2 Jun – Malaysian film, "Barbarian Invasion" has recently been selected for competition at the Shanghai International Film Festival's (SIFF) Golden Goblet Awards.
The arthouse action film, helmed by Tan Chui Mui of "Love Conquers All" fame and produced under Da Huang Pictures banner, is Tan's comeback project as a director after a decade, making it her third feature film after the aforementioned film and 2010's "Year Without a Summer". "Barbarian Invasion" follows a washed-up female actor who is offered a comeback opportunity after a devastating divorce, only to find her ex-husband cast opposite her.
It also stars Tan herself, aside from Pete Teo, Bront Palarae, James Lee, and Zhiny Ooi. Fellow Malaysian filmmaker Woo Ming Jin and Philippine director Bianca Balbuena also serve as producers.
"There will be many old friends attending the Shanghai International Film Festival. I felt like a mischievous kid, I had put a frog in a box, now just anxiously waiting, anticipating, trying to imagine their faces when they opened the box..." said Tan about the nomination.
On the other hand, Pete Teo expressed, "Mui and I go back a long way and I was excited to work with her again. With Bront's participation, this is one of very rare local productions that involves talents from both the Chinese language and Malay language scenes. It sets a great example for the future of Malaysian cinema."
"Barbarian Invasion" is one of the films under a new initiative established by China's Heaven Pictures and Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), entitled "Back to Basic (B2B): A Love Supreme". This initiative invites six notable Asian filmmakers to direct feature films under a limited budget.
As the highest prize in SIFF, the Golden Goblet Awards will be judged by the jury panels made up of professionals in the world film industry. The juries for this year's main competition category are Huang Jianxin, Anthony Chen, Deng Chao, Song Jia, Marco Müller, Natacha Devillers and Song Jia.
"Barbarian Invasion" will be competing with other notable international titles including "Amateurs", "The Chanting Willows" and "Manchurian Tiger". It will also have its world premiere at the event on 13 June, though Tan and her team will not be able to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.
As to when the movie will be released in Malaysia and Singapore, Da Huang Pictures's producer Jing Xuan said that it will all depend on the situation of the pandemic.
The Shanghai International Film Festival will be taking place from 11 to 19 June.