Singaporean production outfit Zhao Wei Films, founded by filmmaker Eric Khoo and James Toh, is set to start shooting Sandcastle, the debut feature from award-winning shorts director Boo Junfeng (pictured), on Jan 2, 2010.

The project, which participated in Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) in 2008, is one of nine to receive backing from the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) under its New Feature Film Fund, designed to support up-and-coming filmmakers in the city state.

Produced by Zhao Wei and the SFC in association with Singapore’s Akanga Film Asia, the English and Mandarin-language drama will star Joshua Barker Tan, Bobbi Chen and Chai Choo Sian.

The story follows a 17-year-old boy who is forced to stay with his grandparents when his mother goes on a long holiday with her boyfriend. When the family is drawn together by a tragedy, he has to decide where his loyalties lie and what he truly believes in.

Boo has previously directed several shorts that won prizes at the Singapore International Film Festival while his graduation film from Lasalle College of the Arts, Tanjong Rhu, was nominated for a Teddy Award for best short at the Berlin film festival.

Zhao Wei has previously produced films such as Royston Tan’s 881 and Khoo’s My Magic, which played in competition at Cannes in 2008.

Khoo has also launched a genre label, Gorylah Pictures, in partnership with Singapore’s Infinite Frameworks, which produced the Mo Brothers’ horror film Macabre and is developing a slate of other features including Gilbert Chan’s 23:59 and Han Yew Kwang’s Real Fiction.

Two other recipients of the SFC’s New Feature Film Fund have so far gone into production – Chai Yee-wei’s supernatual thriller Blood Ties, which Golden Village released in Singapore in September, and Wee Li Lin’s romantic comedy Forever which recently filmed in Singapore.