A Land Imagined, directed by Singaporean Yeo Siew Hua and produced by ESCAC graduate Fran Borgia, has been awarded the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno International Film Festival.
The film, a co-production between France, the Netherlands and Singapore, is a thriller that tells the story of Wang, a Chinese worker living in the industrial area of Singapore who suffers an accident at work and is anxious about repatriation. Unable to sleep, he begins to frequent an internet café in the middle of the night. Hoping to find some form of human contact in a land that makes him feel alienated, he makes an online friendship that turns out to be far more sinister than expected. When Wang suddenly disappears, police officer Lok is called in to investigate the story and discovers an unexpected truth.
Fran Borgia graduated from ESCAC with a degree in production and has lived in Singapore since 2004, where he founded Akanga Film Asia to produce the new generation of Asian filmmakers. His more than 20 productions have been screened at prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam and Busan.
This year’s Locarno Festival also presented two feature films and five Spanish short films. One of the short films presented in competition, Grbavica, is directed by the Master of Directing student Manel Raga. The short film, based on Franz Kafka’s ‘El fraticida‘, is Raga’s final project at the Film Factory, the programme created by Béla Tarr at the Sarajevo Film Academy.