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Singaporean directors join prestigious film juries

SINGAPORE (ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES) – In a historic moment, Singapore has secured representation on two crucial juries for the prestigious Golden Horse Awards, a first for the nation, as acclaimed film directors Boo Junfeng and Anthony Chen will have vital roles in the judging process.

Boo Junfeng will be a part of both the Shortlist and Final Stage juries, while Anthony Chen’s expertise will be contributing to the Final Stage jury’s deliberations.

They will be among the jury members choosing the winners at the 60th Golden Horse Awards, which takes place on November 25 in Taipei.

At the Golden Horse Awards in 2018, Singapore film-maker Royston Tan sat in a Preliminary round jury.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Boo, 39, said he spent two weeks in September attending 53 film screenings in Taipei.

“This averages to four or five screenings a day. The rigorous process of watching and deliberating over the films gave me a newfound respect for the Golden Horse Awards and what it stands for,” he said.

He added that he is looking forward to the final round of deliberations.

The 2023 jury president is Taiwanese film-maker Ang Lee (martial arts drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000; spy thriller Lust, Caution, 2007).

Singapore film-maker Anthony Chen (left) is in the Final Stage jury, while Singapore film-maker Boo Junfeng is in the Shortlist round and Final Stage round juries. PHOTO: ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES SOURCE

The nominees were announced on October 3. They include the historical drama Snow In Midsummer, a Malaysia-Singapore-Taiwan co-production. Directed by Malaysian film-maker Chong Keat Aun, it tells the story of a Chinese family in Kuala Lumpur dealing with the aftermath of the May 13, 1969, race riots. It has bagged nine nominations, the most of any film in 2023.

Boo’s second feature, Apprentice (2016), received the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (Netpac) award at the Golden Horse Film Festival, which takes place in conjunction with the main awards.

Chen, 39, saw his family drama Ilo Ilo (2013) win four Golden Horse Awards, including for Best Feature. His second feature, the drama Wet Season (2019), earned Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann a Best Leading Actress prize at the Golden Horse Awards.

Chen’s two latest feature films will make their Taiwanese premiere at the 2023 Golden Horse Film Festival. They are Drift, his English-language feature debut featuring Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo, and The Breaking Ice, his Chinese film starring Golden Horse Best Actress winner Zhou Dongyu.