Govt launches short films by students to raise awareness of its initiatives

(From left) Student film-makers Sherry Yap, Sunder Nagayah, Ong Ren Wei, Lan Yu, Lionel Seah and Iqbal Saifuddin Ahmad at the Regardless Of event on Feb 6, 2020. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
The series, known as Regardless Of, features five films by young Singaporeans - each less than five minutes long - on topics such as transport, housing and education. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION
The series, known as Regardless Of, features five films by young Singaporeans - each less than five minutes long - on topics such as transport, housing and education. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - After a night out with colleagues, a young woman who can only afford public transport pretends to hail a private car.

So begins a short film by Nanyang Technological University student Sherry Yap, 24, whose work was launched online on Thursday (Feb 6) as part of a new series by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

The series, known as Regardless Of, features five films by young Singaporeans - each less than five minutes long - on topics such as transport, housing and education.

"We decided to collaborate with students as they offer fresh perspectives and create works that can resonate with the younger communities," said Ms Soffy Hariyanti, director of the Campaigns and Productions Department in MCI's Public Communications Division.

"We hope that after watching these films by their peers, they are better able to relate and understand how Singaporeans can benefit from Government initiatives."

Six students - two each from NTU and the National University of Singapore (NUS), and one each from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic - were chosen after an open call in October last year.

They worked with creative agency Tribal Worldwide Singapore and production company MLC TV, which helped with casting and other aspects of film-making such as scripting.

"We were able to observe professionals and see what practices they used. For example, how the sound man held the boom pole and mic'd up the talents," says Temasek Polytechnic student Ong Ren Wei, 20, who teamed up with NUS graduate Lan Yu, 25, for a short film about two families in a Build-To-Order apartment block.

NTU film-maker Yap says her film, a two-hander featuring a young executive and her older colleague, helped her become a more mature writer. She said she was inspired by the real-life "awkwardness" of waiting for a Grab car or public transport with people she barely knew.

Tanglin actress Jae Liew, 29, who stars in the film, adds that she was "very impressed" by Ms Yap's direction.

"She knew what she wanted. It's always a good thing for us actors when the director has a very clear vision."

To watch the series, go to sg.sg/RegardlessOf

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