ShoutOUT! Ler Jiyuan's 'The Drum' wins top prize at the inaugural Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore

At the inaugural Singapore edition of the Viddsee Juree Awards, two outstanding Singaporean short films, The Drum and Such Is Life, were honoured. The Gold winner is Ler Jiyuan for The Drum, a 25-minute short film that follows the journey of Kang (Wang Yuqing, whose previous work includes The Flying Fish, and Joys of Life), a recently retired man in his 60s dealing with the sudden onset of a late-life crisis and a strained relationship with his son.
Said Jiyuan: “I’m proud to have competed amongst such a talented bunch of finalists who have made such good films. I believe our identity lies in the stories we tell; it’s important for us and the younger generation to make films that tell about Singapore in the way that it is, rather than the sanitised version of it.”

Ler Jiyuan is a Singaporean filmmaker who is experienced in telling stories across multiple formats. His diverse portfolio that includes telemovies Gone Case, based on the award-winning novel by Dave Chua, and The Love Machine, which was nominated for five awards at the 2016 Asian Television Awards (ATA). The Drum, was in competition at the 2017 Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival. (Check out SINdie's review of The Drum here.)
Taking Silver was was Kaizer Thng , whose 19-minute dark comedy Such Is Life is centered around Jonathan, a junior undertaker, who gets schooled in his new profession by Dennis, a veteran in the field. Said Kaizer: “I hope this award encourages people to do more genre films beyond comedy, like musicals, action films, and period pieces. They’re not easy to make; and for dark comedies, writing jokes in a country with so many laws and restrictions regarding religion and race isn’t easy. It’s difficult, but it’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”

Kaizer Thng graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Digital Filmmaking) from the School of Art, Design and Media in Nanyang Technological University. In his current role as Video Content Strategist at SGAG, Kaizer writes, directs, edits, and composes music for a number of commercial projects, including ‘Lah Lah Land’ (2018), a musical comedy commissioned by the Singapore Health Promotion Board.
The winners were picked by a jury that comprises Elvert Bañares, the Filipino festival director of CineKasimanwa: Western Visayas Film Festival; Singaporean screenwriter and director Don Aravind; and Bastian Meiresonne, the artistic director for the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France.
Gold and Silver winners were awarded film production grants from Viddsee worth SG$8,000 and SG$4,000 respectively, along with audio equipment provided by RØDE Microphones. The Gold winner also won a five-day Global Film & TV Program in Los Angeles sponsored by the Motion Picture Association (MPA). All ten shortlisted finalists received a 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription worth US$560 each from Adobe.
Aside from the main awards, Xinming Ng ’s Longevity Peach took home the Audience Choice Award, which included an Apple TV, following a two-week online voting period on

Said Xinming: “Making this film made me realise how I never really spent enough time with my grandparents, and I hope it encourages the younger generation spend more time with their grandparents, and understand their ways.”
In the run up to the awards ceremony on August 19 at The Projector, Blue Room, Viddsee held a two-day programme at *SCAPE Gallery that included film screenings and panel discussions about film funding and incentives, content marketing and the changing role of women in film.

Click the following to watch the 2 winning shorts:

Winning Film : The Drum

Silver Winner: Such is Life
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