ShoutOUT! The ciNE65 Film Competition Returns 'Home' Next Year

In 2015, the winners of the third edition of ciNE65 were taken on a trip to an international film festival as part of their victory prize. Yes, they went up north to the Land of the Rising Sun, no less, to attend the Tokyo International Film Festival. 

You can be in these shoes next year. ciNE65, organised by Nexus, Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), returns for a fourth season in 2017, with the theme “Home • Truly”. This calls us to think about what makes Singapore a place we are proud to call our own. Director of Nexus Colonel Joseph Tan said, “Over the past three seasons, we saw many talented and passionate young filmmakers come forward to tell their Singapore story through thought-provoking and heartfelt films. We hope that the fourth season’s theme “Home • Truly” will continue to inspire more Singaporeans to reflect on their hopes and dreams for our nation.”
Colonel Joseph Tan Boon Kiat, Director, Nexus, sharing the theme of ciNE65 Season Four, “Home • Truly”. Photo courtesy of Nexus.

This season, ciNE65 participants can draw inspiration from the commissioned films of well-known filmmakers Sanif Olek and Wee Li Lin. Both filmmakers were inspired by their childhood experiences at the hair salon and, by pure coincidence, chose to set their films in old-school salons!        
ciNE65 IV commissioned filmmaker Mr Sanif Olek sharing his inspiration for his short film “The Usual” alongside Colonel Joseph Tan Boon Kiat. Photo courtesy of Nexus.

Sanif Olek’s film “The Usual” was inspired by his 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 who has flashbacks of his first trip to the barbershop as a young boy with his late father. Here's a compelling piece of trivia - Defence Ministe Ng Eng Hen makes a cameo in this film.

Li Lin’s “The Perm” tells another relatable story of the close-knit community that one experiences in old-school salons. In the film, a young girl experiments with her first perm, at a hair salon that she had been visiting since she was a little girl. 

Back to that prized overseas trip - winners of the “Overall Best Film” under the Jury's Choice Awards for both the student and open categories will get to go on the trip. This is on top of a $3000 cash prize each winning team will win. The Jury’s Choice Awards comprise eight technical awards each for both the Student and Open Categories. Winners in these categories will receive $1000 in cash and cameras. The Jury’s Choice Awards will be determined by a selection panel made up of industry professionals and the organiser. 

There are two other groups of awards - the Audience Choice Awards and the Inter-School Challenge Award. The Audience Choice Awards comprise three awards, and they will be determined by the total number of votes received from the public. The awards are for Favourite Film ($1500), Favourite Actor ($500) and Favourite Actress ($500).

The Inter-School Challenge award, in the form of a trophy, is given to the school with the highest number of quality entries submitted by its student teams under the Student Category. Only entries shortlisted by the selection panel will qualify for the award/s. An entry may be nominated for more than one award.

This season's judges include:
  • Chen-Hsi Wong (Film director and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University)
  • Edmund Chen (Director of Asiatainment and Asiatainment artiste); Jack Neo (Film director and founder of J Team Productions)
  • Jason Lai (Co-founder & director of content at Oak3 Films)
  • Jeremy Sing (Founder and editor of
  • Kit Chan (Artiste and creative consultant)
  • Lim Ting Li (Sound designer, re-recording mixer and foley artist of ‎Mocha Chai Laboratories)
  • N. Mohamed Yahssir (Film director and founder of Millenia Motion Pictures)
  • Sanif Olek (Creative director and owner of reel juice)
  • Wee Li Lin (Film director and co-founder of Bobbing Buoy Films)
ciNE65 Season IV will accept film entries from January 2017 to 17 April 2017. In June 2017, the public will be able to vote for their favourite films, actors and actresses via this link or via SMS.

In July 2017, the competition will conclude with an awards ceremony. Please visit ciNE65's Facebook page to find out more about ciNE65 Season IV.

Participation Guidelines

- Singaporeans can participate as individuals or as a team.
- Each team should not exceed six members, and must include Singaporeans.
- Non-Singaporeans residing in Singapore can participate as part of a team.
- There are two categories, the Student Category and the Open Category.

Student Category
  • Full-time students who are studying in a local educational institution at the point of registration, are eligible to participate in this category.
  • Non-Singaporean students residing in Singapore may be part of the team.
  • Overseas Singaporeans, who are studying full-time in an overseas educational institution at the point of registration, are eligible to participate in this category.
Open Category
  • All Singaporeans (including overseas Singaporeans) are eligible to participate in this category.
  • Non-Singaporeans residing in Singapore may be part of a team.
  • Submitted films must be original and should not have been previously submitted for other competitions.
- Each short film must adhere to the given theme and, after including the opening and ending credits, be no longer than three minutes in duration
- All film submissions must be produced in high definition
- All films must be submitted to by 17 April 2017, 1200hrs

And before you go grab your cameras, listen to what two previous winners have to say about why they took part in the competition and how life has changed after winning the competition.

"ciNE65 is one of the biggest film competitions to take part in. It’s a competition, as well as a good platform where you can meet industry professionals to learn more about filmmaking. As compared to other competitions, it’s a very holistic platform that provides many learning opportunities. Prior to joining ciNE65, I have always been joining other competitions to further hone my skills. After joining this competition, it has further encouraged me to continue pursuing filmmaking as a passion. I’m currently working on a long-form film which I hope to enter into more film festivals." 

Mr Lawrence Loh, Winner of Best Overall Film ('Unwavering' - film pictured below), Open Category (ciNE65 III)

"In 2011, this was one of the existing platforms for filmmakers to showcase their works. The prizes were very attractive, and I had set a personal challenge for myself to make my next short film. I had just come back from Australia and wanted to join a film competition in Singapore. I got to know about ciNE65 online so I thought, why not give it a shot? My agenda was really to prove to myself, my capabilities. Filmmaking is very addictive. My greatest takeaways from ciNE65 are the memorable experiences that the competition has provided, as well as the media limelight that it exposed us filmmakers to. I feel that the organisers have very good relationships with the industry and industry partners. It gives us good industrial and media exposure, and helps us get seen by more people, and land us our next job." 

Mr Ray Pang, Winner of Overall Best Film, Open Category (ciNE65 I)
Past winners of ciNE65 Mr Ray Pang and Mr Lawrence Loh, together with Mr Rish Tamilrajan (scriptwriter on Mr Loh’s team) sharing their ciNE65 experiences. Photo courtesy of Nexus.

Watch 2015's overall winner 'Unwavering' here 

Watch 2011's overall winner 'The Team' here 

Totally new to filmmaking and not sure how to start making a film? There is a series of workshops and seminars that will give you a crash course on making a short film. Stay tuned to SINdie for more updates on the sessions!
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