Singapore Film Channel is launched to showcase local short films

A movie still from The Longest-Distance Relationship by Lee Sin Yee.
A movie still from The Longest-Distance Relationship by Lee Sin Yee.PHOTO: IMDA/VIDDSEE
A movie still from The Lying Theory by Lauren Teo.
A movie still from The Lying Theory by Lauren Teo.PHOTO: IMDA/VIDDSEE
A movie still from The Violin (小提琴) by Ervin Han.
A movie still from The Violin (小提琴) by Ervin Han.PHOTO: IMDA/VIDDSEE
A movie still from Ways of Seeing by Jerrold Chong.
A movie still from Ways of Seeing by Jerrold Chong.PHOTO: IMDA/VIDDSEE

A web channel dedicated to showcasing Singaporean short films was launched on home-grown streaming platform Viddsee on Wednesday (Nov 23).

Known as the Singapore Film Channel, the page will start with a selection of about 10 films; the number go up to 30 in the months to come. All titles are free to view on Viddsee's website (www.viddsee.com).

Some of the works that are available now include Lee Sin Yee's documentary Longest Distance Relationship (2014), Lauren Teo's comedy-drama The Lying Theory (2013), and Ervin Han's acclaimed animated short The Violin (2015).

The new channel is a collaboration between the streaming company and the Singapore Film Commission.

Mr Joachim Ng, director of the Singapore Film Commission, says in a press statement: "We have many talented film-makers with compelling stories from Singapore, and we want to give these voices a platform to take our stories further in this digital age."

The partnership will also lead to new and original commissioned short film by a Singaporean film-maker to produce a Singapore-inspired story, although details for the project cannot be confirmed at the moment.

Singapore Film Channel was launched on Wednesday at the opening of the Singapore Media Festival at Marina Bay Sands, an annual umbrella event that comprises the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market, ScreenSingapore and Asian Television Awards.

While Viddsee has featured Singaporean films on its website before, this is the first time it has put these works together for a Singapore-dedicated channel.

Started in 2013, Viddsee has been accessed by more than 500 million users from across Asia, and has a slate of more than 2,000 films.

Its two co-founders tell The Straits Times that they are excited over how the new channel will give more exposure to home-grown films for both local and regional audiences.

Mr Derek Tan, 32, points out how the streaming site works as a lot more than just a web catalogue of content - it also fosters conversation and active sharing via its Community page, where users leave comments and even get to communicate with the film-makers.

He says: "We arrange online Q&A sessions with film-makers here, sort of like a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). People like to have discussions about the films after they watch them, so we didn't want to make this just a platform where the content is there for you to watch.

"We want to get people talking about these films, and support not just the content creators, but also the audience in their viewing experience."

His work partner Mr Ho Jia Jian, 29, brings up the example of the South Korean film Human Form (2014) by Noh Do Yeon, which tells the story of a young girl who takes extreme measures in cosmetic surgery.

He says: "That film really went viral. It was popular with our Taiwanese viewers, who then went online to talk about it. That came back to Singaporean viewers who saw these conversations and were curious about it. Hopefully, that will happen with Singapore films, too."

yipwy@sph.com.sg

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Visit the Singapore Film Channel at www.viddsee.com