Film-making contest open to wider field

Chinese clan and cultural groups want to attract more young Singaporeans to take part in their film-making activities - even those who may not speak, write or understand Chinese.

The Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) and Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao are jointly organising the Second Micro Film Competition following the success of their first, held two years ago.

SFCCA treasurer and the competition co-chairman, Mr Perng Peck Seng, 64, said the biennial event received 117 entries the last time, many from English-speaking film-makers who worked on the theme, My Singapore Story.

He expects more entries this year. "It is so easy to make a short film... these days; a smartphone is all you need," he said.

Co-chairman Zhou Zhaocheng, 44, who heads the SFCCA social affairs committee, said the theme of this year's competition, which opened for entries yesterday, is "my Singapore future".

Singapore-born, new citizens and residents can express their hopes and wishes in a film no longer than 10 minutes. "This will help to foster their sense of belonging as they need to think hard about their country and share their thoughts through film-making," explained Dr Zhou, who is also a columnist and assistant vice-president (new growth) at Lianhe Zaobao.

Agreeing, SCCC chief executive Choo Thiam Siew, 66, said: "The competition is also a common platform for Singaporeans interested in film-making to come together."

SFCCA president Chua Thian Poh, 67, had said in an earlier interview with The Straits Times that the contest showed the federation's ability to attract the young of all races, as those who speak only English can also take part.

Dr Zhou said his social affairs committee has been organising quarterly bilingual cultural heritage tours around Singapore for members and new immigrants in recent years.

Up to eight workshops and sharing sessions will be held by professional film-makers, as well as winners of the first competition, later this month. Details will be announced later.

A total of $20,000 in cash prizes and trophies will be given to the top three winners in both the Open and Student categories.

There will also be awards for best director, actor/actress, creativity and the most popular films in cyberspace with cash prizes totalling another $12,500.

A nine-member panel, comprising film-makers, critics and academics, will judge the entries, which must be submitted to microfilm.zaobao.com/2016 by Dec 15. There is no age limit.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2016, with the headline 'Film-making contest open to wider field'. Print Edition | Subscribe