SINGAPORE - Female-centred live-action titles Sunday and Lady E's Wedding Revenge Plan won big at the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) held on Saturday (July 25). They each claimed three awards in the Open Youth and Media Student categories respectively.
Centring around the theme of the unbreakable spirit of youth, the annual awards had gone digital in light of the coronavirus pandemic, taking place over Facebook Live. From the 362 submissions, there were 53 works vying for a total of 24 awards in the two categories.
Sunday's Vicki Yang, 32, won Best Actress for playing a character dealing with a full-body rash and wrestling with increasingly violent tendencies during a forbidden rendezvous with her sister's boyfriend. The film also won Best Screenplay and Best Live Action in the Open Youth Category.
In Lady E's Wedding Revenge Plan, created by Ngee Ann Polytechnic students, an eccentric young girl with a fear of growing up attempts to stop her older sister's wedding. The work won for Best Live Action, Best Director and Best Editing in the Media Student category.
The story was inspired by the relationship between director Kathleen Bu, 21, and her sister, who is 23.
Bu says: "I think anyone can relate to the painful process of growing up and I wanted to make this film to address our innermost feelings of facing changes and growing up - no matter the stage of life we are at."
Several animation works did well, especially in the Media Student category.
Caught Off Guard, about the fulfilment of dreams, won Best Animation for 3dsense Media student Paul Ng.
Sexy Sushi by Lasalle College of the Arts' Calleen Koh, which follows a piece of sushi's rude awakening to the true meaning of its life, was recognised for Best Art Direction.
Many of the films were created by returning participants, such as Tan Wei Ting, 28, who won for Best Editing in the Open Youth category for Under The Same Pink Sky, a moving story of a woman's life after her breast cancer diagnosis. This is Tan's second NYFA win. Her directorial debut film, CA$H, which won for Best Direction in 2018.
Actress Yeo Yann Yann (Ilo Ilo, 2013), who was on the jury for the first time, said: "I am impressed by these young film-makers' ability to offer fresh perspectives. I hope to be able to work with these youth one day, and I am looking forward to see where the next generation of film-makers takes us."
The awards were first held in 2015 and this year's (2020) winners walk away with sponsored prizes worth more than $70,000, including cash, equipment and services.
Correction note: An earlier version of this article mentioned Kathleen Bu's age wrongly. This has been corrected. We are sorry for the error.