ciNE65 IV: The Official Winners and some Unofficial Winners

Photos courtesy of ciNE65

Congratulations to all the winners of the 4th edition of ciNE65, the biennial short film competition that makes you ask big questions in a small parameter, such as ‘what is home?’, ‘what is Singapore?’. In today’s society, more young people want to have a say in this. It’s easy to rant about it on social media but much harder to put it into deeper thought and turn it into a short film.

I sat on the jury for the third time this year and I think it is such a great privilege to be viewing so many entries that offer windows to different schools of thought about home. For anyone writing a thesis about nationalism and national identity, the ciNE65 entries provide an all too convenient starting point. And the entries give a good cross-section of the kind of people we see in online national conversations today.

Take the recent the impending closure of Sungei Road flea market for example (happening on 10 July actually).

If the ciNE65 entries were the equivalent of voices we hear online in relation to the closure, this would be an example of our national conversation:

I (heart) Sungei Road flea market. I grew up with it.
It’s so old and dirty. Let’s relocate them to somewhere better.
Have you been to Sungei Road flea market? Here’s a tour.
Sungei Road flea market - lit AF!
Uncle Choo, I will always remember you  (Uncle Choo=stall owner)
Please sign the petition to stop the closure
How was Sungei Road flea market started?
Here are 5 things I bet you didn’t know about Sungei Road flea market
This is Home Truly, where I know I can get something for $3
Alien spaceships have captured Sungei Road flea market

On that last one, I applaud a few apocalyptic interpretations of the theme ‘Home.Truly’ in this year’s competition, such as With My Life by Jaze Phua and the zombie entry called They Are Coming. While the awards have been presented on Thursday 6 July, in an moderately elaborate ceremony, graced by Minister Maliki Bin Osman, several entries deserve mentions beyond the confines of the awards. So here are some alternative awards I would like to give out.

The Colour Correction Award
Ang Ku Kueh, a film about a National Serviceman who can only see green and not red, is ironically bathed in candy coloured hues owing to a gigantic dose of colour correction. Oh, it also wins Cute Little Boy Award Number 1.

Most Profound Use of Theme Award
Only choose Sampan brand toilet paper, because it brings you a sense of home. Ah Gong’s Toilet Paper finds wisdom and poetry in an everyday place.

This Film Sucks Award
冰棒, the film makes us thirsty for a popsicle. And for that one shot of the popsicle-stocked refrigerator, it deserves this award. This film also wins Cute Little Boy Award Number 2.

The Descendants of the Sun Award
With My Life is a wartime tale about a father sacrificing his life for his daughter whom he wants to survive and see the world. Military fatigues and crying with a lot of gusto makes this entry A O.K., with K for Korean drama.

The Most Extra Film Award
Ang Teng Kee, an entry about a National Serviceman overcoming his mental barriers to be a marksman wins this award hands down with a breathtaking drone shot at the end of the film that pulls out of the kitchen, through the kitchen window, away from the block and then up the block all the way until we are floating above the entire block of flats.

The Kids Whisperer Award
Common Ground, features a group of kids playing soccer in the void deck. Whoever directed these kids spoke their language and brought out everything endearing about them to the camera. Big mention goes out to the little girl who wanted to ‘Bend it like Beckam’ with the boys in the soccer game. A priceless performance.

Most Hardworking Film Award
Toy Soldiers is a stop-motion animation entry that involved a cast of thousands. Toy soldiers that is. Quite self-explanatory why making this film gives new real meaning to the phrase ‘back-breaking’.

Best Twist Award
Hello Pa, an entry about an old man receiving a phone call from his son presented the best twist among many entries. Watch how this phone call goes from ‘Hello Pa, hope you are in good health’ to ‘How can you not help you son!’

Now here is the official winner’s list.

Open Category

Overall Best Film Award
The Red Packet
Best Cinematography
Ang Ku Kueh
Best Direction
The Red Packet
Best Editing
Being Frank
Best Screenplay
Ah Gong’s Toilet Paper
Best Sound Design
Nasi Opera
Best Art Direction
With My Life

Student Category

Overall Best Film Award
Best Cinematography
Best Direction
Best Editing
Toy Soldiers
Best Screenplay
Hello Pa
Best Sound Design
Best Art Direction

Audience Choice Awards

Favourite Film Award
Favourite Actor Award
Douglas Lam, With My Life
Favourite Actress Award
Vandana Tikku, 冰棒

Winner of Overall Best Film, Student Category

Winner of Overall Best Film, Open Category
The Red Packet

Congratulations to both winning teams and have a fruitful trip at the Busan International Film Festival later this year!

Written by Jeremy Sing

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