America, China, India – we have seen these countries
portrayed on the big screen by big-time directors in their
hugely-budgeted films. It is time audiences from those
countries see how beautiful Singapore is as well, don’t
is American director Graham Streeter’s dream for
his latest feature film Cages. And what a bold dream
want audiences all over the world to experience Singapore’s
rich culture. I want the show the world that it is a
wonderful location for future filming projects,”
Streeter tells Moviexclusive.com proudly at the gala
premiere of his movie.
young director was first inspired by a postcard picture
of old men looking at bird cages in Tiong Bahru when
he was in Singapore seven years ago. Fascinated by the
unique image, he swore to himself that he’d make
a film here on our sunny island.
was so much I didn’t know about the country, but
that is the greatest challenge for me – to learn
about another culture. It is almost like getting another
degree because it has been so intellectually enriching.”
goes on to reveal how he wrote a universal story about
a single mother coming to terms with her father who
abandoned the family years ago. Add a blind boy to the
story and you have an inspiring film of faith, hope
about bringing the different elements together which
embrace each other against the beautiful backdrop of
the country,” he says of his screenplay.
nominee Mako Iwamatsu takes on the role of the kind
old man whose 20-year-old dark secret costs him his
relationship with his daughter. While it was most unfortunate
that the great actor passed away from esophageal cancer
last July, actors who worked with him on the set remembers
is a wish come true working with him,” says Zelda
Rubinstein, who was present at the premiere, which also
served as a tribute to Iwamatsu. Playing Iwamatsu’s
companion in the film, the two acclaimed actors share
a lot of screen time in the bird cage shop he owns.
is a very giving and unselfish actor who moved the film
forward,” adds the gentle actress.
Also sharing screen time with Iwamatsu is 8-year-old
Dickson Tan, who is talent-spotted by the filmmakers
at the Singapore School for the Visually Impaired.
Extremely excited about the screening, the adorable
young boy tells us how all the hard work and efforts
have paid off.
was a little difficult staying up late for the shoots,
but it’s not that tiring because I also stay up
till 2am in the morning to chat on messenger and edit
my website,” Tan rattles delightedly.
Things were not that easy too for actor Bobby Tonelli,
whose first day of work required him to shoot a sexy
lovemaking scene with local actress Tan Kheng Hua.
sure was intense and dynamic,” gushes the good-looking
everything went fine thanks to Kheng, and considering
a woman of her size, it is amazing how she kicked my
ass,” he laughs while recollecting the explosive
scene where the on-screen couple turned violent over
The lady in question has her own take on this emotionally-intense
is the right one for me,” affirms Tan in her elegant
gold gown. Best known to many for her wacky role as
Margaret Phua in local hit sitcom Phua Chu Kang, the
versatile stage-television-film actress is sure that
this role has all the right elements she is looking
is in place, from Graham as the director to the story
he wrote. There’s nothing more I can ask for.
really feel like Helen Mirren giving her thank-you speech
at the Oscars right now!” the sincere and thrilled
So how would the honest actress like Cages to take off?
With a firm tone, she says: “The whole team has
put in lots of effort for this project. So let’s
all give credit where credit is due. People have to
watch the film and judge for themselves now.”
Like the film, these are indeed the most earnest words
which can truly inspire.
opens in Singapore 22 March.