Home > News > Winds of Asia “The Tiger Factory” and “Inhalation” Interview with Woo Ming Jin (Director:“The Tiger Factory”) and Edmund Yeo (Director:“Inhalation”) (10/26)
News Index back previous next
Winds of Asia “The Tiger Factory” and “Inhalation” Interview with Woo Ming Jin (Director:“The Tiger Factory”) and Edmund Yeo (Director:“Inhalation”) (10/26)

Winds of Asia “The Tiger Factory” and “Inhalation” Interview with Woo Ming Jin (Director:“The Tiger Factory”) and Edmund Yeo (Director:“Inhalation”) (10/26)

As in Ho Yuhang’s “At the End of Daybreak” which was screened at TIFF in 2009, young Malaysian filmmakers have been dealing with tragic incidents from a familiar environment. “The Tiger Factory,” by energetic Woo Min Jin and Edmund Yeo, portrays a girl who gets involved in baby selling to fulfil her dream to go to Japan. “Inhalation” is a short spin-off, for which Woo Ming Jin and Edmund Yeo swapped their roles. The following is the interview with the pair who are attracting attention at film festivals around the world.
©2010 TIFF

---The film shocked me. The two girls’ wishing to go to Japan for a better future broke my heart. I heard the film is based on real incidents in Malaysia.

Woo Ming Jin (Ming Jin): I read a case about someone who got arrested for selling babies, which gave me the initial idea. I also heard stories that some illegal immigrants take passage on the ship which transport Japanese car parts.
©2010 TIFF

---Are these cases happening for real?

Ming Jin: I don’t think cases like these girls are many. However, ignorant girls from the countryside may be deceived to believe in the fortune they could make in a few years in Japan. Britain is a popular destination, too, but Japan is the most popular in Asia, partly because of the strength of yen.

Edmund Yeo (Yeo): Japan’s image in Asia is very good. People believe in the “rosy Japan” through films and TV dramas and they get the idea into their head that things will work out once they get there.
©2010 TIFF

---What are they watching?

Yeo: Most animations have been dubbed into Chinese or Malaysian in the Japan boom since the early 1990s. “Doraemon,” “Dragon Ball,” TV dramas by Kimutaku, etc., you can watch a Japanese anime or TV drama every week, although not so for films.

---This film is a collaboration between the Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies at Waseda University and Kohei Ando Laboratory, and you are still at the laboratory, Mr. Yeo?

Yeo: I have been at Ando Laboratory for about two and a half years. My previous short film, “Kingyo” (screened at Venice International Film Festival), was also co-produced by Ando Laboratory, so I took my project again to him to pick his brains.

---I thought the film threw the audience into the girls’ situation and let them have the experience, rather than describing the girls’ situations and emotions. The quiver of the hand-held camera created the realistic feeling as well as showing the anxiety of the girls.

Ming Jin: We valued the realistic feeling. We went for the impromptu filming. Characterisation was left to the actors who projected themselves into their characters. What we see on the film was almost like what the girls experience for the first time.

---Are the two girls professional actors?

Ming Jin: The actress in “The Tiger Factory” is a professional, but she has only been a supporting actress. She is still fresh, and I asked her to act instinctively and be herself.

Yeo: The girl in “Inhalation” has studied acting somewhere, but she is an amateur. I saw her in “The Tiger Factory” and thought she was interesting, that’s why I put her in the leading position. She is an actress with a realistic feel.

Ming Jin: The mean woman in “The Tiger Factory” is the actress who was in Tsai Ming-Liang’s “I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone.”
©2010 TIFF

---What is your plan for the next film?

Yeo: It was edited at the same time as “Inhalation,” but I have another short film called “Exhalation,” which was shot in Japan. It is about death and loss, starring Tomoe Shinohara and Kiki Sugino. It will be screened at the Dubai International Film Festival in December.

Ming Jin: I am working on a splatter horror in Malaysia, as well as “The Book Keeper” which has been entered in TPG (*1).

1. Tokyo Project Gathering. It is a content market at the TIFF, one of the three marketplaces at TIFFCOM. TPG aims to promote international co-production of image content such as films and animations as well as securing funds from abroad. Projects at various stages from planning stage to almost completed production are presented for discussion among film makers for business negotiation.

(Interviewed by Miyuki Natsume)

The Tiger Factory + Inhalation
→Film Infomation

previous next
KEIRIN.JPThe 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
22nd Tokyo International Film Festival(2009)