Singapore’s Momo Boards ‘Andragogy,’ ‘A Useful Ghost,’ ‘Dreaming & Dying’; ‘Don’t Cry, Butterfly’ Finds U.K. Funding – Busan ACFM (EXCLUSIVE)

Dreaming & Dying
Momo Film Co

Singapore’s Momo Film Co has boarded a raft of projects, it was revealed on the opening day of the Busan Asian Contents & Film Market on Saturday.

Momo, in which Blue Ant Media’s Beach House Pictures has a majority stake, was founded in 2018 by writer-director Kris Ong (“Sunday”) and Tan Si En, who is a co-producer on Busan and Locarno title “Arnold is a Model Student.”

Tan has boarded “Andragogy” by Wregas Bhanuteja (Cannes winner “Prenjak,” Busan 2021 title “Photocopier”) as a co-producer. The film will follow Prani, a middle-aged schoolteacher, whose angry video goes viral and she gets trolled online. Adi Ekatama is producing for Indonesia’s Rekata Studio (“Photocopier”).

“Our partnership with Wregas and Rekata Studio emphasise Momo’s commitment to work with like-minded Southeast Asian talents and push boundaries through compelling and edgy stories. This is the first of many upcoming projects and we look forward to sharing it with audience around the world,” said Tan.

Singapore outfit Hwallywood Media and Arts (“Land of Mercy”) has also joined “Andragogy” as executive producer.

“In Rekata’s second feature film, we are eager to expand the possibilities by collaborating with other companies, like Momo and Hwallywood. We believe ‘Andragogy’ has a soul that can reach global audiences. The narrative explores cancel culture which has become such a widespread phenomenon, particularly in light of the enormous role that social media plays in everyday life,” said Ekatama.

Principal photography is scheduled in Indonesia during the last quarter of 2022.

Tan also boarded Thailand’s “A Useful Ghost,” which won the Locarno Open Doors top prize, as co-producer. It follows March and Nat, a happily married couple, and their seven-year-old son Dot. Nat dies of respiratory disease caused by air pollution. A saddened March is worried that the same fate will befall his son, who gradually develops similar symptoms. Nat then returns as a ghost haunting the house vacuum cleaner to try and suck up the dust hurting her son.

The film is produced by Cattleya Paosrijaroen and Soros Sukhum for Bangkok-based 185 Films Co.

Meanwhile, Nelson Yeo’s debut feature “Dreaming & Dying,” about three middle aged individuals who are forced to confront their inner demons as a long buried love triangle between them resurfaces, is in production. The film participated in the Philippines Full Circle Lab in 2021. Tan is producing alongside with Sophia Sim for Momo Film Co.

Elsewhere, “Don’t Cry, Butterfly” by Duong Dieu Linh (“Sweet, Salty”) and produced by Tan for Momo and Tran Tri Bich Ngoc for An Nam Productions (“The Third Wife”) has been boarded by U.K. investment fund Adeline Arts and Science. The Hanoi-set film follows housewife Tam who finds out that her husband is cheating on her. Instead of confronting him, she voodoos her husband back into love.

Duong said: “I grew up obsessed with all types of fear shared by all the women before me: infidelity, infertility, and the inability to control all aspects of life. Only until I realised how ridiculous, pathetic and miserable we have made our lives and other women’s lives become, I started making films that question the ultimate source of women’s suffering.”

The project has been at Open Doors, Full Circle, HAF among many other labs and markets.

Des Tan, director of Adeline Arts and Science said: “Our fund’s mission is to engage with the best Southeast Asian talent. We’ve worked with Momo for the better part of a decade and always been impressed by the stellar slate they have and are thrilled to be continuing with this collaboration with ‘Don’t Cry, Butterfly.’ ”

Tran and Tan added, “Linh is an extremely gifted filmmaker, and the story she is telling through her debut film with recurring themes of womanhood, toxic familial relations and tradition plagued society is an important and urgent one. We are excited to be joined by partners who identify with the same vision.”

The project is finalizing a European co-producer. Principal photography is scheduled in Vietnam for the second half of 2023.