STOP10 May 2017: 'Builders' (Kattumaanar) and other shorts from 'Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth'

Still from Eysham Ali's Builders (Kattumaanar)

Running from 6 May 2017 - 27 August 2017, The Singapore Art Museum goes on a journey to look deeper into planet earth through the 7th edition of their family focused exhibition titled Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth. Featuring immersive, tactile and interactive artworks by nine contemporary artists, it promises an experience for all ages to learn about the Earth’s magnificent marvels.

To complete the experience and to delve deeper into the concepts explored in the exhibition, meet the artists and curators of Imaginarium through a series of guided exhibition tours, artist workshops and toddler art workshops that will take place over the course of the exhibition. Other family-friendly activities include daily screenings of short films inspired by the vastness of lands at the Moving Image Gallery, as well as immersive storytelling sessions for young audiences.

Short Films

Date: Saturday, 6 May – Sunday, 27 August 2017
Venue: SAM at 8Q, Moving Image Gallery, Level 2
Free with museum admission. Donations encouraged.
Enjoy a selection of short films from the USA, Brazil, Russia, Philippines and Singapore in the Moving Image Gallery.

Builders (Kattumaanar)
Eysham Ali, 2016, Singapore, 9:15 min, Tamil with English subtitles
Official Selection, Singapore International Film Festival 2016

An Indian migrant worker finds a wallet filled with cash and is conflicted about whether he should return the wallet to its owner. This short film is a story of two different people, walking the same journey.

A graduate of Chapman University Singapore, Eysham Ali’s first short film Rumahku, Syurgaku (My Home, My Heaven), was awarded the Special Achievement Award at the 2008 Singapore International Film Festival. Builders is an Honour Singapore initiative to share individual stories of dignity and respect, through the medium of film.

Sustained and engaging story telling right from its opening sequence, this short film achieves so much with so little. No exchange of words, just meaningful gazes and a microscopic look at a possibly familiar situation.

Pale Blue Dot
Chin Li Zhi, 2015, Singapore, 4:00 min, English with subtitles
Singapore Premiere
Silver award in Film, Crowbar Awards 2016
Nominated for Best Animated Film & Best Character Animation, National Youth Film Awards 2016

Set to the words of Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot is an animation that situates human history against the tapestry of the cosmos. Using an eclectic combination of art styles woven seamlessly together through music and visuals, the animation seeks to remind us that regardless of our differences, we are one species living together on the planet we call Earth.

Chin Li Zhi is a multimedia creative who believes that what we see influences us more than anything else. His work spans topics and medium, often bringing eclectic styles and techniques together for greater visual impact. Pale Blue Dot was produced at NTU ADM in collaboration with Studiengang Musikdesign, and screened at 22 film festivals worldwide since 2015.

It grabs your attention immediately. The intention is clear, the words and text concise and to the point. The story and mixed media was interwoven seamlessly with a clear narrative that carried through the short film. While the subject matter is familiar, one is still left with a smile of a reminder on the importance of our pale blue dot.

Way of Giants (Caminho dos Gigantes)
Alois Di Leo, 2016, Brazil, 11:52 min, No dialogue
Singapore Premiere
Official Selection, Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2016
Best Director for National Competition, Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema 2016

A poetic search for purpose and reason set in a forest of gigantic trees, this animation follows Oquirá, a six year-old indigenous girl, as she challenges her destiny and learns to understand the cycle of life.

Way of Giants explores the many forces in nature and our connection with the earth and its elements, featuring Tito la Rosa, a master of ancient Andean music from Peru who composed and recorded the film score using handmade Inca and Andean instruments.

Alois Di Leo was born in Lima, Peru and raised in São Paulo, Brasil where he founded the animation studio SINLOGO. He graduated with an MA in animation direction at the NFTS in London, and is writing his first feature film.

This short certainly brings you deep into another world – intriguing, mysterious and unknown – it tells a tale of the circle of life through the eyes of a little girl. Without the need for words, the story and emotions are so clearly found in the finer details of facial expression or movement.

Snowflake (Snejinka)
Natalia Chernysheva, 2012, Russia, 5:46 min, No dialogue
Best Film by an Emerging Director, The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Prize, 30th Chicago International Children's Film Festival
Guild of Film Critics Award, Open Russian Festival of Animated Film 2013

A little African boy receives a paper snowflake enclosed in a letter, and is so enchanted by the idea of real snow that he fantasizes into being a whole new snow-covered world.

Natalia Chernysheva graduated from the Ural State Academy of Architecture and Art, Russia, and studied at La Poudrière, France, where she directed The Return (2013) and her multi-award-winning graduation film, Two Friends (2014). She participated in the International Writing Residency for Animated Films by Royal Abbey of Fontevraud in 2014, and Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo in 2015, during which she wrote The Gossamer (2016). Snowflake is her directorial debut which has won several awards and has been screened at numerous film festivals internationally.

Filled with innocence, fun, exploration and a world of possibility – this film invokes a variety of responses in a very concise short. As the little African boy fantasizes about the various possibilities of having a snow covered world – he also comes to understand about the impact of difference and consequence. A truly mesmerizing piece, it reminds each one of us of perhaps a more innocent time – of a time when we let our imagination run free.

Information on all programmes offering during the exhibition can be found here:

Picture credit: The Singapore Art Museum website

Written by Ivan Choong 

For the full list of May 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.
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