Archive | Eric Khoo RSS feed for this section

12,000 People Expected To Attend Singapore Day In London

11 Mar

SINGAPORE: The third Singapore Day will be celebrated in London’s palace grounds on April 25. And despite the economic downturn, organisers are not cutting back on the budget.

The previous Singapore Day in Melbourne attracted more than 11,000 people. And this year, organisers are expecting a turnout of 12,000 in London.

There are about 40,000 Singaporeans living in the UK, and some overseas Singaporeans from Croatia, Sweden, Czech Republic, and other parts of Europe have also signed up for the event, which will be held at Hampton Court Palace, a 45-minute train ride from central London.

The cost of the celebration is at least S$6 million, double that of last year’s.

Director of the Overseas Singaporean Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office, Quah Ley Hoon, said: “Even in the downturn, it is important that we continue our effort to engage overseas Singaporeans and connect them back home.

“We hope that through this day, they’ll be able to get to play their part for the country, either (by volunteering their services) for the Youth Olympic Games or to the overseas Singaporean associations, who will also be there (at the event).”

There will also be performances by artistes such as the Dim Sum Dollies and Hossan Leong. Hosting the event is blogger Mr Brown, with film maker Eric Khoo as the show’s creative director.

There will also be exhibitions on the latest developments in Singapore, such as the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, and something the boys are familiar with – National Service.

The Defence Ministry will showcase their soldier capabilities at the event.

Singapore Day is not just a government effort. More than 300 overseas Singaporeans have volunteered their time for the event and 28 corporate partners will also lend their support.

Despite the economic downturn, there are going to be 16 recruitment booths at Singapore Day, with a few thousand jobs on offer. The National Population Secretariat said that with the global recession, more Singaporeans overseas are enquiring about jobs back home.

More than 150,000 Singaporeans live overseas.

– CNA/yt

Channel News Asia

Advertisements

12,000 People Expected To Attend Singapore Day In London

11 Mar

SINGAPORE: The third Singapore Day will be celebrated in London’s palace grounds on April 25. And despite the economic downturn, organisers are not cutting back on the budget.

The previous Singapore Day in Melbourne attracted more than 11,000 people. And this year, organisers are expecting a turnout of 12,000 in London.

There are about 40,000 Singaporeans living in the UK, and some overseas Singaporeans from Croatia, Sweden, Czech Republic, and other parts of Europe have also signed up for the event, which will be held at Hampton Court Palace, a 45-minute train ride from central London.

The cost of the celebration is at least S$6 million, double that of last year’s.

Director of the Overseas Singaporean Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office, Quah Ley Hoon, said: “Even in the downturn, it is important that we continue our effort to engage overseas Singaporeans and connect them back home.

“We hope that through this day, they’ll be able to get to play their part for the country, either (by volunteering their services) for the Youth Olympic Games or to the overseas Singaporean associations, who will also be there (at the event).”

There will also be performances by artistes such as the Dim Sum Dollies and Hossan Leong. Hosting the event is blogger Mr Brown, with film maker Eric Khoo as the show’s creative director.

There will also be exhibitions on the latest developments in Singapore, such as the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, and something the boys are familiar with – National Service.

The Defence Ministry will showcase their soldier capabilities at the event.

Singapore Day is not just a government effort. More than 300 overseas Singaporeans have volunteered their time for the event and 28 corporate partners will also lend their support.

Despite the economic downturn, there are going to be 16 recruitment booths at Singapore Day, with a few thousand jobs on offer. The National Population Secretariat said that with the global recession, more Singaporeans overseas are enquiring about jobs back home.

More than 150,000 Singaporeans live overseas.

– CNA/yt

Channel News Asia

MDA Appoints Seven New Board Members

9 Jan

SINGAPORE : Seven new members have been appointed to the board of the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)for a two-year term starting from 1 January 2009.

They include individuals from academia, media and business industries.

They new members are:

* Ms Zaihirat Banu, chief executive officer, Oak3 Films Pte Ltd

* Brigadier-General Tan Meng Dui, director, Military Intelligence, Singapore Armed Forces

* Mr Khiatani Manohar Ramesh, assistant managing director, Economic Development Board

* Associate Professor Adrian David Cheok, deputy director (research), Interactive & Digital Media Network Institute, National University of Singapore

* Mr Wayne Chou, non-executive director, Popular Holdings Ltd

* Mr Douglas Abrams, managing director, Expara Pte Ltd

* Mr Billy Koh, founder & managing director, Ocean Butterflies Music Pte Ltd

MDA Chairman Dr Tan Chin Nam said he believes the new board will be able to set the right strategic directions to turn Singapore into a trusted global media capital.

He also paid tribute to the outgoing board members – Ms Kelly Chew, Dr Finian Tan, Mr Eric Khoo, Mr Goh Eck Kheng, Professor Isaac Kerlow and Brigadier-General Lim U Yang Hugh-Reginald – for the role they had played in building Singapore’s media ecosystem.

MDA said Singapore’s media industry is on the right track. For example, Singapore films and TV programmes are now seen in more than 50 countries.

In Singapore, 16 local films were commercially released in 2008, three times the average number produced annually in the past five years. – CNA/ms

Channel News Asia

A Meandering Visit

10 Dec

SINGAPORE : A lecturer, Walter, (Richard Jenkins) pays a visit to his second home in the city only to find an illegal immigrant couple, Tarek and Zainab, living in his apartment.

Despite initially chasing them off, he relents and invites them back in. Tarek is a djembe player and his relationship with Walter grows as they bond through the rhythm and percussion. Then Tarek is arrested one day, which provokes a paradigm shift in his life.

Of course, like most paradigm shifts, it takes a while for you to realise that such a shift is happening as this movie moves at the pace of snail taking a Sunday stroll.

We see Walter attempt to get his newfound friend out of the detention centre, and form relationships with Zainab and Mouna, Tarek’s mother. Yes, its one of those meandering stories that’s not big on getting from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible.

The pacing is deliberately drawn out, which is fine – after all, we’ve seen Eric Khoo’s movies – but know that without Jenkins (“Six Feet Under”, “Burn After Reading”) in the lead role, this would probably be a contender for Dull Movie of the Year. –

Channel News Asia

S'pore's Official Entry For Oscars "My Magic" Gets Lukewarm Response Here

1 Oct

SINGAPORE: “My Magic”, Singapore’s official entry for the Oscars, has had a lukewarm response with local movie-goers. One reason could be its NC16 rating.

However, those who’ve watched the movie had high regards for director Eric Khoo and his cast.

The director and cast interacted with movie buffs at a special “blog aloud’ screening at VivoCity on Monday.

“My Magic” was initially planned for release in Singapore on October 23. However it was brought forward to qualify for the Oscars.

Due to some vulgar language in Hokkien and Tamil, it has been rated NC16 and opened only in three screens.

Even lead actor Jathisweran cannot catch the movie in the theatre, because he is only 14.

“My Magic” which made waves recently at Cannes, is due to be screened at the upcoming Pusan and Golden Horse film festivals, and later in France and India.

Although the movie only collected a meagre seven thousand dollars in its first weekend in Singapore, its producers are far from worried.

Eric Khoo, director of “My Magic”, said: “We have been very fortunate with this film because even before the release we have made a profit, because we sold to many territories overseas. What we should know is that we cannot make a film just for the Singapore market and hope to make a profit.”

Channel News Asia

Coffee With The Boy Who Did Magic

23 Sep

SINGAPORE: For film-maker Eric Khoo, it was a “dream come true” that his movie My Magic was shown in a competition at Cannes.

So it is even more unreal for 14-year-old Jathishweran Naidu (picture), who stars in the show, to have walked the red carpet alongside Khoo at the world’s most prestigious film festival in May.

But when My Magic – about the complex relationship between an alcoholic magician father and his young son – opens here this week, Jatish won’t be able to watch it on the big screen due to its NC-16 rating.

He will be at the movie’s gala premiere on Thursday, but when the lights dim, he will perhaps be having a burger with Khoo instead.

He saw the movie at Cannes (where he rubbernecked Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman and Sean Penn), but says he is still “bummed off” that he can’t watch it with his mum and dad.

In the movie, the slight, bespectacled Unity Secondary School student plays Rajr, the 10-year-old son of an alcoholic carnival performer who has sunk to working as a cleaner in a bar.

As the story progresses, the father (played by real-life illusionist Bosco Francis) performs tricks that border on the sadistic and which, reviews from the Cannes screening suggest, are not for the squeamish.

The movie – Singapore’s first contender for the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award – received mixed reviews but also a standing ovation.

The Singapore Film Commission has now entered it as Singapore’s official entry as a foreign language film for next year’s Oscars. It was shot mostly in Tamil with a smattering of Hokkien.

Jatish would like to watch it again, too, because the first time – and the only time he has done so – in Cannes, he said his heart was “pounding like nobody’s business. I was asking myself ‘is the audience liking it? Do they understand it’?”

You could say Jatish has made his own magic – from being a Secondary two student in a neighbourhood school to Jathishweran, the film actor (type Jathishweran in Google and you get directed – among other links – to Hollywood.com and the movies section of The New York Times).

He undertook the journey from Woodlands Street 81 to Cannes’ famed Croisette – literally and physically – by himself.

His father Gopalan, 53, a prime mover driver, says he and his wife Shantakumary, 50, who works with SingTel Mobile, have always brought him up to be independent.

So when he got a call from Khoo for auditions at the Goodwood Park Hotel, Jatish went by himself because his parents “were busy working”.

He read his lines, clinched the part and the next night sought his father’s permission for his first movie role.

He even learnt how to eat fire in preparation for his role. “It took just 10 minutes, although I did burn my lips,” he says.

His parents are concerned that their youngest child (there is a older sister and brother) don’t take on too much.

Indeed, arranging to meet him over the weekend required some sleight of hand.

Saturday was not possible because of school activities and also because Jatish was at a shoot for a telemovie for Vasantham Central that would end way past 11pm.

Sunday was proving tricky too due to tuition and homework demands until Jatish pulled a card from his sleeve and managed to push his tuition to end earlier at 10am, thus freeing up an hour.

The guitar-playing Jatish discovered his dramatic flair when he was shortlisted for an Indian drama workshop at 10 years old. He has not looked back although his role in Khoo’s movie is his biggest break to date.

After My Magic, he hopes to act more while keeping away from too much media attention. “I don’t want to be ‘over- treated’,” he says. He concedes that “my education level is getting harder and harder to cope with… if I want to do acting, I have to manage my time”.

Among other things, he hopes to get his black belt in kalari payat, a specialised form of Indian martial arts, do well in his Secondary 3 streaming, remain the “same talkative, jovial person” his friends know him to be, persuade his parents to let him have a drum set, meet Michael Jackson and become a lawyer.

A tall order for now? Not really. If MJ, a role model, could “persevere although he had to face so many obstacles and struggles in life” and “still come through in the end”, so can I, said Jatish.

“No matter what happens to you in life, no matter how much you have to get through, you have to persevere.” That is his philosophy of life.

So, will he get that drum set after all? Perhaps. “My parents are pretty cool… but they get annoyed by what I do sometimes.” –

Channel News Asia

Keajaiban Filem

21 Sep

‘My Magic’ satukan bapa
dan anak
di alam realiti

Oleh
Haryani Ismail

PISAU cukur ditelan ahli silap mata, Bosco Francis, satu-persatu macam kesedapan makan kuih pau.

Ngilu pula melihatnya mengeluarkan pisau cukur itu yang terikat rapi pada seutas benang dari mulutnya.

Serpihan kaca pula dikunyah bagaikan seronok makan kacang di petang hari.

Babak-babak ngeri ini dapat anda saksikan dalam filem terbaru Eric Khoo, My Magic, yang diberikan penilaian NC-16 kerana babak-babak ngeri itu.

Dalam satu pertemuan dengan Eric dan Francis di Hotel Goodwood Park, Eric tampak kecewa kerana filem tentang hubungan tegang seorang bapa dan anak itu tidak diberi penilaian PG untuk tontonan umum.

‘Inilah kali pertama saya mengarah filem Tamil kerana Francis. Ingatkan filem ini akan diluluskan dengan gred PG. Rupa-rupanya, gred NC-16!’ ujar Eric yang sebelum ini dikenali kerana filem- filemnya, 12 Storeys dan Mee Pok Man.

Banyak yang ingin disampaikan Eric dalam filem ini yang menceritakan tentang seorang bapa tunggal ‘kaki arak’ dan ahli silap mata yang menghadapi kepayahan meyakinkan anaknya bahawa dia seorang bapa yang baik.

Eric mulanya tergerak membuat filem ini bertahun-tahun lamanya apabila bertemu Francis di sebuah pub di Mohamed Sultan Road.

‘Saya nampak dia makan api dan saya pun terfikir saya mesti mendapatkan orang ini untuk filem saya selanjutnya.

‘Saya pula sering ditanya wartawan apakah filem selanjutnya. Saya terfikir tentang Francis dan akhirnya meyakinkan dirinya ia adalah usahasama yang perlu digerakkan segera,’ jelasnya.

Francis, dalam pertemuan itu sendiri akur ada masalah dengan anaknya. Hubungan mereka tegang dan si anak telah pun berhijrah ke Ireland kerana berkahwin dengan orang asing.

‘Pengarah fotografi saya pun ada masalah dengan bapanya. Apabila filem ini dihasilkan, saya sendiri gembira sebagai seorang ayah.

‘Suatu ketika, anak saya datang bertemu saya. Apabila saya memberitahunya, saya bikin filem untuknya, dia terharu dan mendakap saya. Hubungan kami bertambah baik.

‘Saya juga dapat tahu pengarah fotografi itu juga mampu berbaik- baik semula dengan bapanya dan melupakan kisah lalu,’ ujar Francis, tersenyum gembira.

Bagi Eric, filem ini walaupun bukan dalam bahasa yang difahaminya, adalah filem yang memikat hati anaknya.

‘Anak saya bosan dia tak faham filem-filem artistik saya yang dulu. Tapi, filem ini lain. Yang bagusnya, dia faham dari membaca sarikatanya dan melihat mimik muka pelakon-pelakonnya,’ tambah Eric lagi.

Keistimewaan filem sedih yang menyayat hati ini juga terletak pada pelakon remajanya, Jathishweran Naidu, 14 tahun, pelajar Sekolah Menengah Unity.

Dia dikenalkan oleh pelakon dan pengacara lucu, Kumar kepada Eric.

‘Mula-mula, saya takut dengan Uncle Francis sebab dia makan kaca dan makan api. Saya terfikir macam mana saya nak jadi anaknya dalam filem ini?

‘Lama-kelamaan, setelah saya mengenalinya, saya mulai rasa selesa sebab dia pun ajar saya buat silap mata! Pertama kali saya diminta makan api, mulut saya terbakar!’ cerita pelajar ramah itu.

Apakah babak yang paling payah dilakonkannya?

‘Babak monolog dengan mendiang nenek saya. Skripnya panjang dan saya perlu hafal untuk berbual seorang diri!’

Grace Kalaiselvi yang berlakon sebagai pelacur dalam My Magic juga diberi peranan besar – menjadi penterjemah bagi Eric.

‘Saya perlu ada di set penggambaran untuk pastikan lenggok bahasa Tamilnya betul. Saya perlu buat terjemahan pada skrip asal.

‘Yang menggembirakan saya, kali pertama saya beralih dari pentas ke filem, saya dapat jayakan filem yang dibawa ke Pesta Filem Cannes!’ kata Grace.

My Magic juga dipilih Suruhanjaya Filem Singapura (SFC) untuk penyertaan rasmi bagi Anugerah Filem Bahasa Asing Terbaik, Anugerah Academy.

Adakah Eric bercadang mengarah filem Melayu pula?

‘Tak tahu ya… tengok macam mana dan keadaannya,’ jawabnya yang sedang menyiapkan filem tentang penari bogel legenda, Rose Chan.

Cyberita