Singapore's security is in our hands - this was the message by a winning video that resonated at the 12th edition of N.E.mation.
The iWERKS Theatre at Singapore Discovery Centre was abuzz yesterday with excited students as the winners for the competition were announced.
Students created 30-second clips - half the time from previous years' contests - based on the Total Defence theme "Together we keep Singapore strong".
The student category features those aged 13 to 16 forming teams to produce animation clips.
The winning team from Cedar Girls' Secondary School chose to focus on everyday activities done with hands in its entry, It's In Your Hands. "It's about how simple acts can contribute to Total Defence as everyone has hands," said team member Tanya Lua, 15.
For example, in the video, a national serviceman is shown helping his fellow soldier over an obstacle-course wall.
The team of four spent about 12 hours a day over two weeks to produce the video. This is its third competitive effort - it was first runner-up last year.
This year's edition also had a new Youth Crowdsource Category that allowed members of the public aged 17 to 35 to submit story ideas based on the theme. Students from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and Institute of Technical Education College Central then turned the best 10 ideas into animation clips.
The winner for this category, Team Nacho Cheese from NYP, showcased the trials Singapore has gone through in its clip, String Of Singapore. Among them were the Japanese Occupation, the racial riots in the 1960s and the severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis in 2013. The video ends with a string that forms the Singapore map, illustrating how the nation was moulded through such tough times.
Team member Tan Chuan Jee, 18, said the process of animating was "tiring and painful" and members sometimes felt like giving up. "But the end result is always worth it."
Another team member, Manansala Galliene Gabrieli Cruz, 19, felt that their work prevailed because of the strong narrative of their video.
This year saw 643 entries from 1,328 participants in both categories of the competition.
N.E.mation is organised by Animagine and Nexus, the Ministry of Defence department in charge of Total Defence and National Education.
The champions in both categories will get to visit renowned animation studios in Japan. Previous winners have visited Walt Disney, Pixar, Sony Pictures and Dreamworks animation studios.
Clips will be broadcast nationwide on television and in cinemas, and may be picked up by supporting agencies as well.