Tzang Merwyn Tong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tzang Merwyn Tong on the film set

Tzang Merwyn Tong (唐荣均) (born 31 October 1979) is an award-winning underground filmmaker and screenwriter from Singapore, best known as the producer, scriptwriter and director of the dystopian teen movie Faeryville (2015). In 2015, Faeryville made its red carpet world premiere to rousing reception in Los Angeles.[1]

Tzang is acclaimed for the award-winning films [e'Tzaintes] (2003), A Wicked Tale (2005), V1k1 - A Techno Fairytale (2010), which has travelled to film festivals in Berlin, Montreal, Rotterdam, Munich and Australia. Tzang's films are characterised by his off-beat style, often set in surreal worlds, incorporating elements of fairytale and comic fantasy.[2]

Tzang founded his own production company INRI studio in 1999.[3] He is the youngest Singaporean to ever release a film commercially on DVD/VCD.[4] [5] F*** magazine calls Tzang a "maverick director", with Twitch Film hailing him as a "Singapore filmmaker standing out from the rest of the pack".[6]

Biography[edit]

Tzang Merwyn Tong made his debut film [e'TZAINTES], a no-budget teenage black comedy, when he was 19 years old, with no prior knowledge in filmmaking. It tells the story of social misfits who band together to stand up against oppression.[7] The film was made guerrilla style, under tight budget constraints, with no professional actors, but attracted international attention when it premiered at film festivals,[8] making its European Premiere as the Opening Night Film of the Berlin Asia Pacific Film Festival.[9]

Soon after [e'Tzaintes] was released, Tzang embarked on his second film, A Wicked Tale, a psycho-erotic thriller based on the Little Red Riding Hood fable.[10] The 45-minute film was described to contain "an amalgam of moods—innocence, seductiveness, surrealism and terror... (that combines) silent-era revivalism of Guy Maddin with the sadistic horror of AUDITION-era Takashi Miike". The film made its World Premiere to critical acclaim at the 34th Rotterdam International Film Festival. Tickets for A Wicked Tale's World Premiere were sold out.[11]

A Wicked Tale went on to festivals in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Montreal, Lund, Leeds and Florida, receiving rave reviews as the sold-out Closing Night film of the Montreal FanTasia Festival. It was described by Montreal Mirror as a "hallicinatory atmospheric film drenched in lust and dread".[12][13]

In 2005, Tzang became the youngest Singapore director to ever release a film commercially on DVD/VCD. The copies of A Wicked Tale were sold-out within a year. Bootleg copies are still circulated in underground markets, contributing to its growing cult status.[14] Plans for a new feature film began, but it will take him 7 years before he can finally raise enough money to make that film. The film was code named The FRVL Project.[15][16]

In 2010, Tzang collaborated with a local Institute of Technical Education on a short film, a SciFi/Fantasy titled V1K1 – A Techno Fairytale. The film sees him working with a student crew from the school of Digital Audio Video Production, featuring music by Amanda Ling (formerly of Electrico).[17] V1K1 is a homage to 70s Sci Fi movies, that favour wildly imaginative storytelling over an emphasis of special effects. The film is described as a "Techno-Fairy Riff on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream", telling a story of a human scientist dead set on proving the existence of fairies.[18] The film premiered at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards and is the winner of the Gold Remi Award in the Fantasy/Sci Fi category at the 2011 WorldFest in Houston, USA.

News that Tzang was working on a feature film Faeryville surfaced in The Business Times of Singapore in August 2012. The film was previously code-named The FRVL Project. Faeryville is described as "Fight Club meets (Baz Luhrmann's) Romeo + Juliet, set in a fictitious college that mirrors our increasingly surreal world". Faeryville took him 8 years to complete, largely due to its controversial themes involving college shootings and youth bullying.

In 2015, Faeryville made its red carpet World Premiere to rousing reception at the Downtown Independent Theatre in Los Angeles, with the LA audiences applauding it as a 'zeitgeist film'. [19][20] In April 2015, Faeryville was given a pass with an M18 rating by the Media Development Authority of Singapore to have a limited theatrical run in Singapore. Tickets to the Singapore Gala Premiere was sold out on the same day it went on sale. [21] Mothership.SG describes Faeryville as "unorthodox and inventive…flying the flag of alternative cinema in Singapore." [22]

With Faeryville as a cultural talking point, Tzang became an ambassador to raise awareness for Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth in Singapore. [23]

Filmography[edit]

  1. Faeryville aka The FRVL Project (2015) (director / writer / producer) [24]
  2. V1K1 – A Techno Fairytale (2011) (director / writer)
  3. A Wicked Tale (2005) (director / writer / producer)
  4. [e'Tzaintes] (2003) (director / writer / producer)

Education[edit]

Tzang graduated from Curtin University in Western Australia with a Degree in Mass Communications.[25] He also graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies in 1999 with a Diploma in Mass Communication.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fmagazine (22 January 2015). "Singapore film 'Faeryville' premieres in Hollywood to rousing reception – FmovieMag". Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Rachel Enry (1 October 2012). "Tzang Merwyn Tong – Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  3. ^ IFFR (29 April 2008). "Tzang Merwyn Tong – International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013 – IFFR". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Dylan Tan (3 August 2012). "Zooming in on Reel Deals – Business Times, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  5. ^ CNA (29 August 2014). "Singaporean indie filmmaker's 'Faeryville' headed for Los Angeles – Channel News Asia". Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Fmagazine (22 January 2015). "Singapore film 'Faeryville' premieres in Hollywood to rousing reception – FmovieMag". Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Todd Brown (29 April 2008). "It's Singapore Guerilla-Style in Merwyn Tzang's e'TZAINTES". Twitch Film. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  8. ^ IFFR (29 April 2008). "Tzang Merwyn Tong – International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013 – IFFR". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  9. ^ np.edu.sg (3 December 2007). "Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) 2004". Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  10. ^ GjZ (3 December 2007). "A Wicked Tale – International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013 – IFFR". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Jonathan Doyle (3 December 2007). "Fantasia festival 2004 – films + schedule – Wicked Tale, A". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Rachel Enry (1 October 2012). "Tzang Merwyn Tong – Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Rupert Bottenberg (21 July 2005). ""Rereading Riding Hood" – The Mirror, Montreal, CA". The Mirror. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  14. ^ Terry Ong (27 December 2007). "X-perimental – Cool, cutting-edge X-factor creatives that will blow your mind away in 2008". I-S Magazine. Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Dylan Tan (3 August 2012). "Zooming in on Reel Deals – Business Times, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Sabrina Lee (11 August 2008). "Take five with…Tzang Merwyn Tong". Time Out Singapore. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  17. ^ Kevin M. (23 April 2011). "Power of Pop V1K1". Power of Pop. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  18. ^ Todd Brown (10 March 2011). "A Techno-Fairy Riff on a MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in V1K1". Twitch. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Dylan Tan (3 August 2012). "Zooming in on Reel Deals – Business Times, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  20. ^ Fmagazine (22 January 2015). "Singapore film 'Faeryville' premieres in Hollywood to rousing reception – FmovieMag". Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  21. ^ Dylan Tan (22 May 2015). "Taking An Alternative Route – Business Times, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  22. ^ Belmont Lay (27 May 2015). "The meta-narrative surrounding the film Faeryville is part of the film, right? – Mothership.SG". Mothership.sg. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  23. ^ Jade Teo (20 May 2015). "This is No Fairytale – New Paper, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  24. ^ Dylan Tan (3 August 2012). "Zooming in on Reel Deals – Business Times, The". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Rachel Enry (1 October 2012). "Tzang Merwyn Tong – Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 

External links[edit]