More than a decade after his feature directorial debut The Days (2008), director Boy Kwong is back in the director’s chair with the Singaporean crime thriller Geylang.
The film premiered at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and will have its Southeast Asian premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival at Panorama Strand.
In the film, on the eve of election nomination day, an aid worker, a pimp, a sex worker, a doctor, a tobacconist and a political candidate meet on the neon-strewn streets of Singapore’s infamous red light district, Geylang.
The film is produced by Singaporean star Jack Neo’s J Team Productions (“Ah Girls Go Army”) and local company MM2 Entertainment (“Precious is the Night”).
“There is no easy filmmaking journey. My first feature film dates back in 2008. It was a youthful effort and the beginning of a love affair with the medium. The Singapore film industry at that time was not willing to support first-time filmmakers, and it took me 13 years to get back to Saddle. Together with a couple of producers, we invested our personal money and got a bank loan to complete the movie. We paid a huge lesson, and then I learned it was important to make every cent count and be accountable to my investors.” diverse.
Meanwhile, Kwong has produced several films, including “Zombiepura” and “Number 1.”
“The only thing I have is that a commercially successful and well-moneyed film is not necessarily rated with a generous budget. Personally, I strive to make a decent film on a modest budget, using a combination of creativity and intelligence,” Kwong said.
About Geylang, Kwong said, “I have always been inclined towards genre films that deal with the lower, invisible parts of society. With Geylang, I would like to pay homage to my favorite directors like Johnnie To, Andrew Lau Wai-keung, and Kim Jee-Woon, all of whom have influenced Significantly in my filmmaking journey. This film is a dramatization of my own life journey and real experiences.”
“The primary aim is to lead the masses to discuss social notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ I want to say that in life, there is no moral black and white – that in moral terms, we are only the many shades of grey. ‘Geylang’ aims to Rebirth of the new crime thriller genre; one that reveals hidden social tensions and the steamy steam of human nature,” Kwong added. This movie was made to engage with international audiences as well as Singaporeans. I hope the global audience will be interested in the glimpse of Singapore that will never appear in the tourism advertisement. All crimes and events in the plot are inspired by actual news stories in Geylang.”
The cast includes Mark Lee, Patricia Lynn, Sheila Sim, Shane Marjoki, and Gary Lau.
Kwong is currently producing three other film projects and working on a new story to explore a father-son relationship in a fantasy genre. “I hope I can get it out soon and not wait another 13 years,” Kwong said.
“Geylang” will have its festival premiere on November 26, 2022. The theatrical release in Singapore is scheduled for April 6, 2023.