Cannes: Luxbox Appoints Boo Junfeng’s ‘Apprentice’

"Apprentice" by Singapore director Boo Junfeng
Courtesy of Peanut Pictures

Apprentice,” the prison drama this week selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, has been picked up by Paris-based Luxbox for sales at international markets.

The film has also been acquired for French release by Version Originale Condor and for distribution in Hong Kong by Bravos Pictures.

The film is the second feature by one of Asia’s hottest new directing talents, Boo Junfeng, whose first movie “Sandcastle” appeared in Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2010.

“Apprentice” sees a 28-year-old correctional officer strike up a friendship with the prison’s chief executioner and eventually be invited to become his successor. Veteran Malaysian actor Wan Hanafi Su stars as the older man, and newcomer Fir Rahman debuts as the young protagonist.

Shot in Singapore and Australia, and produced by Raymond Phathanavirangoon, Fran Borgia and Tan Fong Cheng, the film is a multinational co-production spanning Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, and Qatar.

“Apprentice” was produced by Akanga Film Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films (Singapore), in co-production with augenschein Filmproduktion (Germany) and Cinema Defacto (France), and executive produced by Making Film Productions and Sun Culture Entertainment (Hong Kong).

It received financial support in Germany from television broadcaster ZDF’s Das Kleine Fernsehspiel unit as well as from regional public fund Film und Medienstiftung NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia). In France, it received the World Cinema Support from the CNC as well as post-production support from Région Île-de-France. Other fundings include the Busan Asian Cinema Fund’s Script Development Support (South Korea), Doha Film Institute’s post-production fund (Qatar), TorinoFilmLab’s Audience Design Award (Italy) as well as the Media Development Authority’s Development Fund and Production Assist (Singapore).

Luxbox previously represented “Hedi,” which was in competition in Berlin earlier this year and won a Golden Bear for actor Majd Mastoura.

See “Apprentice” trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxY3zZCqeTw

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