The Singapore Film Commission (SFC) has awarded funding to four projects under its New Feature Film Fund for local directors, including Endless Day from Ho Tzu Nyen, whose feature debut Here screened in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes.

Produced by Akanga Film Asia, Endless Day is a drama about a Japanese boy and Eurasian girl who try to build a paradise for themselves in the tropics.

The other three projects to be granted funding are Han Yew Kwang’s comedy Get Meaty; James Leong’s Camera, about a surveillance expert who falls for the woman he is supposed to be following, and drama Causeway from Alson Ho, a 20-year-old award-winning commercials director making his feature debut.

Leong’s credits include well-received documentaries such as Passabe (2006) and Homeless FC (2007), while Han previously directed television film 18 Grams Of Love.

The four projects, selected from among 46 applications, are in various stages of development and will receive up to 50% of their respective total production budgets or a maximum of S$500,000 ($357,000).

Similar to the New Feature Film Fund’s inaugural round of funding in 2008, recipients can tap on an additional amount of up to $21,000 (S$30,000) for advertising and promoting the films in Singapore.

“Local films have been gaining traction in the international film circuit in the last five years with participation rates more than doubling from 30 in 2004 to over 70 in 2008,” said Dr Christopher Chia, CEO of the Media Development Authority which oversees the SFC. “We believe that our filmmakers are now ready for the next step in filmmaking, creating commercially viable content for both the local and international mainstream audience.”

Among the projects backed in 2008, Chai Yee Wei’s Blood Ties was released in Singapore last September; Yong Mun Chee’s Look Both Ways has completed post-production, and Wee Li Lin’s Forever is currently in editing. Boo Junfeng’s Sandcastle is also in editing and was recently picked up for international sales by Fortissimo Films.