length film. I said that I'm in the midst of developing a screenplay and perhaps they will hear about it in a year or two from now.