APPRENTICE: Singapore’s Oscar Entry, Directed by Boo Junfeng

APPRENTICE, the gritty drama that premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Fest, was Singapore’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

In APPRENTICE newcomer Fir Rhaman plays Aiman, a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer who is recently transferred to the territory’s top prison.

At his new workplace, Aiman begins to take an interest in a 65-year-old sergeant named Rahim (Wan Hanafi Su).  It is revealed that the charismatic Rahim is actually the long-serving chief executioner of the prison.

Rahim also takes notice of the principled and diligent Aiman, and when Rahim’s assistant suddenly quits, he asks Aiman to become his apprentice. When Aiman, who lives with his older sister Suhaila, tells her about his new position, she becomes distraught, as their father was actually executed by Rahim.

Can Aiman overcome his conscience and haunted past to possibly take over as the next chief executioner?

The film was written and directed by Boo Junfeng, whose award-winning first film SANDCASTLE (2010) also premiered at Cannes Film Fest.

It boasts the same cinematographer, Benoit Soler, as ILO ILO (winner of the Camera d’Or in Cannes and released by Film Movement in 2014).

The film is executive produced by filmmaker Eric Khoo.

Called a “very well- observed, gritty drama” by The Hollywood News, the Singaporean co-production (Singapore/Germany/France/ Hong Kong/Qatar) is in Malay with English subtitles.

 

Credits:

A Film Movement Release, opening March 3, 2017 in New York at the Village East Cinema

Written and Directed by Boo Junfeng

Story by Boo Junfeng, Raymond Phatanavirangoon

Cinematography by Benoit Soler.  Editing by Natalie Soh & Le Chatametikool

Costume Designer Merdith Lee.  Composers Alexander Zekke & Matthew James Kelly

Produced by Raymond Phatanavavirangoon, Fran Borgia, Tan Fong Cheng

Executive Producers Eric Khoo, Pang Ho-Cheung, Subi Liang, Jim Rogers, Paige Parker

Starring Fir Rhaman, Wan Hanafi Su, Mastura Ahmad, Koh Boon Pin, Nickson Cheng, Crispian Chan, Gerald Chew

Running time: 96 minutes.

 

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