The High Cost of Living – 生活的代價 (2006)

My Debut Feature Film!

Started production in 2005 and was completed in 2006. “The High Cost of Living” is an action drama about two men on opposite sides of the law and the choices that these two men makes, the price that they have to pay and the effects these choices have on all those that they love. Hence the title.

The film was made under the Film Incubator Programme (FIP). The programme is for 1st time feature film directors to shoot their debut feature film in the digital MiniDV format in an ultra low budget structure S$100,000, of which 50% was in terms equipment support like lights, cameras and post production support. So in actual fact, the money I had to make the film was only S$50,000! This programme is jointly undertaken by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) and Digital Media Academy (DMA). 

The film has the honors of being the 1st action film from Singapore, although I like to call it a dramatic film. It has participated in numerous film festivals around the world and won the award of “BEST FEATURE FILM” at the 9th International Panorama of Independent Film makers 2007 in Greece. It also had a short theatrical run at The Picturehouse in 2006. You can read Singapore film reviewer Stefan Shih’s review of the film on his blog: A Nutshell Review here and also his review on here. You can also read Stefan’s interview with me right after the press screening in 2006 here


In the modern city of Singapore, everybody has a set path to follow. But once in a while, someone attempts to step off it. THE HIGH COST OF LIVING centers on Gid & Long, two different yet similar persons on the opposite sides of the law. They are about to find out what happens to those who do.

Gid earns a living by eliminating problems for his clients. Terminally. He is a killer for hire but not a very good one. His actions have not gone unnoticed and his latest job has attracted the attention of the authorities. Gid soon finds himself being hunted by Long, a professional government assassin whose marriage to his wife, Sulee, is failing because of what he does. Gid’s long-time friend, Aloysius and his girlfriend, Lily, becomes involved in the mess as he desperately tries to rectify the situation. Gid’s only hope is that he can get out before Long catches up with him. A trail of bodies lead all the main players to a high tension hostage situation where they will have to deal with not just the police gathering outside, but also with their own broken relationships inside. When it is all over, none of them will come out the same.

Here’s a list of the film festivals which the film has participated or competed:


  • Official Selection (Work-in-Progress): Borocay International Co-Production Meeting 2005, Boracay Island, Philippines
  • Official Selection: 14th Annual International Film Festival “Festival of Festivals” 2006, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • In Competition, International Competition Section (Feature Length): 3rd International Festival of Young Filmmakers 2006, Miskolc, Hungary
  • Official Selection: 51st Cork Film Festival 2006, Ireland
  • Opening Film: 3rd US ASEAN Film & Photography Festival 2006, Washington D.C., USA
  • Official Selection: 8th Cinemanila International Film Festival 2006, Philippines
  • Official Selection: 2nd Toronto – Singapore International Film Festival 2007, Canada
  • In Competition – Next Step Feature (Debut Feature): 2nd Aarhus Festival of Independent Arts 2007, Denmark
  • Official Selection: 5th Eilat International Film Festival 2007, Israel
  • Official Selection: 4th Mid-Ulster Film Festival 2007, Northern Ireland
  • Official Selection: 5th Festival of Nations 2007, Ebensee, Austria
  • In Competition: 4th Baja California Film Festival 2007, Tijuana, Mexico
  • Winner “BEST FEATURE FILM”, International Competition: 9th International Panorama of Independent Filmmakers 2007, Patras city, Greece
  • In Competition: 5th Asian Film Festival 2007, Rome, Italy
  • In Competition – Digital Feature Section: 31st Cairo International Film Festival 2007, Cairo, Egypt
  • Official Selection: 10th International Film Festival Mumbai 2008, India 

3 responses

13 08 2009

i gotto watch this! didnt know its a historical work..

14 08 2009

Sure! Will pass u the DVD the next time u r in Singapore! Call me!

26 12 2014

Where can I watch the full film?!

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