The confinement and claustrophobia of urban life have long been recurring themes in Asian cinema from Wong Kar-wai and Fruit Chan in Hong Kong to Taiwan-based Ho Wi Ding. Another Taiwan director Chung Mong Hong most recently gave the theme a COVID-era touch in his award-winning “The Falls.”
Though not specifically a pandemic era production, the story of “Tomorrow” is that of a middle-aged widower whose relationship with his sensitive teenage son slowly becomes unbearable in the densely-packed spaces of contemporary Singapore.
The English- and Mandarin-language drama film is the feature debut of Singaporean filmmaker Jow Zhi Wei (“After the Winter”). Production started in November in Singapore and has now relocated to Taiwan. Filming is expected to wrap by the end of the month, with the completed picture hitting the international festival circuit later this year.
“Tomorrow” is produced by Fran Borgia for Singapore’s Akanga Film Asia (Locarno winner “A Land Imagined”), Jeremy Chua for fellow Singaporean outfit Potocol (Cannes title “Rehana Maryam Noor”), Stefano Centini for Taiwan’s Volos Films (“Far Away Eyes”), Xavier Rocher for France’s La Fabrica Nocturna Cinema (Berlin winner “The Heiresses”) and Ico Costa for Portugal (“Alva”).
It received the support of several international film funds including Singapore’s IMDA, France’s CNC Aides aux Cinemas du Monde, Taiwan’s TAICCA TICP funding scheme and Portugal’s ICA, as well as Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Film Fund and Taoyuan Production support.
At project stage, “Tomorrow” also toured the international co-production markets. It was selected for the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film Lab 2016, Berlinale Talent Project Market 2017, Berlinale Talents Tokyo 2017 and Golden Horse Film Project Promotion 2018.
Dai, who is both a director and actor, has an award-studded career that includes “The Great Buddha Plus,” “Your Name Engraved Herein” and “A Chance to Die.” He won multiple prizes at the 2009 Golden Horse Film Awards with “Cannot Live Without You,” which he wrote, directed and edited. It was also Taiwan’s entry to into the foreign-language Oscar race that year.
His co-star in “Tomorrow” is newcomer Edward Tang. He was cast after a search process that took nearly two years and involved the auditioning of 250 boys.
“Leon was great on-set, very generous and committed to the performance. Every-time the camera is about to roll and you see him get into character, it is thrilling to watch,” said Jow in supplied comments.