Singapore: Director Jack Neo to Release Movie in Time for Singapore's 50th Anniversary

The $4.5 million 'Long Long Time Ago' will be the Singaporean director's most expensive project to date

Singaporean director Jack Neo announced Wednesday during the Singapore Media Festival that the first part of his two-part film, Long Long Time Ago, will be released next year in time for the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence.

The project by J Team Productions and mm2 Entertainment will cost an estimated $4.5 million (S$6 million). "It will be my most expensive film to date. I think it is a very big film, and it will be the most challenging project in my career so far," said Neo.

The award-winning filmmaker, who has been reputed for satirizing and capturing various aspects of local life, said the film will span several decades from 1965 all the way to the present day.

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It will be "a heartwarming story detailing 'kampung' [village] life" and how the lives of Singaporeans have changed since the country's separation from Malaysia. "It will look at what we have gained and what we have lost over the past 50 years," he said.

Casting is anticipated to be tough, according to the filmmaker, as he searches for actors that are able to speak a certain Chinese dialect and have period-appropriate appearances. "People have a very different look today," he said, adding that he may need to search outside of Singapore.

The film is slated to go into production in April for a November release. The second part of the film will follow around Lunar New Year's Day in 2016.


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