24 Nov – Singaporean director Boo Junfeng's "Apprentice" bagged the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award for Best Film at the prestigious Taipei Golden Horse Film Awards.
The prison drama that centres on the issue of capital punishment has received countless international accolades such as Busan International Film Festival's Rising Director award for Boo; Best Film, Interfaith Competition at the St. Louis International Film Festival and with the recent one being the Best Acting Ensemble for the cast at the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Now, the award came in the form of NETPAC where it is the only award in Taipei Golden Horse awards that are given to non-Chinese language films.
Taipei Golden Horse awards are also fondly referred to as the 'Oscars of Chinese language film'.
Admitting that he wasn't expecting the award and is still reeling from joy, Boo told Channel News Asia, "I was very surprised as there are a lot of good films nominated for the award. I thanked Hou Hsiao Hsien who was at the ceremony as he was such an inspiration to me as a young filmmaker."
Claiming that the awards would not change the way he makes film the 32-year-old director added that "The awards are a great recognition for my team and me, and we are all very encouraged by them."
With Singapore announcing that it chose "Apprentice" as its official entry for Oscars, the "Sandcastle" director told he did all he could to present the film to the academy members in Los Angeles recently and hopes for the best.
The film opened in Singapore on 30 June 2016 and opens in Malaysia today, screening exclusively under GSC International Screens at GSC Mid Valley, GSC Pavilion, GSC 1 Utama, GSC Dataran Pahlawan (Melaka) and GSC Gurney Plaza (Penang).
(Photo Source: Apprentice Facebook)