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Singapore’s rising star director Anthony Chen, whose second feature film “Wet Season” opened the 30th Singapore International Film Festival, will co-produce Thai film project “Arnold is a Model Student” by first time feature director Sorayos Prapapan. His producing partners are Singapore’s Tan Si En, who also produced “Wet Season” and Thailand’s Donsaron Kovitvanitcha. The project depicts the story of a high school student who is involved in cheating during the entrance exam for a prestigious military school.

“Model Student” was one of the eight feature film projects selected by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority as winners of its inaugural Southeast Asia Co-production Grant. The winners were announced on Monday (Nov. 25) as part of the ongoing Singapore Media Festival.

The Southeast Asia Co-production Grant is a funding program for projects that are directed by a Southeast Asian, but not Singaporean, filmmaker. The production team should involve at least one Singaporean and another from other Southeast Asian nations. According to IMDA, each project will receive cash prizes of maximum $183,000 (S$250,000). Singaporean producers Fran Borgia, Jeremy Chua, Lai Weijie, Panuksmi Hardjowirogo will work on production of the selected projects, along with Chen.

Selected projects by leading Southeast Asian names include: “Regretfully at Dawn” by Thailand’s Sivaroj Kongsakul, whose debut feature “Eternity” premiered in the Busan festival’s New Currents competition section in 2010; “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash,” by Indonesian director Edwin (“Postcards from the Zoo”); and “Yuni,” by critically-acclaimed Indonesian director Kamila Andini (“The Mirror Never Lies”).

“Southeast Asia has a wide myriad of stories to be told, and these eight projects selected for 2019 have shown great potential. I am glad that our Singapore producers collaborated creatively with regional filmmaking talent to bring these stories to screen,” said Singapore Film Commission director Joachim Ng in a statement. “I am looking forward to the completion of these “Made with Singapore” content as we work towards more of such collaborative filmmaking models.”

Southeast Asia Co-production Grant 2019 Recipients
“Anatomy of Time” (Thailand) dir. Jakrawal Nilthamrong. Prods. Panuksmi Hardjowirogo, Mai Meksawan.

“Arnold is a Model Student” (Thailand) dir. Sorayos Prapapan. Prods. Anthony Chen, Tan Si En, Donsaron Kovitcanitcha

“Autobiography” (Indonesia) dir. Makbul Mubarak. Prods. Jeremy Chua, Yulia Evina Bhara.

“Glorious Ashes” (Vietnam) dir. Bui Thac Chuyen. Prods. Jeremy Chua, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc.

“Regretfully at Dawn” (Thailand) dir. Sivaroj Kongsakul. Prods. Lai Weijie, Pimpaka Towira.

“Tiger Stripes” (Malaysia) dir. Nell Eu. Prods. Fran Borgia, Foo Fei Ling.

“Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” (Indonesia) dir. Edwin. Prods. Lai Weijie, Meiske Taurisia Nitihardj.

“Yuni” (Indonesia) dir. Kamila Andini. Prods. Fran Borgia, Ifa Isfansyah.