The international jury was headed by prominent Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and included producer Gary Kurtz (American Graffiti, Star Wars), film critic Aruna Vasudev, Korean director Choi Dong-Hoon and actress Laura Weissbecker. They came to a unanimous decision, citing â€œsuperb control of storytelling and performance throughout the film. She uses ingenious devices to create a unique pace and rhythm in which embodies powerful messages.
In her acceptance speech, Wong said, â€œThis film was made with blood sweat and tears on a tiny tiny budget. We were in development for more than three years, and I just want to thank everyone who pitched in and helped on this film. Noting that the jury urged her â€œto stick to her vision and never give up, she said the prize money of RMB150,000 (SGD30,000) would be put towards her next film.
INNOCENTS (88min, 2012) is a delicate coming of age story about Syafiqah, a young girl who after being abandoned by her parents, befriends an ostracized boy. Misunderstood and bullied, they while away the afternoons in the giant canals behind their school, carving out a world of escape. Gently immersive, the film investigates memories of childhood within the landscape of a swiftly evolving city state.
INNOCENTS premiered at the Marco Mueller led Rome International Film Festival in November 2012, opening the competition section Alice Nella Citta. The film also was selected for the Jeonju International Film Festival.
The film was one of nine projects awarded the MDA`s inaugural New Feature Film Fund in 2009, but was eventually produced independently by Wong`s company analog robot. INNOCENTS will make its Singapore premiere in September as part of Frame x Frame at the Arts House.