The $2.8 million production tells the touching story of immigrants and natives living in Singapore in the 1960s, leading up to independence in 1965.

Executive producer Daniel Yun said in an earlier interview with The New Paper that 1965 is neither a biopic of Mr Lee Kuan Yew nor a political film.

It is also not a docu-drama. It is a mainstream commercial movie with a fictional plot.

The movie has been in development for five years.

Mr Yun and the pre-production team went through 62 drafts of the script before he felt comfortable enough to begin filming.

Besides the cast members announced yesterday, China-born Qi Yuwu and Malaysian Deanna Yusoff will also appear in the film, playing a policeman and a single mother respectively.

Filming will take place from mid-November to January. The movie is scheduled for release next year.