You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why ‘Diamond Dogs’ Had to Premiere in Singapore

Singaporean filmmaker Gavin Lim is delighted to have the world premiere of his debut feature “Diamond Dogs” at home at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival. The SGIFF, which kicks off Thursday, is part of the Singapore Media Festival.

“It’s important for my first film to premiere in SGIFF, instead of every Singaporean filmmaker’s strategy of going international first and losing that world premiere cherry elsewhere and then coming back to SGIFF after garnering some accolades,” says Lim. “I think it’s important to cultivate Singapore audiences to love our own first rather than seek validation from others. So maybe it is foolhardy and stupid, but I think premiering in SGIFF is important to Singaporean filmmakers. If Singaporean filmmakers are making a mark on the global scene after premiering in SGIFF it will make the festival all that more important.”

“Diamond Dogs” is an action thriller where a man with nothing to lose is lured into a deadly underground social experiment. It stars Sunny Pang (“Headshot”).

After 15 years in advertising, Lim switched to directing film and television. His first short “Subtitle” won Best Director – Singapore Short Film at the SGIFF in 2005. His second short “Hello?” (2006) travelled to several festivals including Clermont-Ferrand, Slamdance and Bilboa. He has been working in the Singapore television industry ever since, directing English-language drama for Mediacorp Channel 5.

“After waiting forever for the right film project to come my way, last year I decided to just make my first debut feature with my own money and my own equipment,” says Lim. The film was due to be a male-centric romantic comedy. But Lim got talking to Pang and the idea changed to what is now “Diamond Dogs”.

Funding was initially a challenge. “Securing film funds in Singapore is real hard but securing film funds for specialized genres is well nigh impossible,” says Lim. “We did it indie style – super micro crew and short shoot schedule. We were soon stuck because the master breakdown started to cost almost double what we factored for and I nearly went back to just doing my romantic comedy. But I knew if I don’t do this now, I would have lost the opportunity to do this with Sunny, who was getting popular with our Malaysian and Indonesian filmmakers.” At this stage Lim reached out to local production powerhouse MM2 Entertainment and they came on board.

With MM2’s support Lim will now travel to international festivals and markets with a view to securing sales and distribution.

More Film

  • Aruna and Her Palate review

    Berlin Film Review: ‘Aruna & Her Palate’

    When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]

  • 'Duke' Review: Two Fake Cops Patrol

    Film Review: 'Duke'

    If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]

  • Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in

    Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in Berlin Festival Film 'Sargasso Sea'

    After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    France's Cesar Awards Leads the Way for the Oscars

    Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]

  • Australian Director Gameau Challenges Audiences to

    Australian Director Gameau Challenges Audiences to Improve the Planet

    Bright-eyed Australian director Damon Gameau set out in his previous movie, “That Sugar Film” to challenge everyday thoughtlessness about the dangers of our modern lifestyle — and became profoundly sick while doing so. In his new film “2040,” which plays in Berlin’s Generation Kplus section and which he styles as a “hybrid feature documentary,” Gameau [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    Writers Guild Sends Hollywood Agents Proposed Code of Conduct

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent Hollywood talent agencies a proposed “Code of Conduct” with tough new restrictions on how they operate as agents for writer clients. The WGA made the disclosure Thursday night in an email to its 12,000 members, a day after announcing that it will hold a March 25 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content