Singaporeans can be a jaded bunch, but few things excite us as much as freebies. So here’s something to cheer about: if you hold a pink or blue NRIC, complimentary movie tickets are coming your way next year under the Go Local Go Cinema initiative.

Announced today (Dec 4) at the Asia TV Forum & Market, the initiative is helmed by mm2 Entertainment and Cathay Cineplexes — both wholly-owned subsidiaries of mm2 Asia Ltd, and it hopes to promote local films as an expression of the Singaporean identity.

Under the scheme, mm2 Entertainment will produce at least three Singapore movies that will subsequently be screened at all eight Cathay Cineplex locations at no cost to Singaporean and Singapore PR movie-goers.

The first film to begin production is Writing Letters (working title) to be directed by Chai Yee Wei (That Girl in Pinafore, Sister, Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex) of Mocha Chai Laboratories.

Writing Letters traces the heart-warming and unlikely friendship between an illiterate father and his neighbour who helps pen his letters to his young daughter studying abroad.

Chai, who has won awards at film festivals, told AsiaOne in an exclusive interview yesterday: “When I first heard of the Go Local Go Cinema initiative, I thought it was almost disruptive. I don’t think anyone else can do this if they don’t own their own cinemas.

“Writing Letters is a bittersweet and uplifting film set in the 80s, and it deals with family relations, the sacrifices a father will make for his daughter, and an unlikely friendship between two men in their 60s who are very different in their characters.”

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It will also explore issues of the ageing population and people who age with no family members.

The new father of a 48-day-old baby girl Cate added the movie will be “shamelessly Singaporean”. Writing Letters, which will be in Mandarin and other local dialects, is currently in the pre-production stage, and casting has not been decided.

From left: Ng Say Yong, Chief Content Officer of mm2 Entertainment; Chai Yee Wei, Director and Founder of Mocha Chai Laboratories; and Chang Long Jong, Group CEO of mm2 Asia Ltd

Ng Say Yong, Chief Content Officer of mm2 Entertainment, added: “We believe in local stories that can only be told by local filmmakers, and the best way to truly savour these stories is on the big screen.

“The cinema has the ability to elevate a good story; and is still one of the favourite venues for an audience to experience the full impact of audio and visual storytelling.”

Ng added the complimentary tickets will be available for movie-goers as long as there is a demand for them. More details will be announced next year on how you can receive the free tickets.

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com



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