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Going Back in Time with ‘My Love, Sinema’.

By Flora  /  04 Dec 2015 (Friday)

Founder and CEO of FLY Entertainment, Irene Ang takes on her second stint as an executive producer for an upcoming period romance film starring Tosh Zhang, Cheryl Wee and Jeff Wang. 

“The film has been five years in the making and it’s a dream come true to be able to see ideas become a reality,” said Ang. “Many people had asked me why did it take five years. Well, I took five years to study, analyse and undo the wrongs we did (for her previous film ‘Perfect Rivals’). The main thing we love about ‘My Love, Sinema’ is the story.”

“Going to the movies when I was younger, was really more about the experience than the movie content itself. The reason why I chose this story is also because it brings back a lot of nostalgia to my life. I just want to tell a meaningful story, yet affordable for me as a producer.”

Slated to premiere in the 2nd quarter of 2016, the movie tells a story about Kheong (Zhang), whose story begins in 1956, as a young, starry-eyed 20-year old who moves to Singapore from a kampung in Malaysia, to train as a film projectionist. There, he meets Lee (Jeff Wang) who becomes his mentor and ends up teaching him more about life, girls and dancing. At the cinema, Kheong also encounters Wei (Cheryl Wee), a young Chinese teacher who finds herself torn between her obligation as a dutiful daughter and her requited feelings towards Kheong. As their affection towards each other grows, they face various obstacles, preventing them from being together.

Ah Boys to Men star, Zhang took a pay cut for a chance to star in this film. “When I got the script, I immediately read through the entire thing. I was so consumed and engrossed with the story that I told myself ‘I really, really have to do this!’”

Zhang went through three rounds of auditions before he got the desired part. He beat out regional actors from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. 

“Tosh really has that essence of that Forrest Gump character that we like,” said Ang. 

She added: “His innocence really appealed to me. Tosh is so different in real life than his online persona. He is actually shy and quiet and fits Kheong when he first arrives in Singapore… Tosh is like a Chinese Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks won the 67th Oscars for his role in the 1994 movie); naive and very good-hearted, but Kheong is not as slow-witted. I think he did very well in this film.”

‘My Love, Sinema’ marks Zhang’s first period movie since he burst into the scene as ‘Sergeant Ong’ in 2012. He described his filming experience in Ipoh as ‘exciting but stressed’. 

“The pressure is huge because in Ah Boys to Men and other programmes that I did, I share the pressure with my brothers. We go out as a group and if anything happens, we take it as a group. For this one, I am suddenly plunged into the lead role and I have to somewhat carry the story along,” shared Zhang.

Playing his love interest is Wee, who is no stranger to period dramas, having acted in Channel 5’s police drama ‘Mata Mata’. 

“I like the old period. From Mata Mata to this, I feel thta things were a bit more old school and retro then. It’s so difficult to project a film and to actually produce it at that point of time, a lot of effort goes behind it. It’s not like now where you can do it with just a push of a button.”

“Filming My Love, Sinema' feels like being in a time machine... everything around me felt like we were really back in the 50s.”

In addition to Zhang, Wee and Wang, the film also stars screen legend Nora Miao (New Fist of Fury) and Hong Kong actress Cherry Ngan (The Midnight After), together with veteran Malaysian actor, Ye Qingfang (四喜臨門), as well as MediaCorp Artistes Richard Low (Ah Boys To Men trilogy) and Dennis Chew Chongqing (Everybody's Business).
Directed by Tan Ai Leng, 'My Love, Sinema' is projected to release in Singapore in the 2nd quarter of 2016!
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