Hong Kong filmmaker Scud has made his first foray into shooting in Europe with his fifth feature Voyage which was filming in Germany’s Hanover this week before moving on to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.
Produced by Scud’s own company Artwalker Ltd. the episodic film has been shooting since September 2011 at locations in Hong Kong, Mongolia, Malaysia and Australia before coming to Europe for the German and Dutch legs of the filming last week.
Described as “a tragic story about love, fate and the struggle of losing loved ones”, Voyage centres on a young psychiatrist (played by Ryo van Kooten who appeared in Scud’s last feature Love Actually … Sucks) who ventures on a lone voyage from Hong Kong along the coast of South-East Asia to overcome the sad experiences he had made with former clients. On his travels, he records their stories which will bring him back to the various international locations from Hong Kong to Amsterdam.
Speaking exclusively to Screen Daily on location in Hanover’s Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, Scud explained that the first idea for the film “originated from my own thoughts about suicide. One time, I had thought about walking into the central Australian desert until I am exhausted and die in a miserable way. These thoughts came me to think about similar people in this situation.“
“All of the episodes are independent of each other and the stories are based on real experiences which some of the actors appearing in the film have gone through,“ he continued. “Having an international cast and locations around the world is appropriate because depression and suicide are universal themes.”
He revealed that the first episode shot in Malaysia has him, his DoP, art director, assistant director and continuity and others all killing themselves in a “very funny” banquet scene.
The new film features many of Scud’s collaborators from previous films such as the actors Byron Pang, Haze Leung, Adrian “Ron” Heung, and Linda So as well as the DoP Charlie Lam who worked with the director on Scud’s 2010 film Amphetamine.
The German episode also includes appearances by the UK actress Debra Baker (Junkhearts), New York artist and painter Sebastian Castro who was commissioned to produce some original art for the film, and German actress Leni Speidel who also production managed the European shoot.
“I am really enjoying shooting in Europe because people are so film-friendly,” Scud noted, adding that the management of the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen had been very cooperative with his wish to use one of the gardens’ fountains for a key scene in the film. “I can see myself coming back to film again in Europe,” he said.
World sales for Voyage are being handled by Cologne-based sales agent Media Luna New Films as was the case with Scud’s previous four feature films.
Media Luna’s Ida Martins revealed in Hanover that Scud’s last film Love Actually…Sucks has been picked up by Linetree Entertainment for Korea and TLA Entertainment for North America.
A film about unconventional love, this film was released theatrically in Hong Kong on March 29 after some two years of battles between the filmmaker and the local film censorship body about the film.
Turning to the rest of her lineup at Media Luna New Films, Martins said she has sold Sabine Bernardi’s Romeos to Strand Releasing for North America as well to the UK’s Peccadillo Pictures, France’s Outplay and Germany’s ProFun, while Sacha Polak’s erotic drama Hemel, which won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Berlinale’s Forum section this year, has gone to AVA Entertainment (Korea), Fine Films (Japan), Rialto Film (Switzerland) and Aurora Films (Poland).