Boo Junfeng (b. 1983) is one of Singapore’s most noteworthy young filmmakers. His debut feature film Sandcastle premiered at Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week in 2010 and was subsequently invited to screen at film festivals around the world, including in Toronto, Busan, Vancouver, and London. Sandcastle won the Best Film, Best Director, and the NETPAC Jury Award at the Vietnam International Film Festival, and it was listed by The Wall Street Journal as one of Asia’s most notable films of 2010.
Trained in film schools in Singapore and Spain, Boo’s works often centre on themes of identity, memory, and sexuality. In 2008, Boo was awarded a Bachelor of Arts with first class honours from The Puttnam School of Film, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. His films have won him acclaim at numerous film festivals, including the Berlin Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
Since 2005 his short films have won several awards at the Singapore International Film Festival, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Special Jury Prize, Special Achievement Award, and twice for Best Film.
In 2008, he became the first recipient of the McNally Award for Excellence in the Arts, which is the valedictorian honour of Lasalle College of the Arts. He was also accorded the Young Artist Award (2009) and the Singapore Youth Award (2011) by the Government of Singapore.
In 2013, he ventured into the realm of visual arts with Mirror, a video installation which won the President’s Young Talents Commissioning Award (Singapore). Consequently, he participated in the Singapore Biennale with Happy and Free, a video installation which was later acquired by the Singapore Art Museum.
Boo draws inspiration from issues or themes that he cares about, often using personal experiences of Singaporean life. However, despite their superficial relations to the culture and locality of Singapore, the themes he chooses to address are always universal and relatable internationally.
His second feature film, Apprentice (2016), has earned him his first Rising Director Award at the 21st Busan International Festival and NETPAC Best Film award at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. The film has also been invited to premiere this year at numerous international film festivals including the 60th BFI London Film Festival, the New Horizons Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard official selection. The Third Script, presented at Pearl Lam Galleries Singapore in 2016, was Boo’s first exhibition in a gallery space.