Ramen Shop (2018)
These and a swelling number of Singaporean productions reflect several years of government attempts to support the film industry. Emphasis has variously been put on Singapore as an Asian funding hub, a co-productions nexus and as a shooting location.
Film funds were set up that ended up in tears and loss — and jail time for one former partner. Since then grants have replaced co-investment. And dubious outreach to China — which shares some linguistic overlap, but is a vastly different market — has been quietly sidelined.
What has paid off, however, is persistence.
News of Withey’s death, which was first reported in The Denver Post, jarred the festival world Monday. In Denver, where the June television festival Seriesfest was preparing for a board meeting, the news left many of Withey’s longtime colleagues in shock, while processing the memories of his legacy at the festival, providing a microcosm of the long-term impact of regional programmers on their local audiences.
“He was a singular irreplaceable human, first and foremost,” said festival director Britta Erickson in a phone interview. “The amount of mentorship that he gave to
Last year saw unprecedented success for Singapore cinema, with Yeo Siew Hua’s “A Land Imagined” winning the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and several more awards globally. The film was released theatrically in Singapore in February 2019 and enjoyed a successful box office run. Jon M. Chu’s Singapore-set blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” led to a global uptick in interest in the island country; auteur Eric Khoo’s culinary themed “Ramen Shop” won plaudits at Berlin and Tokyo; and locally, horror films from Gilbert Chan (“23:59: The Haunting Hour”) and Jacen Tan (“Zombiepura”) found favor with audiences.
Local superstar Jack Neo had a 2018 Lunar New Year release with comedy “Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei” from regional powerhouses MM2 Entertainment and J Team Prods.
Matinees to See: Greta (3/1), The Hole in the Ground (3/1), Woman at War (3/1), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (3/1), Leaving Neverland (3/3 & 3/4), Triple Frontier (3/6), Gloria Bell (3/8) Two Plains & a Fancy (3/8), The Mustang (3/15), The Eyes of Orson Welles (3/15), The Aftermath (3/15), The Hummingbird Project (3/15), Ramen Shop (3/22), Hotel Mumbai (3/22), The Highwaymen (3/29)
15. Giant Little Ones (Keith Behrman; March 1)
Considering the breadth of films
Be With Me opened the Directors Fortnight in Cannes 2005 and My Magic his fourth feature was nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2008. Khoo has been profiled in Phaidon Books, Take 100 the future of Film – 100 New directors.
The illuminating feature traces the history of Singapore cinema from the 1950s through the 1970s, the decline of the industry in the 1980s, and its revival in the 1990s. The present day may be enjoying a renaissance.
The screening was followed by a lively debate on new perspectives on Singapore cinema, moderated by journalist Genevieve Sarah Loh, with panelists that included local superstar, the director-producer Jack Neo Singapore Film Commission director Joachim Ng, Singapore filmmaking doyen Eric Khoo and directors Kirsten Tan (“Pop Aye”) and Sanif Olek (“Sayang Disayang”).
“You can see from early days that it’s been a huge struggle and we were trying to learn,” said Ng.
“Ramen Shop” is
Japan’s Kazuya Shiraishi, whose debut feature “Lost Paradise in Tokyo” was a Busan New Currents award nominee in 2009, is in the running for the Kim Ji-seok prize with “Dare to Stop Us,” pictured above. Award-winning Singaporean director Daniel Hui (“Snakeskin”) is in contention with “Demons”; China is repped by Zhan Wei’s “The Rib.”
India’s Devashish Makhija, whose “Ajji” premiered at Busan in 2017, is a nominee for “Bhonsle” this year, alongside compatriot Praveen Morchhale (“Walking With the Wind”) for “Widow of Silence.” Celebrated Sri Lankan filmmaker Asoka Handagama (“Let Her Cry”) is nominated for “Asandhimitta”; Indonesian filmmaker Ravi Bharwani (“The Rainmaker”) has “27 Steps of May” in the running.
Jamshid Mahmoudi, whose 2014 film “A Few Cubic Meters of Love” was Afghanistan’s entry to the foreign-language Oscar race,
Having expanded to include the cinematic offerings of 13 countries – China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar – Leaff’s 2018 programme focuses on the “future”. Through the lens and unique perspectives of East Asian filmmakers, Leaff offers compelling insight into not only the future of those in East Asia but in London, with vital and thought – provoking dialogues being opened up around subjects such as youth, human interaction, development, cultural and social issues.
Leaff will screen 6 International premieres, 8 European premieres and 23 UK premieres,
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The film, which premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, will have its North American premiere in New York at Japan Society on July 19 as the opening film of Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Films.
“We are thrilled to premiere ‘Ramen Shop’ as the opening film of this year’s Japan Cuts,” said Aiko Masubuchi, senior film programmer at Japan Society. “Khoo’s touching transnational drama shows how food, like cinema, offers a bridge across cultures and histories. We are honored that he and star Takumi Saitoh will join to share the film with our audiences.”
The movie centers on a young chef who leaves his hometown in Japan to embark on a culinary journey to Singapore to find out the truth about his parents
The festival programmers Aiko Masubuchi, Kazu Watanabe and Joel Neville Andersonhave highlighted in a note that “perhaps most strikingly, the struggle for dignity and individual rights reverberates throughout the lineup—including Lgbtq advocacy (“Of Love & Law”), reparations for government abuse (“Sennan Asbestos Disaster”) or the plight of refugees (“Passage of Life”). Additionally, multiple films deal with the
Highlights from this year’s festival include Takeshi Kitano’s crime drama sequel Outrage Coda, Naomi Kawase’s Radiance, the U.S. premiere of Shinsuke Sato’s much-anticipated live-action manga adaptation Bleach, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s recent Berlinale premiere Yocho (Foreboding), and many more. This year’s Opening Night film is Eric Khoo’s Ramen Shop,
Japanese stars Takumi Saitoh and Seiko Matsuda have joined the cast of Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo’s upcoming foodie drama Ramen Teh.
Singapore’s Mark Lee and Jeanette Aw also star in the film, which will be co-produced by Khoo’s Zhao Wei Films and Wild Orange Artists. Also joining the ensemble cast are Tsuyoshi Ihara, Tetsuya Bessho and Singaporean theatre actress Beatrice Chien.
The film, which has started shooting in Singapore, tells the story of a young ramen chef from Japan who travels to Singapore to learn more about his Singaporean mother who died when he was ten years old.
Japanese chef Keisuke Takeda and Singapore food blogger Dr Leslie Tay have been tapped to consult on the culinary scenes in the film.
Singapore’s Clover Films will distribute the film locally. Theatrical release is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.
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