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Bringing the ‘Distance’ Closer.

By Flora  /  31 May 2016 (Tuesday)

Homegrown director Anthony Chen takes on a new role as executive producer in his new omnibus film ‘Distance’. Gathering three new film directors from Singapore (Tan Shijie), Thailand (Sivaroj Kongsakul) and China (Xin Yukun), the movie revolves around the common theme of love and distance, and all three short stories star Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin.

Distance made its world premiere at the prestigious 2015 Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei to sold-out audiences. The film will open InCinemas this Thursday, 2 June 2016. Last Friday, Anthony Chen, Singaporean director Tan Shijie, and cast members Chen Bolin, Yeo Yann Yann and Cheng Huan-Lin attended the Singapore press conference where they shared about their filming experiences. 

The Taiwanese actor Chen was all praise for the three new directors and executive producer Anthony Chen. “He sets the bar very high for producers. He is the earliest to arrive on set and is the last to leave. Anthony is very serious when it comes to his work and he puts his heart into it."

He added: “The entire process went went pretty smoothly, but when we were with the Thai director, there was a little more time spent on communicating with him because he didn’t understand Mandarin or English. We had a translator on set.” 

Anthony Chen may not be behind the camera and directing his actors on set this time round, but for the ‘very hands-on producer’, he was always on set to make sure the shoots went smoothly. 

“As the executive producer, I have to give this so-called overview of the film and to see it as a big picture. What is interesting in this film is that it is not just an omnibus of three short films that are stuck together. It’s not like ‘Just use Chen Bolin and do whatever you want’. That wasn’t the point. I think the idea was to have different directors with different styles, and we all come together to make something that is coherent so that it is actually one movie, and not seen as ‘3 short films’,” said Chen. 

“I think it has come together very nicely, with a nice synergy and there’s a consistent tone to the feel. So it’s not three composers creating three different kinds of music - it’s one composer creating an overall theme for the film.”

For newcomer filmmaker Tan, working with Chen meant learning a lot from the award-winning director. “This is the first time we are working together and in the process, when you work with another director, of course you pick up a lot of things from him.” 

“He brought us (three directors) all to London to ‘workshop’ the scripts. So we basically lived in the house and think about the subjects we are dealing with. There’s a communal sort of creative spirit and energy that comes about in talking about these things and so that’s why I think in the film, there’s quite a remarkable coherence and consistency that you may not find it in other omnibus films.”

(Watch the trailers for Distance, here!)

“I think it’s very much a collective piece of work,” shared Anthony Chen who hopes to start filming his next feature film at the end of this year. 

Distance opens InCinemas 2 June 2016!
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