Film about food and father's love wins Best Singapore Short Film at Silver Screen Awards

Film-maker Gladys Ng's work, My Father After Dinner, was inspired by her relationship with her foodie father.
Film-maker Gladys Ng's work, My Father After Dinner, was inspired by her relationship with her foodie father.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

An honest, heart-warming film about food and a father's love has won the award for Best Singapore Short Film at the Silver Screen Awards.

Organised by the Singapore International Film Festival, the Silver Screen Awards honours excellence in film-making in Singapore and the region.

Film-maker Gladys Ng's 15-minute work, My Father After Dinner, was inspired by her relationship with her foodie father. It tells the story of a man who tirelessly prepares lavish meals for his children when they visit him at his home every weekend. After dinner, when his children have left, he refrigerates the leftover rice so that he can use it to make fried rice the next day.

Fresh from her win at the glitzy awards ceremony held at Marina Bay Sands yesterday evening, Ng, 27, told The Straits Times backstage: "My dad cooks for our family every Sunday and he also has tons of leftovers after each meal.

"I saw that as an act of love, the fact that even though he always knew that he was preparing too much food, he would continue to over-cook anyway because that's something that he wants to do for me and my siblings. And that's what inspired me to make this film."

Her father is a security guard and her mother is a provision shop owner. She is the youngest of their four children.

Her award, which falls under the South-east Asian Short Film competition, comes with a cash prize of $4,000 as well as post-production facility packages at various studios.

The biggest award of the night, Best Film, went to The Fourth Direction by India's Gurvinder Singh, which explores the Sikh separatist movement in 1980s India.

The Best South-east Asian Short Film award went to The Fox Exploits The Tiger's Might by Indonesian film-maker Lucky Kuswandi. The 25-minute work about two pre-teen boys discovering their sexuality also earned Kuswandi Best Director in the South-east Asian Short Film category.

An Honorary Award was presented to Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who is described by the festival as a "singular figure in the legacy of Iranian cinema" and whose work has become "a cultural weapon" against oppression.

The Cinema Legend Award, a new award that recognises Asian actors and their "achievements in bringing Asia's story to life on screen", was given to Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh.

Yeoh, who starred in films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and The Lady (2011), dedicated her award to her late father, whom she said encouraged her to "live my life to the fullest" and to remember to enjoy her work as an actress.

Before the ceremony, the elegant 53-year-old walked the red carpet alongside stars such as British actor Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire (2008) fame and veteran Hong Kong producer Terence Chang, who is known for producing blockbusters Face/Off (1997) and Mission: Impossible II (2000).