You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SGIFF: ‘Interchange’ Director Dain Said Revels in South East Asian Culture, Reveals ‘Vektor’

“To open Singapore is a huge thing for us,” says Malaysian director Dain Iskandar Said, whose “Interchange” opens the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) today. “That is partly because the festival is run by young people and we like what they are doing.”

“What is means for us as a company and for people expressing South East Asian culture is right up our alley,” he said. “What (the SGIFF organizers) are aiming for is not just Singapore, but also regional. We always try to engage with both the local and the regional.”

“Interchange” is part detective thriller, part shamanistic fantasy, and is inspired by real events a century ago when a Norwegian explorer travelled through central Borneo and took photographs of tribal women bathing in a river. The cast includes Malaysian TV personality Shaheizy Sam (“Songlap”), Indonesia’s Nicholas Saputra, rising star Iedil Putra and Indonesian actress Prisia Nasution (“Sang Penari”.)

After debuting in 2007 with “Dukun,” Said shot to global prominence in 2011 with his debut feature “Bunohan: Return to Murder.” It had its international debut at Toronto and won a slew of awards around the world.

Said is now planning “Vektor” as his next film. “It is sci-fi with a human angle,” says Said. “It is not so much about technology, although scientific, technological and biological elements are there. It’s not like spaceships and all that. Instead, you have the clash of values between the rational world and magic. When technology becomes highly developed, it becomes magic.”

The first draft of “Vektor” is done and will go through several more versions. Producer Nandita Solomon, also the producer of “Interchange” through their Apparat company, has secured partial equity financing and will look for the rest at global co-production markets.

“Interchange” had its world premiere at Locarno in August and has since played several festivals including Toronto, London, Sitges and Vladivostok.

France-based sales agents Reel Suspects closed a rights deal for Spain at Locarno with Luis Bellaba’s Film Buro Producciones Internacionales and has also licensed Switzerland (Preasens Film) and Taiwan (Deltamac). A number of further sales will be revealed at the European Film Market in Berlin 2017, Reel Suspects’ Matteo Lovadina said. XYZ Films is representing the film in North America.

Popular on Variety

More Film


    Watch Trailer to San Sebastian’s ‘Patrick,’ Sold by The Match Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN —  Sales house The Match Factory is launching exclusively via Variety the trailer of “Patrick,” Gonçalo Waddington’s debut feature, as the film world premieres in the Official Selection at the San Sebastian Festival. Screening in main competition, “Patrick” recounts the story of an eight-year old Portuguese boy, Mario, who is re-discovered years later [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in ONCE UPON

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Gets Oct. 25 China Release

    Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is scheduled for a China release on Oct. 25, three months after its U.S. debut. The mainland opening will hit after the country’s National Day holiday in the first week of October, which this year marks a key and politically sensitive anniversary — the 70th year of [...]


    Filmax Acquires International on ‘The Curse of the Handsome Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Barcelona-based boutique studio Filmax has acquired international rights to Argentine producer-director Beda Docampo’s “The Curse of the Handsome Man,” produced by Ibón Cormenzana’s Arcadia Motion Pictures alongside Cados Producciones and Damned Besso –based in Spain—in co-production with Cecilia Díez’s Zarlek Producciones (“Medianeras”) in Argentina. The film is backed by Spanish public broadcaster [...]

  • La-mala-familia

    Javi Tasio Talks ECAM Incubator Title ‘La Mala Familia’

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Via their BRBR collective, filmmakers Nacho A. Villar and Luis Rojo have directed award winning music videos, and commercias. Now they’ll make the leap to features with “La Mala Familia,” a gritty urban drama set in the outskirts of Madrid. Variety spoke with the film’s producer, Javi Tasio, who developed this project at ECAM’s [...]

  • Charlie-Chaplin-and-Horse-Roy-Export-Co

    Carmen Chaplin to Direct ‘Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Director-producer-actress Carmen Chaplin is set to direct “Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World,” a theatrical documentary feature which will add a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. Marking the first time that [...]

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content