In a bid to give back to Singapore in celebration of SG50, the nation's 50th year of independence, tickets to the highly anticipated anthology film ‘7 Letters’ will not be priced.
Instead, ticket holders will be asked to make a donation at the screenings.
“We want to widen ‘7 letters’ as a platform in aid of worthwhile causes,” said filmmaker Royston Tan on Tuesday (16 June).
The film is an anthology of seven short films from seven of Singapore’s filmmakers: Boo Jun Feng, Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, K Rajagopal, Tan Pin Pin, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong.
This is the first time all seven directors will be working on a film, which is made with the support of the Media Development Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Film Commission. ‘7 Letters’ will premiere at Capitol Theatre in July.
'7 Letters' lead director Royston Tan | Photo: Zaki Jufri
FILMMAKERS GIVE BACK
All proceeds from the three-day premiere screenings from 24 to 26 July will go to seven selected organisations.
They are the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, Pertapis, Senior Citizens Fellowship Home, Singapore Buddhist Lodge Welfare Foundation, Student Care Service and Transient Workers Count Too as beneficiaries.
Tan, 38, said: “We know that many people among us need our support to overcome their adversities. They need help and we hope that Singaporeans can be inspired by these dedicated organisations.”
The directors, together with Capitol Theatre, have also arranged for three other matinee screenings specially for senior citizens, the underprivileged and students from organisations such as Tung Ling Community Services and Northlight School among others.
“We want to bring the (SG50) celebrations to these individuals,” Tan said.
AMAZING AND DIVERSE STORIES
A behind-the-scenes look at Eric Khoo's 'Cinema' | Photo: 7 Letters
Tan, who is also the project’s lead director, said the film is already completed, pending digital conversion in Hong Kong.
The rest of the directors have yet to see the completed film, but Tan is impressed at the results.
“I have to say that everyone of them have demonstrated amazing ability which are very different and diverse.
“Some filmmakers have even crossed over their usual style of filmmaking to tell stories and every one of them looked at different eras of Singapore through their eyes, and most importantly, from their hearts,” Tan said.
The media were treated to a special preview of Eric Khoo’s completed film, ‘Cinema’, which is a moving tribute to the Golden Age of filmmaking in Singapore.
Starring Singapore actress Nadiah M Din, Khoo’s short film harks back to classic Shaw and Cathay horror movies such as ‘Pontianak’ (1957) and ‘Sumpah Orang Minyak’ (1958). The segment features an original song 'Kembali', written by Famie Suliman of Singapore band The Pinholes and arranged by musician-producer Patrick Chng.
It also stars production crew members and an actress who had worked with filmmaking legends including P Ramlee back in the 1950s. French actress Juliette Binoche also makes a cameo in the film.
A still from Kelvin Tong's ‘GPS (Grandma Positioning System)’ | Photo: '7 Letters', Kelvin Tong
Tan said: “It is moving to see how they are willing to appear on the silver screen again for SG50. We have to give Eric credit for convincing them to do so.”
Singapore singer-songwriter Serene Koong has written a song, 'Precious', for Kelvin Tong’s segment ‘GPS (Grandma Positioning System)’.
Singer-songwriter Serene Koong wrote 'Precious' for Kelvin Tong's film segment | Photo: Serene Koong
It drew inspiration from the eulogy by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew to his wife, in particular the line, “I was at the centre of her life”, when he described her love for him.
Koong said: “Times may change, the seasons pass, people come and go in our lives but there’s a place in our hearts that will be remain the same and we would protect these memories.”
The filmmakers have put out an open call for a Singaporean pianist to take to the stage for the gala premiere of the movie.
The selected pianist will have to play a five-minute piece written by Golden-Horse-winner Ricky Ho. The song will string together music from the seven segments as an opening prelude to the film.
Interested applicants may download the song and register at the ‘7 Letters’ website by 12 July 2015.
‘7 Letters’ opens 24 July 2015. Ticket sales begin 1 July, via the film's official website