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Singaporean a finalist at Asia's biggest film festival

Teenager Edward Khoo's 'Late Shift', about an elderly cabby's poignant encounter with a drunk passenger, is one of 13 finalists for best short film. (PHOTO: ZHAO WEI FILMS)

Publication Date : 08-10-2012


Like father, like son. The eldest son of Singapore filmmaker Eric Khoo looks set to follow in his father's footsteps and is off to a spirited start.

Edward Khoo's first short film, Late Shift, had its world premiere to rousing applause at the 17th Busan International Film Festival, Asia's biggest film festival, on Saturday. The 10-minute short is about an elderly taxi driver's poignant encounter with a drunk passenger.

Shortlisted from more than 500 entries from all over Asia, it is one of 13 finalists vying for best short film and a prize of 10 million Korean won (US$8,500) in the festival's Wide Angle section. At 18, Edward is also the youngest in the competition this year.

Festival programmer Cho Young Jung said: "Late Shift is a very mature and well-structured story. But most of all, this young director shows such great potential."

The enthusiastic audience reaction overwhelmed the straight-A student who has just completed high school at the Singapore American School and is waiting to start national service. "I was anxious and nervous, but also relieved when they applauded," he said.

The idea for the film came to him last year.

"I take cabs pretty often and taxi drivers have often fascinated me," he said. "They meet so many people, and are always observing them from the rear-view mirror."

Edward took film as an elective for four semesters and has made several videos for fun and school projects.

He decided to write a story about a cab driver - played by real-life taxi driver David Chua - whose encounter with a drunken passenger singing a love song dredges up memories of his own love and loss.


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