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Singapore Picks ‘Pop Aye’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Contention

1 hour ago

Singapore has selected “Pop Aye” as its national contender for the Academy Awards foreign-language category. Directed by Kirsten Tan, the film won the world cinema dramatic special jury award at Sundance earlier this year.

Set entirely in Thailand, the film stars Thaneth Warakulnukroh as a down and out architect who is reunited with his childhood elephant. They embark on a road trip across the Thai countryside in search of their old home.

“’Pop Aye’ is a story of self-discovery, beautifully told by a Singapore team, including director-writer Kirsten Tan, producers Lai Weijie and Huang Wenhong, and executive producer Anthony Chen. The

film has resonated with audiences both at home and internationally,” said Joachim Ng, director of the Singapore Film Commission.

The film has recently opened theatrically in Taiwan, after releases in North America, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand. On the festival circuit it will next screen in Zurich, London, Busan and Tokyo. »


- Patrick Frater

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Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Youth’ Loses China Release Ahead of Political Event

2 hours ago

The upcoming release of “Youth,” a bittersweet drama about China’s People’s Liberation Army, has been abruptly halted. Directed by Feng Xiaogang, the film was scheduled to have been released on Sept. 29 and to have dominated the charts over the Oct. 1 National Day holiday.

Instead, ticket sales have been halted. Chinese media report a statement attributing the delay to “discussions with the Film Bureau and other parties.”

The film’s backer and principal distributor Huayi Brothers, has not responded to contact by Variety for explanations.

Local media have been quick to suggest that the release is a casualty of the upcoming National Congress of the Communist Party of China. This highly symbolic political event occurs once every five years, and experience suggests that China’s rulers will crack down on dissent, discussion or any kind of controversy before and during the meeting.

“Youth” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, tracks »


- Patrick Frater

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