29th SGIFF: SG Originals | Film Adaptations
Supported by Singapore Writers Festival
The number of local literary works turned into films and television series has steadily increased over the decade. We explore the challenges and technicalities of book adaptations. From rights clearance and creative licensing to working with the authors, our speakers share their personal experiences and lessons learnt.
(From left to right: Adrian Tan, Fran Borgia, Lee Thean-jeen, Wee Li Lin)
Adrian Tan is best known for his Straits Times-bestseller novels The Teenage Textbook (1988) and The Teenage Workbook (1989). The Teenage Textbook was adapted into a hit film in 1998, and a play by Haresh Sharma for The Necessary Stage. Tan co-created the award-winning TV series The Pupil, and wrote the story for Jack Neo’s Homecoming (2011). He practices as a litigator at Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC.
Fran Borgia is the Singapore-based founder of Akanga Film Asia. He has produced such films as Ho Tzu Nyen’s Here (2009, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight), K. Rajagopal’s A Yellow Bird (2016, Cannes Critics’ Week) and Boo Junfeng’s Sandcastle (2010, Cannes Critics’ Week) and Apprentice (2016, Cannes Un Certain Regard). His latest production, A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua, became the first Singapore winner of the prestigious Locarno Film Festival’s Pardo d’oro.
Lee Thean-jeen is the managing director of Weiyu Films. Lee is one of the most prolific creatives in Singapore’s film and television industry. To date, he has adapted more than 20 published works by Singapore writers for the screen. He most recently adapted Gregory Nalpon’s Timepieces into a short film for the 2017 Singapore Writers Festival, and Wong Swee Hoon’s The Other into a dramatic web-series, Divided 分裂.
Wee Li Lin is one of Singapore’s pioneer female filmmakers. She has made numerous short films and two feature films, as well as telemovies and commercials. Her films have travelled to prestigious festivals and won several awards locally and internationally. In 2018, Wee was commissioned to direct Singapore’s National Day music video We are Singapore, an instant sensation. She also teaches film studies at various tertiary institutions around Singapore.
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