Production is finally set to go ahead on the long gestating historical action film '1965'.
The film recounts some of the dramatic activities nearly 50 years ago as Singapore and Malaysiaachieved independence from colonial Britain.
Production is by Daniel Yun, former head of state owned Mediacorp Raintree Pictures, who subsequently headed his own Homerun Pictures company. Yun will produce through his new blue3 Pictures alongside Melvin Ang's MM2 Entertainment.
The picture will be directed by Randy Ang ('Re:Solve'), from a script by Andrew Ngin Chiang Meng and Yun. Production at the Singapore's Capitol Theatre is to to begin from November.
Only two cast elements are currently in place; China's Qi Yu Wu ('Painted Skin') playing a police inspector and Malaysia's Deanna Yusoff ('Anna And The King') as a single mother. Most of the rest of the cast is expected to be Singaporean.
The project has been through several director attachments and screenwriting combinations. The budget has also been shrunk to $2.8 million, from $5 million in a previous iteration.
Yun insists that the more than five years of development reflects the struggle for balance between the historical accuracy necessary for '1965' to resonate with older audiences who lived the events first hand, and the story strength needed to attract younger demographics.
"What we have finally got is very much a commercial proposition, one that sits somewhere between 'Crash' and 'Argo', and has every chance of appealing outside Singapore," Yun told Variety.
Although the film is likely to receive finance from the country's Media Development Authority and be programmed as one of many events next year celebrating Singapore's half century of existence, Yun says it is not a propaganda film. "It is not a biopic of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It is not a political film, nor a propaganda film. '1965' is about how fragile racial harmony can be, and how we can take it for granted."
Private sector finance is provided by Zingshot Productions, The Number 8 Yard and Pinnacle Enterprise. The producers are in negotiations with all three of Singapore's exhibition-distribution majors concerning the film's local release next year. No sales agent has yet been attached.