Cine65 showcase: 10 Picks from the Open Category

The 2015 ciNE65 jury hard at work, making the tough decisions.

Continuing with our ranking of the this year's ciNE65 entries, we switch our focus to the 'Open' category films. And these are our top 10 picks in reverse order.
Click here for our top 10 'Student' category films.

10. Foundation, directed by Gavril Hing

Synopsis: Boy works on an art and craft project, building a house with ice cream sticks.

Ivan Lo as Harry (the boy) carries the core values of nation building – passion and determination – through the story. We liked the art work created for the video – the house built with ice cream sticks is a pretty sight to look at. Personally though, it comes across as quite cheesy at some bits such as when Harry throws in lines like “it’s not a house, it’s a home” – a tad too deep to be convincing as words from a young kid. 

9. This is Home, directed by Allysa Sing

Synopsis: Three generations of women – grandmother, mother and daughter come together for a family dinner on National Day.

Was this an advertisement for the Pioneer Generation Package? It was also quite funny how the daughter and mother seemed to be of similar age – perhaps better casting could have been employed. Otherwise, the pacing was good and background music was chosen suitably well. 

8. I’m home, directed  by Teo Hui Zhen

Synopsis: A man loses all his memories, except for one, of home.

A rather well-recycled plot of memories lost, Kelly Lim (who plays the mother) brings out the most of the short’s flavour as the ever-loving parent. Special kudos to the make-up artist who managed to age Kelly nicely for the role.

7. Vote, directed by Don Aravind

Synopsis: A HDB building is about to be en-bloc – only that 90% of the residents are required to vote in its favour. Two friends, Rajan and Pushpa argue over their conflicting views on the matter.

The first thing that comes to mind when watching this short is the amazing acting and great delivery from both actors. Using mother tongue (Tamil) for the dialogue was a good choice because it made the story more realistic, and my main (only) gripe was that there was no conclusion on Pushpa’s final decision. While writing this in company of friends, someone snidely remarked: “I’m not sure if they (the filmmakers) intended to make this film for cine65, or did they happen to be walking around with their cameras and decided to film their neighbours”.

6. Clerk Kent, directed by Sundaresh Thangavelu

Synopsis: Boy (Ken) laments on his inability to serve his country, being a clerk and unlike his combat fit friends.

The main character makes you think of the sort of role Michael Cera would be playing. Even though I cannot understand how did Ken help in the arrest of the loanshark runner because he…got..punched…in..the face almost immediately upon trying to “help”, the self-deprecating humour made up for it.

5. Unwavering, directed by Lawrence Loh

Synopsis: An elderly cleaner who had a glorious youth reminisces about days in the past.

Despite the upbeat narration, one cannot help feel sad for the main character (Becky Ho) – former flight stewardess who has now grown old, left to fend for herself and her elderly husband (who seems to be home bound, and stroke riddled). If commitment and perseverance are what the filmmakers want to showcase as characteristics of our Pioneer Generation, this is surely one fine example.

4. Family heirloom, directed by Zhao Dan Yao

Synopsis: Three local family businesses succeed from astute guidance from their founders, like Singapore, who prospered under strong leadership

Somewhat documentary style, the video a little under three minutes is far too short for all three businesses to be covered. There is a strong voice behind the story telling, but does not dwell much into details, leaving much more elaboration desired.

3. Seeing, directed by Richard Lee

Synopsis: A visually handicapped man’s struggles are eased with the help from people he encounters in his daily life.

The video is interesting, being the only one we came across that narrated its story through the “eyes” of a blind man. Poetic at its very end, we liked the final sentence “beautiful..hearts.. which I am only capable of seeing”

2. Wet market, directed by Stephen Yu

Synopsis: A pre-NS young man goes to the wet market with his mother and hears a fruit seller wax lyrical of his own experiences

Both Van Su Yun and Roland Goh seem too young to play their respective roles as mother and pre-NS boy, leaving Xiao Meng as the fruit seller to carry the show along well with his comedic delivery. But somehow, it works, and the moral- tale of how children should appreciate their mothers is told.

1.  Our promise, our belief, directed by Chong Yu Lun

Synopsis: Benjamin makes a speech on his big day to thank two best friends who have been there for him.

This short stood out most for its technicality and art direction. Definitely most content packed within its three minute time frame, Benjamin goes through two entire decades of friendship with his bosom buddies. I’ve only got to say that I wouldn’t be too happy, if I were the bride, if my groom’s speech on our wedding was a toast to his buddies.

Written by Gwen Xu

This year's jury at the old Objectifs premises. From left: Music composer aka 'Mee Pok Man' Joe Ng, film director K Rajagopal, film lecturer Mardhiah Osman, SINdie editor Jeremy Sing, cinematographer Sharon Loh, Colonel Roland Ng, film director Boris Boo, film director Chai Yee Wei, film director Kat Goh

Results out today! 12 June 2015. Stay tuned!

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