MASTERCLASS: DARREN ARONOFSKY
Born in Brooklyn, Darren Aronofsky studied social anthropology and filmmaking at Harvard University, and earned a Masters in Directing from the American Film Institute. He has established himself as one of the most ambitious and uncompromising directors in Hollywood with a steady flow of films that include Pi (1988), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008), Black Swan (2010) and Noah (2014). Both box-office success and multiple awards within the festival circuit have affirmed his visionary and consistent authorship. He is currently working on an untitled project that is planned for release in 2017.
MASTERCLASS: TRAN ANH HUNG
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE
Tran Anh Hung was born in Central Vietnam in 1962. He migrated to France with his family at the age of 12 during the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. In France, Tran studied at the prestigious film school, Louis Lumière College, where he made two well-received short films. Backed by French production company, Lazennec Productions, he hit his big break with his first film, The Scent of Green Papaya. Following its success, Tran’s second film Cyclo, won him the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1995, making him one of the youngest filmmakers to be honored at the festival at the age of 33. His most recent work, the romantic historical drama, Eternity, is his first feature in French.
MASTERCLASS: Naomi Kawase
Naomi Kawase was born in 1969 in Nara, Japan. She graduated in 1989 from the Osaka School of Photography and stayed to teach for a further four years at the institution. One of her earliest films, Embracing, cemented her autobiographical style of directing, focusing on her family history, drawn from the rural landscape she grew up in. In 1997, Kawase became the youngest winner of the Best New Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature Suzaku. She has made more than 30 films since, including various critically acclaimed documentaries and fiction works. Amongst her accolades are the FIPRESCI prize for Hotaru (2000), Grand Prix at Cannes for The Mourning Forest (2007) and the Chevalier Ordre des Art des Lettres of France in 2015.
MASTERCLASS: HERMAN YAU
Herman Yau is a Hong Kong director, scriptwriter and cinematographer. He studied film at the Department of Communications, Hong Kong Baptist University from 1981 to 1984. To date, Yau has written, shot and directed over 100 films, which include Ebola Syndrome, From the Queen to the Chief Executive, Master Q 2001, The Legend is Born: Ip Man and Ip Man: The Final Fight. His films have been shown at various festivals in Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome were praised as “cult classics”, while From the Queen to the Chief Executive was awarded the Golden Torch Award by the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual.
MASTERCLASS: ANURAG KASHYAP
Anurag Kashyap is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor. Despite his directorial debut, Paanch (2000), never getting released due to censorship issues, he continued to make films such as Black Friday (2007), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd Annual Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and Ugly (2014), both of which premiered at the Cannes Director’s Fortnight. As a producer, Kashyap’s slate includes Udaan (2010), Peddlers (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013), all of which competed at Cannes. In 2013, he was honoured by the French government with the Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres. Most recently, he was awarded with the Yash Bharti award by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for his contribution in the field of cinema.
MASTERCLASS: FRUIT CHAN
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE
Fruit Chan, born in 1959 in Guangdong, China, is an independent producer, scriptwriter and director. He started his film career in 1982 after a stint at the Hong Kong Film Culture Centre by assisting other more renowned directors. His first feature, the romantic ghost story Finale In Blood was released in 1993. The film did not achieve mainstream success, though critics lauded it. His second film, Made In Hong Kong, the first installment from his 1997 trilogy, won the Best Picture Award at the 1998 Hong Kong Film Awards along with 13 other wins and six other nominations. The trilogy included 1998’s The Longest Summer and 1999’s Little Cheung. His second series, Prostitution trilogy, began with Durian Durian, which won Best Picture at the 38th Golden Horse Awards, along with Best Film and Best New Performer at the 20th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2001. Chan’s most recent film released, Kill Time, grossed CN¥13.3 million in China during its release this year.