Dreaming and Dying

Source: Grace Baey / Momo Film

‘Dreaming and Dying’

Italian sales agent Lights On has picked up world rights for Singapore director Nelson Yeo’s feature debut Dreaming And Dying and US filmmaker Lucy Kerr’s Family Portrait, which will receive their world premieres in competition at Locarno Film Festival (August 2-12).

Both are set to play in Locarno’s competitive Cinema of the Present section, which spotlights new talent.

Fantasy drama Dreaming And Dying revolves around three middle-aged friends who reunite after years apart. But their vacation takes a surprising turn when the undercurrent of their past lives threatens to resurface and each of them sets out to confess unexpressed feelings.

The film is a co-production between Tan Si En’s Momo Film from Singapore and Yulia Evina Bhara’s KawanKawan Media from Indonesia. It is produced by Tan and Sophia Sim who previously worked with Yeo on his award-winning shorts Dreaming, Plastic Sonata, and Mary, Mary So Contrary.

Tan previously produced Anthony Chen’s Wet Season, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival, and co-produced Arnold Is A Model Student, which was in the same section of Locarno last year.

With Dreaming And Dying, Director Yeo said he aimed to “explore how we choose to remember things in our own ways, and as time passes, those fantasies sometimes become realities; the idea that certain things, however meaningless, can take on their own meaning over time”.

Family Portrait also marks the feature debut of US filmmaker and artist Kerr, whose short The Christmas Card won the Air France prize at last year’s FIDLab, the co-production incubator of French festival FIDMarseille.

Kerr also wrote Family Portrait, which is produced by Insufficient Funds, NSF and Conjuring Productions.

It centres on a woman who sets off to find her missing mother and loses both herself and her family in the process. The cast includes Deragh Campbell, Chris Galust, Rachel Alig and Katie Folger.