Сингапурский фильм о секс работниках Гейланга дебютирует на каннах
"Pleasure Factory" is also one of 20 films selected to compete for the top award in cinema innovation.
Singapore's infamous red light district was the setting for "Pleasure Factory" which tells the stories of a young man losing his virginity; a girl losing her innocence; and a prostitute looking for a connection.
The film, shot entirely in Singapore, has little dialogue.
It features award-winning Taiwanese actress Yang Kuei Mei.
"It was tough since there was no script....but I enjoyed acting in it. The director was very sharp," said Yang Kuei Mei.
She added: "I had no idea how the film would turn out when I was working with the cast and crew in Singapore. And I'm very touched by the end result, not just for the character I was playing but also by the connection between two men in bed featured in the movie. Why? Maybe I felt the restrictions they face. But I was really moved by the emotions portrayed in that scene."
"Pleasure Factory" attracted its fair share of fans in Cannes.
But it is not a film for everyone.
"Nothing really happens. But if you really accept the movie, it takes the spectator, it has a grip on you," said a French man.
"It was kind of disturbing when the guy was all tender with the prostitute, like he was falling in love with her. I thought it was a little unusual," said an American male filmgoer.
"It wasn't just sex. It was true love between them. I think it was a good film. It was poetic," said a French girl.
"Tantalising but not too crass," said an Australian male filmgoer.
Ekachai Uekrongtham, director of "Pleasure Factory", said: "To me, what was really nice was the silence, the silences at the right time, because I think the film requires you to be part of the process. What we try to do is to make a film that allows the audiences to discover at the same time as the characters."
Another Singapore film also making its premiere in Cannes is "Ah Ma" or "Grandma".
It is competing against 10 other international films for the best short film award.
The last time a Singapore film set foot in Cannes was 10 years ago.
Eric Khoo's "12 Storeys" was the first Singapore film to be officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival.
Since then, many other filmmakers were also showcased here, but mostly at fringe events, making this the very first year two Singapore films were officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival.
The winners will be announced at the festival closing ceremony on 27 May. - CNA/ir
Channel News Asia, Singapore
Quotes of the Month
Seeing the police members at the welcoming event together with sex workers activists and supporters, hearing the fact that 90% of reported cases between 2005 -2009 are solved and perpetrators are convicted, and that rape rate over the last year was 40%, was a real inspiration and hope that in a period of time, trough a committed work we can get there too..
--- Marija Tosheva (HOPS, Macedonia) about IHRA-2010, Liverpool.
SEX WORKERS REPORT
Picture of the Month
SZEXE, Budapest, Hungary. December 17, 2012.