the world digest


Singapore chooses

SINGAPORE— The Royston Tan-helmed musical "881" will represent Singapore in the foreign-language Oscar race, the Media Development Authority of Singapore said Thursday. Chosen by the Singapore Film Commission, "881" is the story of the Papaya Sisters, who grow up mesmerized by the glitter and glamour of the stage and go on to become top performers on the circuit. It is the top-grossing movie in Singapore so far this year, with boxoffice of S$3.2 million ($2.1 million) since its Aug. 8 opening.

Riley joins

LONDON — Newcomer Sam Riley ("Control") is joining Ryan Phillippe and Eva Green in Gerald McMorrow's "Franklyn," the filmmakers said Thursday. Produced by Oscar winner Jeremy Thomas through his Recorded Picture Co., "Franklyn" marks the feature debut of writer-director McMorrow. The project, set between the parallel worlds of contemporary London and the futuristic faith-dominated metropolis of Meanwhile City, begins shooting Monday. It will receive backing from the U.K. Film Council's Premiere Fund, Film 4 and equity backer Aramid. International sales are being handled by HanWay Films.

'Karaoke' travels

SINGAPORE — The first local versions of Sony Pictures Television International format "Karaoke Showdown" will air in Asia at the end of this year, the company said Thursday. Format rights to the music variety show, which originated in Europe, were sold to Vietnam terrestrial TV broadcaster VTV3 and Indonesian free-TV broadcaster Trans TV, SPTI said. Financial details of the agreements, which are straight licensing deals with consultancy, were not disclosed.