SINGAPORE - The fourth edition of local short film competition ciNE65 kicked off on Thursday (Dec 8) with two commissioned films, including one featuring a cameo by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
The biennial competition is organised by Nexus, a department of the Ministry of Defence responsible for Total Defence and national education, and is aimed at giving local filmmakers a platform to express their local identity through film.
This season's theme is "Home Truly", and features films by Sanif Olek and Wee Li Lin, both set in neighbourhood hair salons.
Mr Sanif's "The Usual" was inspired by fond memories of his National Service days, when he served as a commando in the Singapore Army. The film revolves around a national serviceman who visits his childhood barber for a haircut, and has flashbacks of his first trip to the barbershop as a young boy with his late father. It also features a cameo by Dr Ng.
In a Facebook post of the four-minute video on Thursday, Dr Ng said: "Our Singaporean memories make us who we are and draw us closer as one people. We want to encourage Singaporeans to share what is precious to them. To add support to this effort, I agreed to a cameo, after the credits!"
Ms Wee's "The Perm" is based on a childhood experience, and tells the story of a young girl experimenting with her first perm in a tight-knit neighbourhood salon.
"Growing up, I spent a lot of time in old-school hair salons. To me, these salons symbolise a sense of home, familiarity and comfort," said Ms Wee.
ciNE65, an associate event of the Singapore Media Festival, features a series of seminars and workshops for filmmakers, as well as a trip to an international film festival for competition winners. Director Jack Neo and singer Kit Chan are among those on the judging panel.
Film entries will be accepted from January to April 17, and an awards ceremony will be held in July.
To find out more about ciNE65, visit https://www.facebook.com/ciNE65/.