Italy’s Lights On Takes World Sales Rights For Locarno Bound ‘Dreaming & Dying’

March 22, 2021
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By Liz Shackleton

Italy-based sales agent Lights On has acquired world rights for Dreaming & Dying, directed by Singaporean filmmaker Nelson Yeo, ahead of its world premiere in Locarno Film Festival’s Concorso Cineasti del presente.

Co-produced by Singapore’s Momo Film Co and Indonesia’s Kawankawan Media, the film is a drama fantasy about three middle-aged friends reuniting for the first time in many years. Each of them sets out to confess unexpressed feelings but their vacation takes a surprising turn when the undercurrent of their past lives threatens to resurface.

The film marks the feature directorial debut of Yeo and is produced by Tan Si En and Sophia Sim who previously worked with the filmmaker on award-winning shorts Dreaming, Plastic Sonata and Mary, Mary So Contrary.

Tan previously produced Anthony Chen’s Wet Season, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival, and co-produced Arnold Is A Model Student, which premiered in Locarno last year.

“We’re excited to share this new film and story by Nelson Yeo. It wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated team,” said Tan.

“Recognition from established international film festivals such as Locarno reaffirms what Singapore has to offer. It is great to collaborate with Lights On once again after working with them for Nelson’s previous shorts.”

Yeo added: “With Dreaming & Dying, I am primarily trying to explore how we choose to remember things in our own ways, and as time passes, those fantasies sometimes become realities; the idea that certain things, however meaningless, can take on their own meaning over time.”

Lights On’s recent feature films include Bianca Lucas’ Love Dog (Locarno, 2022), György Mór Kárpáti’s Summer To Come (Tallinn, 2022) and Red Moon Tide by Lois Patiño (Berlinale, 2020). It also handled sales on short film Stay Awake, Be Ready, directed by Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Thien An, whose debut feature Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell won the Camera d’Or at this year’s Cannes film festival.