Film Movement, the New York-based film distributor of first-run, award-winning foreign and independent films, announced today its acquisition of Boo Junfeng’s second feature film, APPRENTICE (2016, 97 min), about a correctional officer who becomes friends with the chief executioner of a prison and then is tapped to become his trainee. The film, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, is slated to make its North American premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema program of the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
Film Movement has acquired North American rights to APPRENTICE and will open it theatrically in early 2017, followed by a digital and home video release. Michael E. Rosenberg, President of Film Movement, finalized the deal with Fiorella Moretti one of the CEOs of Sales & Acquisitions at Luxbox.
“We are extremely happy to be working with Film Movement on the release of APPRENTICE,” said Moretti and Hedi Zardi, the other CEO of Sales & Acquisitions at Luxbox. “We believe that their team will do a great job distributing our common passion for this strong film and revealing Boo Junfeng as a major filmmaker to follow.”
APPRENTICE stars impressive newcomer Fir Rhaman in his first feature film. He plays Aiman, a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer who is recently transferred to the territory's top prison. At his new workplace, Aiman begins to take an interest in a 65-year-old sergeant named Rahim (veteran actor Wan Hanafi Su). Soon, it is revealed that the charismatic Rahim is actually the long-serving chief executioner of the prison. Rahim also takes notice of the principled and diligent Aiman, and when Rahim's assistant suddenly quits, he asks Aiman to become his apprentice. When Aiman, who lives with his older sister Suhaila, tells her about his new position, she becomes distraught, as their father was actually executed by Rahim. Can Aiman overcome his conscience and a haunted past to possibly take over as the next chief executioner? Written and directed by Boo, whose award-winning first film SANDCASTLE (2010) also premiered at Cannes, APPRENTICE boasts the same cinematographer, Benoit Soler, as ILO ILO (winner of the Camera d’Or in Cannes and released by Film Movement in 2014) and is executive produced by filmmaker Eric Khoo. Called a “very well-observed, gritty drama” by The Hollywood News, the Singaporean co-production (Singapore/Germany/France/Hong Kong/Qatar) is in Malay with English subtitles.
“We’re very excited to be releasing APPRENTICE,” said Rosenberg. “Not only do we have the opportunity to introduce a new auteur in Boo Junfeng to American audiences, but the film also showcases the caliber of acting coming out of Singapore with both lead actors, one a veteran and one a first-time performer.”
Other recent acquisitions by Film Movement include Koji Fukada’s HARMONIUM, Robin Pront’s THE ARDENNES and Maïwenn’s MY KING (MON ROI), which opened theatrically in New York on August 12th and will open in Los Angeles on August 26th.
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED LOCAL MOVIE APPRENTICE SCORES AT THE LOCAL BOX OFFICE & CONTINUES STRONGLY AT THE CINEMAS AFTER 3 WEEKS!
Critically acclaimed local movie APPRENTICE collected an encouraging SGD $174,000 at the local box office after running for 3 weeks in the cinemas despite facing strong competition from Hollywood blockbusters including FINDING DORY, INDEPENDENCE DAY RESURGENCE, DISNEY’S ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE and its M18 rating! The movie, opened on 30th June on a limited 10-print release, is moving into its 4th week of release today.
APPRENTICE’s performance at the box office is holding steady, with only a 0.04% drop between Week 2 and Week 3. The movie is still playing at 5 Golden Village cinemas and Filmgarde Bugis+.
Director Boo Junfeng says, “It is very encouraging that the box office has been holding steady after 3 weeks! This shows that people have been spreading good word-of-mouth for the film after watching it and I’m very thankful for that.”
APPRENTICE is Boo Junfeng’s 2nd full-length feature film after SANDCASTLE in 2010. The movie was selected for the 69th Cannes Festival’s Official Selection under Un Certain Regard. It received a standing ovation during its world premiere. The movie has been picked up for distribution in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Hong Kong and China.
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED LOCAL MOVIE "APPRENTICE" HITS LOCAL CINEMAS 30TH JUNE!
Critically acclaimed local movie APPRENTICE hits local cinemas on 30th June! Directed by local director Boo Junfeng, APPRENTICE is his second full-length feature after SANDCASTLE in 2010. Apprentice was selected for the 69th Cannes Film Festival's Official Selection under Un Certain Regard. It received a standing ovation during its world premiere.
APPRENTICE stars veteran Malaysian actor Wan Hanafi Su as Rahim, Singapore’s Mastura Ahmad as Suhaila and Fir Rahman as the protagonist Aiman. The movie revolves around young prison guard Aiman, who is brought under the wing of the prison’s chief executioner Rahim.
APPRENTICE opens in local cinemas this 30th June 2016 with sneak previews from 24th to 26th June. The movie is co-distributed by CLOVER FILMS DISTRIBUTION and GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES in Singapore.