Outside the city. With the Outlaws of Jefferson State! And it is Announced. FAERYVILLE will make its Film Festival World Premiere at 'Jefferson State' in the USA.

We wanted our introduction to Film Festivals to be 'unorthodox' much like the film. And what better than the 'mythical' 51st State of Jefferson, located on the border in far north of California, with a history of resistance and rebellion, and a legacy that dates all the way back to the time of the California Gold Rush.

Jefferson State FliXX Festival is a festival that shares values of 'rebellion, beauty, irreverence, landscape, vision and independence', and has gained quite a bit of reputation for living by their own rules. It's easy to see why Faeryville Producers are thrilled to make our Festival World Premiere outside the Big City this time, and roll with FliXX​ in their first year as an official festival.

From FliXX Festival official website: "Nestled in the scenic and historic Scott Valley among the majesty of the Marble Mountains, and just a hop, skip and a jump from Ashland, Oregon (ranked as the country's number one place to live/work in MovieMaker Magazine 2015), the Jefferson State FliXX Festival (JSFF) proudly claims to be the premier film festival in the "mythical" 51st State of Jefferson, located on the border in far northern California. Although it is our first year as an official festival, our name is already becoming synonymous with film screenings, events, workshops and panels in the area, and In true Jeffersonian spirit we have our own way of doing things. We screen at several non-traditional venues (sides of barns, a massive old tire shop, etc.) and like to have a good time, running an all summer-long festival that brings the best of independent films, animation and documentary to a community hungry for cinema."


"Faeryville is a great underdog story that really captivated the screening committee." says Megan Peterson, Executive Director of Jefferson State FliXX Festival. "It's a thought provoking and well-made film!"

Alright now. Game on.

Outside the city. With the Outlaws.

We make our Festival Debut this September.

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"That's what we do. We run away. We escape." 




Posted by INRI STUDIO

Some said its a film about Hope and possibly dreams, through the eyes of the youth. Or to better put it, the fight for the 'right to dream'. The misfits in Faeryville dream on and fight on, asking the question, 'why then do they fight', when it is a fight they were never meant to win.




"We fight, and we fight on, to remind ourselves that we still can. We fight, so we know, we still have a soul." says POE in the closing note of the film. Tzang himself has said in an interview with SINdie that Faeryville was made to address his own concerns about youth and our increasingly surreal world.


"I wrote Faeryville to address my own fears and concerns about what’s happening in the world today, with the youth of this generation, dealing with issues kids of the 60s-90s, never had to deal with. What’s it like growing up in the Post 9-11 world where nothing is right or wrong anymore? Has idealism become a dangerous thing?" -- Tzang M. / SINdie Interview

But what is FAERYVILLE about? We had a test screening to youth under 20 years old, and these are some of what they wrote in the survey forms.
"It's a film for misfits who don't fit in to know that they are not alone." - Ungkur Omar R., 17
"To fight despite the reaction that you have, and to fight for what you believe in." - Syaqila, 17
"A group of Nobodies who are always being bullied, they want to be somebody." - Joselyn Chua, 18





















What are YOUR thoughts on what Faeryville is about? Please comment.

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Read: AFTERTHOUGHT: What is FAERYVILLE really about? (Part 1)
http://inristudio-underground.blogspot.sg/2015/06/afterthought-what-is-faeryville-really.html




Posted by INRI STUDIO


Singaporeans talk about wanting uncensored voices, originality of ideas and having something different. Out comes Faeryville, a dystopian teen movie, not set in Singapore, but in an alternative universe, from the imagination of Singaporean filmmaker Tzang Merwyn Tong.

An alternative Singapore film with difficult themes. A film that challenges, more than just entertain.

Mainstream media has been apprehensive about giving Faeryville a review. TODAY, ST Life!, Channel News Asia, and The New Paper, have written about the film, but no reviews thus far.

But reviews are coming out from blogs and alternative media.
Today, we like to share some voices from the people in the Interwebs.

Our favourite being OFFBEATPERSPECTIVES

OFFBEATPERSPECTIVES (Spoiler Alert.)
https://offbeatperspectives.wordpress.com
Disclaimer: Offbeatperspectives is independently run by a blogger, who is in no way affiliated with INRI studio or Faeryville. The writing here is slightly raw and unpolished but it offers great insights to how this fan interprets the film. Do note that her thoughts and interpretations are her own and do not represent that of the filmmakers.


Other Reviews from Singapore include:

POWER OF POP
★★★★ "A Fairy Tale of Nightmarish Real World Consequences."

MOTHERSHIP.SG
"Unorthodox and inventive…Faeryville flies the flag of alternative cinema in Singapore."
(read more)

HERE BE GEEKS
"When was the last time you walked out of a movie wanting to discuss it further with your friends? FAERYVILLE WILL make you do that!" (read more)

SCAPE
"Faeryville is a great attempt at highlighting the issue of bullying in modern society, and how it can push the bullied into doing things they normally wouldn't do to fight for their ideals, which can sometimes be a very dangerous thing. " (read more)

FIVE STARS AND A MOON
"A surprisingly good cast, top-notch original score, and some hidden gems (in the form of rising talent) - that will challenge the very core of your ideology, or the lack of."

F*** Magazine"Faeryville can travel far better than any Singaporean film before it. Faeryville does have the potential to become a cult classic, a rare quality among Singaporean films, but Tong does struggle with articulating the many questions raised in the film. In its heightened stylisation, the film also has a tendency to lean towards the overwrought and unsubtle. That said, it is a crucial step forwards in the diversification of the local filmmaking scene and Tong is certainly a talent to watch." (read more) 

SINEMA
"The question is, WHO is the real ENEMY? This film has orchestrated a rebellion, but I do not know its cause... Maybe some of you teenagers might like it. I know I might have liked it more while I was still streaming Simple Plan, Green Day, and all that angsty punk rock on my mp3 player like there was no tomorrow. But I have long since moved past enjoying the formula of teenage rebellion movies that gripe about an oppressive system in an abstract way." (read more)

SINdie
"At the core of it, what makes it hard to root for The Nobodies is not that they don’t have a fighting chance of becoming winners, but that there is little heroism in their fight as underdogs." (read more)


FAERYVILLE ends its first theatrical run here in Singapore tomorrow.

What are your thoughts? Comment here.


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“In quoting others, we cite ourselves.”
― Julio Cort├ízar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Here are just some of the Quotable Lines that people remember in Tzang Merwyn Tong's Faeryville (2015). Write to us and let us know what lines you want to include, and we'll have a Part 2 of this. 


POE: We're used to being pushed around. Like it or not, fraternities rule. We've come to accept it.



---

CK: Why are we here?
TAURUS: It's Friday night.
CK: Exactly. It's Friday night.
TAURUS: Must it always be video games night after night, do you really wanna waste your youth on video games?


---
POE: Welcome to Faeryville. The college of the stars. A place where future leaders are born. Here stands the statue of Mother Saint.

And a gun to ensure that power… stands in the hands… of the order in power… (grinning to camera) but if you ask me…

CHLOE: THere you go again.

POE: (ignoring CHLOE) It's not about power. It's about fear. Fear of losing control.


POE: How am I ruining your documentary Miss Chloe?
CHLOE: By pretending to be a smart ass. Can't you just be normal.
POE: You want to be normal?




POE: [to Chloe] Listen. We all know how fear and power controls everything. But what we don't know is that those in power are actually the ones who are afraid. Guns. MOther Saint is holding a gun because she's afraid of losing control.



---

POE: What do you see?
TAURUS: Chicks. (Shouting over the music) Lots of chicks doin' hot chick stuff.
CK: What hot chick stuff? I wanna see! (Stretching his neck)

---

CHLOE: That’s why you’re always trying to do. Always getting yourself into trouble, and getting your ass kicked, and then you come back and talk about revenge. but then it never works out. you just get into more trouble.

POE: Chloe... come on. How long have I known you? Twelve years? I’ve never known you to be afraid of trouble.

CHLOE: Not afraid. I just choose my own (walks off).

POE: (a beat) Me too.

---

Poe: Don't you guys ever give up.
CK: No, we don't. You want us to give up so you can call us losers.

---

POE: Frat Parties are exactly what you expect it to be. Parties like these belong to the privileged ones in our privileged school. THese are the same kids who pick on us everyday. The ones who call us losers and make us feel like … Nobodies.

----

POE: That's us. That's what we do. We run away. We escape. Nothing matters - when you're a nobody. You dress up, mess up. And try to get away with it if you can.

We have nothing to care about...
Four months away from graduation.
That's all the time we've left. To truly find ourselves.

To find meaning in our lives - the nonsense - outside the parties and the politics. I don't know.

We're the Nobodies - we've no purpose and no need for one. Tired of trying to fit in - happy to be who we are than try to be what we're not.

Happy? That's what we tell ourselves. This is our lie. And this lie… is all we have.

---
MR MATHIAS: Laer, we have a tradition of (look at picture) fraternities here in Faeryville college. One that offers life long bonds. Friendships that extend well beyond your academic age.

There are two paths that you may choose here in Faeryville College. One prepares you for greatness and all that the world has to offer; the other is the road of the misguided, a path filled with resistance and romantic distractions.
---

POE: That's was how it began. The first explosion.

---

POE: What's it like in a foster home?

LAER: It's a place that no kid wants to be by choice. YOu have to live, study, eat and sleep with people who hate you just as much as you hate them. You learn how to defend yourself.

TAURUS:

Ho ho. Were you bullied?

LAER:
All the time. But I learn to push back. I learn to always get up and push back.

---


---


LAER: [Pointing at the altar of W. Ashe Faeke] You know it's a joke. You know it's a lie. A lie so important it's become a god-damn religion.


---

PRINCIPAL: Teenagers need to be saved from their own ideals. Minds can be moulded. And the wrongdoers can change. If they are given a second chance. 


Do you have a favourite Faeryville Quote? Share with us. 
#Faeryville



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KITAAB.ORG, a literary blog that celebrates poetry and literature, recently invited FAERYVILLE director Tzang Merwyn Tong for a Lounge Chair Interview.

In this interview, conducted by KITAAB's Poetry Editor Desmond Kon, Tzang talks philosophically about his reason for writing, his idea of bliss and what he would take with him if his house is burning down.

Tzang himself has expressed that he felt honoured as a filmmaker to be featured alongside many big Asian names in Literature. Read the full article in the link below.

http://kitaab.org/2015/06/10/the-lounge-chair-interview-10-questions-with-tzang-merwyn-tong/

Extract: 
Describe your Writing Aesthetic   
I wouldn’t dare to describe my writing aesthetic. I’m still learning as a writer. I feel I still lack discipline. But I’m Punk Rock that way.
I care about the expression, sometimes more than the craft. There is also a Buddhist expression for this. Finger pointing to the moon. The writing, the film, the story, is the finger that is pointing to something. I don’t care about the finger. I care about the moon. - Tzang M. 


Read the full article: http://kitaab.org/2015/06/10/the-lounge-chair-interview-10-questions-with-tzang-merwyn-tong/

Kitaab is a Blog that promotes and covers Asian writing in English. Kitaab aims to help you avoid information overload which is the curse of the information age. The idea behind Kitaab is to create a link-based information storehouse where the most important stories on Asian writers and writing are carefully curated, so that lovers of Asian writing do not have to look anywhere else for the assorted news and views on their favourite books and writers.

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What is FAERYVILLE really about? Friendship. Idealism. Disillusionment. Anarchy? Fitting in? Fear of the world? We've been getting a myriad of feedback ever since our launch in Singapore.










So far, young people under 20, being the age where they are still trying to find themselves, tend to connect most with FAERYVILLE.

"The Nobodies are the show-stealers. They remind us of simpler times when we had nothing to fight for."



"Four months away from graduation, that's all the time we've left, to truly find ourselves.... wow... mindblown!"





"The film makes us think about our childhood and how we have been bullied and how we later become bullies ourselves." 

"The casting is fantastic. The Nobodies are awesome."


For audiences over 20, we get an interesting 60/40 split, with some really loving, and some absolutely hating the film.


"What's the point?" says an audience member. "You make us sympathise with the Nobodies, and you make them such fall-able cowards, and you destroy them. Why do this to us? Why bother making a film like that?"



"We wonder what the director is trying to say with this?
To get out there and quit life?"


People with strong convictions, a strong sense of purpose and a desire for triumph, tend to hate Faeryville, which is what director Tzang says he is comfortable with.

"Faeryville forces you to question your ideals." says Tzang in an interview before. "Faeryville exposes audiences to the vulnerable truth that we can all fail, or that we all know nothing, and thus should be afraid about fighting for anything."



Not everyone can roll with that. We've been fed the 'take a stand', 'fight for what you believe', 'live/die for something or fall for anything' trope for so long. It's this very idea that is turning us into divisive people championing cause after cause, turning against each other so we can be part of something, and perhaps that's why Faeryville is so relevant.

Mature audiences who love the film often highlight how brave the film is, exposing the truth, that ideology can be a dangerous thing.

Here are some thoughts.


"It's about fighting on, even though you don't stand a chance."


"It's about the world, the powerful and the powerless,
and how we still have to get by."

"Faeryville is an astounding gut-twister of a film. Tzang Merwyn Tong’s allegory of the relationship between society and rebellion will have you questioning who you are for a long time. It stands both idealism and cynicism on their heads."
 
- Dr. Gwee Li Sui, Poet / Literary Critic



"Nothing is right or wrong anymore... this film says it, masterfully."



"Faeryville is not just timely, it's timeless. I admire the Director's courage in killing (this character). The writer in me truly appreciates that he was meticulous enough to close all the loops (such a rare commodity in movies these days, agh! haha…), and so skillfully, managed to do it without imposing on the audience and still left it up to them to make their own decisions about right or wrong or neither."
- Farah Bagharib, Copywriter 




What do you think Faeryville is really about? 
We love to hear your thoughts. Comment below. 


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#Faeryville 









"I was very impressed. The film has depth and features some great acting talents. Definitely the best Singapore film I've seen." - @ PatriciaLorenz



"Faeryville will be a Significant Cult Film in time." - X'Ho, veteran DJ, Musician, Iconoclast




"Faeryville does have the potential to become a Cult Classic!" - F*** magazine



"A different perspective to locally produced films!" - @RaziRazak , Canvas


"An astounding gut twister!" - Dr. Gwee Li Sui, Poet, Literary Critic


"Faeryville is Not Just Timely; it's Timeless. Brave, Eccentric, Beautiful to the finest detail." @FarahBagharib , Copywriter

DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAERYTALES? 

F*** Chats Exclusively with Lyon Sim, star of Faeryville
By Jedd Jong



Lyon Sim may play a Nobody in dystopian teen drama Faeryville, but he’s well on his way to becoming a somebody. The actor has worked in Singaporean theatre and short films and is making his feature debut with Faeryville. In the film, which takes place in an alternate reality, he plays the protagonist Poe, a student at the eponymous college. Poe is the leader of a clique called the “Nobodies”, who embrace being outcasts and hero worship a school shooter. Poe’s status as the leader of his little gang is challenged when transfer student Laer enters Faeryville and takes the Nobodies’ ideology to new, dangerous heights.

Sim worked with Faeryville director Tzang Merwyn Tong on the “techno-fairy tale” short film V1K1, in which he played the fairy Donkey. It was a heavily physical performance since the character had no lines. “I couldn’t see anything because there were no eye holes in the donkey mask,” he recalled. Sim’s credits also include the short films Cubik, Tadpoles and Don’t Hang Up, My Love. He most recently acted in the second season of Singaporean thriller TV series Zero Calling.

An edgy independent feature containing themes not often found in local films, Faeryville took eight years to make and had its debut in Los Angeles in January this year. Now, the film is being screened in Singapore for a limited engagement at Filmgarde Bugis+. Speaking exclusively to F***, Sim discussed the various logistical challenges faced by the cast and crew during production, the dynamics he cultivated with his cast-mates on the set, his experience being a part of the film’s premiere in L.A. and his hopes for independent cinema in Singapore going forward.

It’s very challenging getting an independent film made in Singapore. What has your experience as an actor active in that community been like?

I started in theatre, then I moved on to screen. I don’t know if I’m being active…when I was, it is invigorating to just cause for auditions and get roles and be able to do something you enjoy doing – acting – as compared to having restrictions in a sense, when it comes to mainstream screen work. When people are doing advertisements or even on TV, when you have a gig, it’s there to cater to a certain market. I don’t consider myself mainstream I guess, so it feels good to have a medium to get work.

Tell us about the world that Faeryville takes place in.

It’s actually not in any specific location. It’s a Singapore movie, but it’s not [set] in Singapore, it’s not in L.A. where we premiered, but on a different plane. It’s a world where all teenagers live in their minds, it’s a surreal world, but it’s not “unreal”. It’s very much what their lives are projected to be, what they imagine, a heightened sense of the world.

There’s the metaphor of the school being the entire existence…

Exactly, that’s true. Faeryville is not just the world, it’s also the name of the college where all the different teenage cliques live.

Did you often feel like an outcast or misfit growing up, and if so, what was your way of dealing with that?

I don’t know if I’ve dealt with it, but I guess that’s a “yes” [laughs]. I think friends, the people that you choose as your family, I think it’s really important to have that conversational outlet or just having people who believe in you, who share what you’re going through or support you in one way or another, I think that’s key for me. I’m not good with being alone [laughs] and on that note, to me, no individual person’s success belongs to just that person.

Tzang has said that over the eight years he was working on the film, some actors had to be recast because of several false starts in production and the scheduling conflicts that arose from that. How were you affected by that and what impact did it have on the dynamic of the cast?

I was one of the three people who didn’t get re-cast.

May I ask who the other two were?

Sure. The Nobodies, Farid [Assalam] and Jae [Leung], [who play] Taurus and C.K. respectively. The three of us were not re-cast for reasons that we don’t look too much older or that our schedules were okay. It didn’t really affect us that much I guess, because the three of us were not re-cast, we had camaraderie for a couple of years. It was 3 years later that we shot Faeryville after [making] the trailer. We had a bond. The rest of them who were re-cast or even characters who were not in the trailer, we didn’t have too much to do with them in the first place, so that was a bonus.

In a way it worked out because the Nobodies are a unit by themselves and all the other characters are external to them.

You’re right. Even Laer, who comes in after, it would have been great even to have Laer not re-cast but it didn’t make much of a difference because he’s a newcomer and to have a new person on board, that was exact to what Faeryville was about.

In the film, we see something of a power struggle between Poe and Laer. Did you and Aaron Samuel Yong work on getting that dynamic right?

Aaron did such a great job. Every time I watch the film, I watch his performance and I’m in awe. I don’t remember speaking with him much about the power struggle, we didn’t talk about it. I guess the way Aaron and I worked it out was that we didn’t talk about it. There’s a scene in Faeryville where Poe asks Taurus if he feels that there’s something up with Laer and I guess that’s the similarity with me not talking to Aaron, Poe not talking to Laer. It helps, not breaking out of character too often. I was going through a lull period during production and I don’t know if it was just me subconsciously putting myself in there so it works better for Poe or just coincidental, but things like that do happen. Not talking to Aaron that much in the beginning when we were shooting, him being new to us and then later on when Poe and Laer get comfortable with each other and have a conversation, that was when I became comfortable being with him on set.



So it was mostly shot in sequence?

I’m trying to recall. [Pauses] Actually it was, come to think about it. Mostly.

With regards to the lull period you had during production, do you feel that acting is therapeutic and helps you work things out sometimes?

I do. Many people ask what the difference between theatre acting and screen acting is and there are so many differences, but whenever I hear that question, I feel like people don’t see the similarities. One of the similarities is that acting can be therapeutic, can be cathartic based on the circumstance or it can hurt you if you take it the wrong way. That’s why I don’t believe in…the Method, if it works for people, great, and there are people who do such amazing jobs with the Method that works for them. Especially if the story ends on a good note, if it was shot chronologically, then at the end of the day, you feel good about yourself.


You can go on a journey with that character.

Yeah. You leave on a good note, especially so if it’s about something bad, say the death of someone, and you’re using a real instance, then it ends well. Exactly like you said, you go on that journey, and it’s therapeutic.

With the cult of personality depicted, the film seems influenced in part by events like school shootings and bombings, events like the Columbine High shooting. What sort of research did you do to play Poe and was that a conscious thing you had in mind?

Hmm. I don’t think it was conscious for me, especially because I don’t think Poe would be consciously thinking about that. But because there is that struggle between going with the flow of being bullied or standing up to your adversities, taking a stand, I guess that’s why Laer comes in. Poe is happy with who he is, he’s not trying to be what he’s not, so when there was that conflict, that scene where Laer gets the Nobodies to stand up for themselves, that’s when I was asked to realise that maybe there’s a different way to go about things, to rebel.

Did you devise a backstory for Poe in preparing for the role?

No, I didn’t. Tzang and I talked a lot, time and again, it wasn’t like one sitting. 3 years before, 3 years later, in between, there were different dynamics to characters that might have an impact on what the Nobodies would be like. The actors he had cast, the new ones, we talked about Poe’s back-story again and again. There are certain things that would always be there, we know he loves his friends and he’s happy being who he is, comfortable, even if he gets pushed around. That’s what I would try to use and that’s why I didn’t want to plan too much and go back.

The Mother Saint statue is a very striking image. Did Tzang speak with the cast about how that came to be?

No, but he did mention how…I might be wrong, but the book is “law”, and the gun is like…putting a gun to your head. There is a scene in the film where Poe tries to explain what the statue is about and he talks about how the people who are power are the ones afraid of losing control.

The female leads in the film, Jade Griffin and Tanya Graham, are first time actors. What was it like working with them?

Tanya was pretty easy-going. “Oh, you need to get this done? Sure, let’s do it.” One time, she gets pushed on the ground, insinuating a rape was about to happen. And I think she was under-aged then, 17 or 18, and of course Tzang had to consult her parents. Once that was done, they watched the film too. She was cool. Jade…[chuckles]…Jade was mostly herself, a high-class model. [Laughs] It was okay I mean…yeah, I’d rather not go on [laughs]. I think now they’re full-time models, I don’t know, I haven’t been in touch.

Tanya’s character in the film is very mysterious and she has this former life she wants to leave behind. What was that like when you were interacting with her in between takes?

That’s the thing for me – I might just be on the less sociable side, I don’t talk that much in between takes, and/or because she’s mysterious, I try to keep it that way. I made it a point not to talk to Tanya or Aaron that much off-takes. But with Farid and Jae, if they wanted to play wrestling in-between takes or run around the blocks and do silly things [we would], but not with Tanya or Aaron. Having said that, with Jade, even though Poe and Chloe are supposed to be good friends, we didn’t talk that much. She’s a high-class model you know? [Laughs] Totally understandable, she has her own [circle].

Were there moments making the film when it seemed like it would not see the light of day? What kept everyone persevering on?

Making the film wasn’t just about the shooting. I don’t know if I can quote one specific time, but a few times, there’s just so much to making an independent film, that’s why I say no one person’s success truly belongs to one person. The whole team of people persevering and even now, promoting the film, having F*** Magazine help with that, now that it’s in cinemas, it’s not over but I guess there’s a sigh of relief…

Like you’ve seen it come to fruition?

Thank you, yeah. Before that, we had to drop a couple of crew members because things weren’t happening with that team. I remember sitting on the train with Tzang on our way back from the shoot one day because he needed to have this conversation with someone and we were talking about what’s next – should we drop that team, are we going to be able to continue making the film if we did? He made a bold decision and I think it was the correct one to try and get a new team. And that it rained on a certain day, and when we had to transport the statue [laughs] there was a tow truck and everything. And then cost – Faeryville was made for way less than what Tzang planned. Having that truck bring the statue to the location and having the extras come down, a whole group of 30-40 people, and then it had to rain that day [laughs]! Wanting to reshoot the scene or not…there were many things that happened over the eight years. Tzang has two boys now.

It’s like over the course of making the film, everyone’s lives went through a lot of changes.

Yeah. People flying back and forth or not coming back, so the story had to change. Jae is from Hong Kong, Galen Watts from Canada, from all over! Everyone’s from everywhere. Kris [Moller], [who played] the Principal – he’s coming back from the premiere

He’s from South Africa, I read in the production notes that he had been in a bombing during Apartheid.

Wow – he’s a man with a lot of life experience. Very intelligent man, wise man.

Did you shoot the film on a working campus and did you have to shoot around real students in an active school?

Now that you mention it, I think the production team did a good job in shielding us from that side. We didn’t see the problems because it was a live location, an active school. We had a lot of delays, perhaps it was because people were using certain rooms. An actor’s job is to come and just bring the character out. Tzang didn’t want to impose these [logistical] things on 30 different people. It’s a huge group, not all of the time, but that’s why he probably needed that chat with me on the train.

What was it like premiering the film in Los Angeles?

It was eye-opening, it was something different. I’ve done minimal work overseas – not because I don’t want to [laughs]. That was an experience for me. They could with resound with what the film’s talking about and I saw live examples of what the Nobodies from L.A. might be. It was very heartwarming to see people who appreciate and were accepting of independent films.

Like they didn’t come to it from a judgmental stance or with preconceived notions of what the film would be like?

Judgmental I guess would be fine for me. I think a film should always pose more questions than answers. We had people who really understood and felt the same.

Have there been any particularly memorable moments while conducting Q and A sessions after screenings?

[Laughs] Jeez, it has to be this one, it tops it all. A week ago at *SCAPE, Farid was all over the place! Not in terms of speech or anything – there were 2 sofas and we were sitting down, and all of a sudden he just stands up and walks off – he just leaves to the restroom. He comes back, he goes behind the couch, starts kneeling down then he stands up again [laughs]. He was all around and I had to try to keep a straight face while I was in the chair. That was the most memorable to me. Other times, you talk about the film and we do it all the time in every Q and A segment. It’s good to have thoughtful questions, I was very heartfelt to see people relate to it closely, but I never expected this, especially not from our side of the Q and A [laughs].

Did you ask him about it later?

[Shakes head] I didn’t want to put myself in awkward position to ask him “hey, what was that all about? Were you high?” [Laughs]

What are your hopes and dreams for the development of Singaporean cinema going forward?

This is a really tough one because there are a few things of the top of my head that I want to say but I’m not sure if I feel that way anymore. Recently, I read a quote on a friend’s Facebook page. He was talking about how everyone’s saying “support local cinema because it’s local cinema” and he said “shouldn’t we be way past that? Shouldn’t people support art because they like it?” I understand that, but at the same time at the back of my head, I have this conflict. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I don’t know enough, but in Japan and Korea, all these pop singers get recognition from their country first. We live in a small country, Singapore, with a decent population size. I really think support goes a long way. Bringing the film to L.A. and if that had anything to do with Singaporeans being more accepting to the film, says a lot just because “Los Angeles” is being quoted. I guess things happen in their own time. I hope people won’t be biased towards or against independent cinema, local or not, and for filmmakers to make thoughtful, bold and meaningful stories.


Faeryville opens at Filmgarde Bugis+ on May 26.
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"I want to make a film that speaks to a generation of young people and also to potentially explore how idealism can be a dangerous thing in our increasingly surreal world." - Tzang Merwyn Tong, on the real reason he made Faeryville.








"It'll succeed or fail on my own terms." - Tzang Merwyn Tong, on controversies and criticisms on Faeryville's stance against idealism.




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