Cannes, Locarno Winners’ Projects Among Singapore Company Momo’s Berlin Co-Production Market Slate (exclusive)

March 5, 2024
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Cannes, Locarno Winners’ Projects Among Singapore Company Momo’s Berlin Co-Production Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

By Naman Ramachandran

Singapore’s Momo Film Co has unveiled a six-film slate that includes projects from recent prize-winners at Cannes and Locarno.

Momo is one of five outfits selected at the 2024 Berlinale Co-Production Market‘s company matching program.

Fresh off two wins at Locarno 2023 for Nelson Yeo’s debut feature “Dreaming & Dying,” Momo is continuing its relationship with the Singaporean filmmaker for his sophomore feature “The Drought,” a dark comedy-horror film set in the time of a drought. The project participated at the Philippines QCinema project market last year, where it won a prize.

“At the Edge of the Sea,” the feature debut of Anh Le, who produced 2023 Cannes’ Camera d’Or winner “Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell,” is an absurdist Vietnam-set drama where men start having a strange disease. An alumni of Locarno Open Doors and Rotterdam Lab, Le’s short “Goodnight Baby” was in competition at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) 2023.

“Other People’s Dreams” the fifth feature from Daniel Hui (2024 Rotterdam title “Small Hours of the Night”), will follow two runaway souls escaping a dark past in the chaos of Singapore. The project was at Rotterdam’s CineMart last month.

Momo’s co-production projects include three features from filmmakers from the Philippines and Cambodia. Filipino debutant Arvin Belarmino’s “Ria” will examine how a folk-punk woman aids her chronically ill foster mother while defending their punk commune – the sole surviving home amidst the ruins of a land-grabbed neighborhood. The project earned Belarmino selection at the 2022 Festival De Cannes Cinéfondation La Residence and won the Centre National du Cinema (CNC) award. Recently, he was among the selected filmmakers for the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight Factory 2024 program.

Production companies on “Ria” include WAF Studios (Philippines), Daluyong Studios( Philippines), Momo, Yaman Films (Japan) and Sasha & Co. (France).

From Filipino editor and audiovisual artist Gabriella Serrano, who previously directed SGIFF-winning short “Dikit,” comes “Please Bear With Me,” a sci-fi film set in a near-future Philippines where people have lost the ability to dream. Production companies are Archipelago (Philippines) and Momo, with Gale Osorio producing alongside Momo managing director Tan Si En.

Cambodia’s Danech San, known for SGIFF and Kurzfilm Hamburg-winning short “A Million Years” and short “Sunrise in My Mind,” which played Busan and won at Tallinn Black Nights, is making her feature debut with “To Leave, To Stay.” It follows a girl on the cusp of adulthood who visits a remote rocky island to visit a soldier who she met online and weeks later, goes missing. Daniel Mattes will produce for Anti-Archive (Cambodia) alongside Tan for Momo.

“We are thrilled to work on these incredible films, each with a unique voice. I am thankful that the filmmakers trust us with their beautiful stories,” said Tan. “It is our firm belief that the region of Southeast Asia has lots of great stories to offer and we can’t wait to share these films.”

In 2021, Beach House Pictures took a majority stake in Momo. Earlier this month, Fremantle acquired Beach House.