Golden Village, Kismet Films ink output deal


SINGAPORE -- Singapore distributor Golden Village Pictures has committed to a multipicture distribution agreement for fledgling local feature film production house Kismet Films, Golden Village Singapore's managing director, Kenneth Tan, said Thursday.

Tan said the commitment for "as many films" as writer-director Wee Li Lin and producer Fuzzy Abideen could make was part of Golden Village's long-held strategy to be the leading distributor for made-in-Singapore films.

Speaking during a prerelease briefing for the S$650,000 ($425,000) "Gone Shopping," Tan said the film -- Kismet's first full-length feature -- had captured the soul of Singapore.

"Gone Shopping," which took three years to make, is billed as a satirical drama that sheds new light on one of Singapore's core cultural activities -- shopping. The plot revolves around three characters -- a rich housewife, a Gen-Y boy and an 8-year-old girl -- "who seek to satisfy the emptiness of their souls."

The trilingual (English, Mandarin and Tamil) "Gone Shopping" opens in Singapore on July 26 at nine Golden Village multiplex locations. Further distribution is being negotiated.

Tan said the film introduced a new style to Singapore filmmaking that marked the industry's departure from traditional genres such as slapstick comedy or horror.

Tan said the decision to make the feature in three languages was also a new direction for local filmmaking and would appeal to broader audiences. " 'Gone Shopping' adds to the landscape of Singapore filmmaking," he said.

Golden Village has 73 screens in Singapore. "We want to make sure we give enough shelf space to our own movies," Tan said.

The film was heavily supported by the Singapore Tourism Board's Film in Singapore! scheme, which has a $10 million fund aimed at encouraging filmmakers to use Singapore locations.

"Gone Shopping" was the three-year-old film scheme's 12th project, said Winnie Pua, director of the government-backed tourism organization's brand management division.

In a tie-up with eBay, "Gone Shopping" outfits will be auctioned in early July. The proceeds go to the Moving Images film program aimed at developing and supporting local film talent. Moving Images is run by independent contemporary arts center, the Substation.