Singaporean filmmaker Royston Tan has done it again.
His sixth feature film, 24, was given the Jury Special Mention award at the Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival on Sunday (Dec 4), with judges praising the work as the "perfect arthouse film".
The film, produced by Karen Khoo-Toohey, Royston's long-time producer at his local production company Chuan Pictures, is about a sound recordist who has 24 places to visit after his death. His journey "transcends time, space, cinema and living", the company said.
It stars a real-life sound recordist, James Choong, with whom Tan has worked since the latter's first short film. 24 marks Choong's debut as an actor.
Using a mise-en-scene storytelling format, Tan and his small crew have "wonderfully made a vignette of life, shown from the perspective of one of the most under-appreciated departments of filmmaking. The existence of a film like this is crucial in the festival environment", said the jury.
24 debuted at the Busan Film Festival last year and was shown at the 32nd Singapore International Film Festival, with tickets selling out within minutes.
Tan, 46, made his feature film debut in 2003 with 15, a black dramedy about teen gangsters in suburban Singapore. His shorts and features have since amassed more than 80 awards from film festivals around the world.
Tan said he was "extremely happy and grateful" to have been recognised for the three years it took to put 24 together.
"To all the amazing talents I've worked with through the 20 years of my career: As you know, I'm not good with words – I only know how to make films. This is my way of saying thank you."