‘The Hunted’ and ‘Mina-Anud’ emerge top winners at SAFF Project Market

ScreenSingapore, together with Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) and Ties That Bind (TTB), Asia/Europe producers workshop, today announced two projects from Indonesia and the Philippines as winners of the third Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. The Hunted took home the Aurora Producing award, RED Digital Camera award as well as The Yellow Box Soundscape award, while Mina-Anud won the Basecamp colour prize.

With three successful runs under its belt, the SAFF Project Market aims to match promising feature-length projects with Southeast Asian elements, with a global network of media financiers, distributors and collaborators, who can bring these projects to fruition. By facilitating interaction between producers and key players in the film industry, the initiative strives to grow the standards of filmmaking in the region.

This year, the SAFF Project Market 2017 received submissions from 16 countries, with the 15 finalists representing Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, The Philippines as well as Thailand. These covered a myriad of genres such as animation, drama, fantasy, thriller and dark comedy.

Amongst the shortlist, five projects – of which one won – hailed from Indonesia, which is the Singapore Media Festival’s Country of Focus.

The Hunted centres on four girls pitting their wits to survive after waking up from a rave party in Bali, when they find themselves stranded on an island, and pursued by two hunters who have paid big money for the ultimate hunting trophy – human beings.

It stood out from its competitors due to its potential to be commercialised and co-produced across Southeast Asia and beyond, and also for its technical excellence. For this project, producers Allen Jordan and Delon Tio will receive a $20,000 co-production investment from Aurora Media Holdings; a loan of a RED SCARLET-W camera kit worth $25,000 from RED Digital Cinema; as well as a $20,000 post-production prize from one of Southeast Asia’s top music and audio houses, Yellow Box Studios.

Co-producer and director Delon Tio shared, “We feel flattered to win three awards and believe they will help greatly in elevating The Hunted to the next level in various ways. Through our participation in the SAFF Project Market, we were able to gain greater exposure for our film and raise more funds. Additionally, the SAFF Project Market is a great platform for us to connect and meet potential investors and partners outside of Indonesia, and there are plans for us to return next year with new ideas.”

Separately, Mina-Anud won the Basecamp Colour Prize from Base Camp Films. The $10,000 award is for feature film colour grading, to ready a film for screening for festivals or at the cinema. Mina-Anud tells the story of two local surfers who must decide if the lure of a richer tomorrow is worth risking family and freedom when three tonnes of cocaine gets washed up on the shores of a peaceful seaside community in Eastern Samar, Philippines.

Sharing his aspirations for this film, director Kerwin Go said, “This film hopes to remind audiences that true wealth is the freedom to live life on our own terms. It’s about experiences and our relationships, rather than monetary and material wealth.”

Working with him on these films as producers will be Bianca Balbuena and Bradley Liew. Of the win, Liew said, “This is the first feature film project of a director who spent eight years in the industry, dreaming to one day make a film. And this win is a great encouragement for dreamers and artists to go on and face the big players armed with only their stories and passion.”