SG50 short films to screen at Capitol

The 7 Letters anthology will feature a work by film-maker Royston Tan (above) and Eric Khoo's Cinema (below).
The 7 Letters anthology will feature a work by film-maker Royston Tan (above) and Eric Khoo's Cinema.PHOTOS: SHINMIN DAILY
The 7 Letters anthology will feature a work by film-maker Royston Tan (above) and Eric Khoo's Cinema (below).
The 7 Letters anthology will feature a work by film-maker Royston Tan and Eric Khoo's Cinema (above).PHOTO: 7 LETTERS, ERIC KHOO

Make a donation to watch 7 Letters at the revamped building - with proceeds benefiting charities

All proceeds from the three-day premiere screenings of the 7 Letters anthology of short films will be given to charity.

7 Letters is a compendium of seven short films made to mark Singapore's 50th birthday by acclaimed local film-makers Boo Junfeng, Eric Khoo, K. Rajagopal, Jack Neo, Tan Pin Pin, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong.

Each short film tells a story about the lives of Singaporeans, past and present, as seen through the eyes of the individual film-makers.

Royston Tan, the spokesman for the group, said at a press conference yesterday morning that all seven individual works have been delivered and only the conversion to a format suitable for digital projection remains to be done, he said.

Making the deadline was a feat that was "challenging and impossible" for everyone, but in particular for Tong, who had a baby to look after.

"He had to travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, trying to meet the deadline for the film, but also fly to Hong Kong to be with his wife as she was delivering their baby," he said. Tong and his Singaporean wife are based in Hong Kong.

"Kelvin is officially a father and both babies were delivered on time," Royston added.

The charities which the film will help are the Alzheimer's Disease Association, the Children- At-Risk Empowerment Association, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, the Pertapis Senior Citizens Fellowship Home, the Singapore Buddhist Lodge Welfare Foundation, the Student Care Service and Transient Workers Count Too.

The gala screening of 7 Letters will be held from July 24 to 26. It will be the first film to be screened at the revamped Capitol Theatre.

Royston added that tickets will not be priced, but audience members will be encouraged to make a donation.

Tickets for the premiere screenings will be made available to Singapore citizens and permanent residents on July 1 on www.7letters.sg on a first-come-first-served basis. Each applicant can request up to four tickets.

"No amount is too small. Tickets with a preset price might exclude people with fewer resources," he said.

In addition, there will be three matinee screenings held for selected groups, such as seniors, the underprivileged and fine arts students "who are the next generation of film-makers", he said.

As for whether the film will open in other halls after the premiere, a spokesman said the film-makers are talking to distributors and information about a commercial run will be released at a later date.

The anthology is fully funded by the Singapore Film Commission and originated from a pitch made by Royston, Khoo and Tong.

At the press conference yesterday, Khoo's segment, Cinema, was screened.

The short film is a tribute to the pioneers of the local film industry who in the 1950s and 1960s employed Chinese, Malay and Indian cast and crew and whose Malay-language films were popular in South-east Asia.

The film honours the pontianak (she-demon) horror works which were popular at the time, while featuring an original song written by Famie Suliman from the band The Pinholes and sung by actress Nadiah M. Din.

It also features a cameo by Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche, shot while she was in town last December for the premiere of her film Clouds Of Sils Maria.

johnlui@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'SG50 short films to screen at Capitol'. Print Edition | Subscribe