Nine Singapore directors have each received $170,000 (S$250,000) to direct their first feature-length film under the Singapore Film Commission's New Feature Film Fund.

Funding was granted on the basis that each project has the potential to carry a Singapore-made story to overseas markets.

The projects include Japan-Singapore co-production Thunder Boys as well as two films to be produced by Eric Khoo's Zhao Wei Films - Sandcastle and The Innocents - A Time For Youth. Sandcastle was also selected for the on-going Pusan Promotion Plan.

Besides receiving the funds, each filmmaker will be paired with an experienced director, and the resulting films given a local theatrical release by Golden Village Pictures. Up to S$20,000 in advertising and promotion assistance may also be given out by the SFC to awardees.

Of the39 applications that the SFC received in July this year, 24 were shortlisted for pitching to a panel of judges including SFC director Kenneth Tan, Fortissimo Films co-chairman Michael Werner and Golden Village Pictures general manager Maria Lorenzo.

'With Singapore's film industry truly at take-off stage, and earning international attention at film festivals, this latest initiative will spur the growth of more exciting Singapore content for the world,' said Tan.

'Last year, three times more Singapore films were made compared to just five years ago. Looking ahead, we hope to produce 15-20 quality films each year that are good for international distribution.'

The nine directors are:

Alaric Tay - Thunder Boys (producers: Lim Jen Nee & Teo Eng Tiong)

A tale about redemption, seen through the eyes of ex-footballer Kenichi, who is given a second chance to relive his sports dream through Bossaball, a game that combines soccer, volleyball and gymnastics.

TT Dhavamanni - 24 Hours of Anger (producer: TT Dhavamanni)

A story about sibling love that puts the spotlight on two brothers from a dysfunctional family left alone to fend for themselves in the space of one day.

Boo Junfeng - Sandcastle (producer: Gary Goh)

An intimate story between an adolescent boy and his dementia-stricken grandmother.

Yee-Wei Chai - Blood Ties (producer: Lim Suat Yen)

Shun, a filial son, loving brother, and up-and-coming detective, loses his life to a web of betrayal spun by his partner, his superintendent and his wife.

Yong Mun Chee - Look Both Ways (producer: Yong Mun Chee)

Four men from four corners of the world fatefully cross paths at a cheap hostel on Hollywood boulevard. In a world divided, they discover they have more in common than they ever could have imagined.

Ellery Ngiam - Forgotten Tears (producer: Juan Foo)

Weaves a supernatural tale of Helen Ying, a professional mourner who cries at funerals and wakes for a living.

Mika G. Yamaji - Koi (producer: Jason Lai)

Comedic drama about Japanese food and love, centering on four separate encounters that take place at the periphery of the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.

Wee Li Lin -Forever (producer: Silvia Wong)

Joey is an up-and-coming wedding video director who seems to have everything - a dream job and a Mr Right. As Joey prepares for a romantic wedding video starring herself and her fiance Gin, wedding vows become wedding woes.

Chen-Hsi Wong - The Innocents - A Time For Youth (producer: Tan Fong Cheng)

Sulian is a twelve year old girl who is sent to live with her grandmother in the quiet outskirts of Singapore in the mid-1980s. As she starts the year at the new school, she finds herself fascinated by a poor ostracised boy.