Aside from the film Singapura which was shot in just two days, the ciNE65 MMA this year was full of highlight film-makers including a young group consisting of homegrown locals, and Filipino expats.
With the documentary titled Echoes of 1965, students from Canberra Secondary School, 15-year-olds Sivesh Sivaganesh, Andrea Fababeir, and their team submitted their entry that told the story of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and featured the tales from the grandparents of the community.
“I feel almost a sense of pride and hope that Singapore is my country and we’ve survived and grown so much through thick and thin,” said Sivesh.
Fababeir, who is Filipino, said: “For me, it is a bit different because of my nationality, but [Singapore] is where I was born and where I live, [although] I juggle between my identities. I’ve learned so much and it really impacts and touches me to see how far we’ve gone as a small nation.”
15-year-old students Andrea Fababeir (left) and Sivesh Sivaganesh were behind the documentary, Echoes of 1965.
These three films are just some of the highlights of the competition this year that are not only in the running for ciNE65 MMA, but also the Audience Choice Awards, which call for votes from members of the public.
The winner of ciNE65 MMA this year will get a deal to produce their own feature film, in partnership with mm2 Entertainment. A cash prize of $3,000 will also be up for grabs for overall best film in the Student and Open categories.
And for the first time in its history, a ciNE65 Festival 2019 from June 5 to 9 will celebrate short films produced over the past five seasons of the competition, including the films shortlisted for the Audience Choice Awards. Local director Ervin Han’s first animated short film 1299 from his Singapore Bicentennial Trilogy will also premiere at the screening on June 5 at The Cathay.
“Shiok” was how Tan described seeing the fruition of three months of hard work at a preview screening for media recently.
The upcoming festival will also be the first time some of the budding directors’ families get to see their finished films. Said Lan, laughing: “My mother told me that she’ll watch [my film], but she hasn’t. Maybe I’ll bring her to one of the screenings to watch it.”
Senior Lieutenant-Colonel (SLTC) Psalm Lew, Director of Community Engagement, Nexus, said: “ciNE65 is a national showcase for young filmmakers to share films that deepen our connection to Singapore. Today, we have more than 500 short films on the ciNE65 YouTube channel which tell inspiring Singaporean stories… We hope that Singaporeans will be inspired by the ciNE65 films that tell the story of our Singapore.”
Members of the jury panel this year include esteemed filmmakers and film professionals from Singapore and the region such as actor Edmund Chen, director Wee Li Lin and Hong Kong writer-director Heiward Mak.
Said Gary Goh, jury member and General Manager of mm2 Entertainment, on the film entries received this year: “Overall we saw a good range of entries. There were those that moved us, there were those that made us take a second look in terms of how the ideas were executed. Looking at just the seven films (in the Audience Choice category), I think it shows a dynamic range of ideas that can be executed, and it is impressive.”
Vote for the Audience Choice Awards for favorite film, actor and actress at the ciNE65 website here and you stand a chance to win air tickets for two to Seoul as the grand prize. Voting will end on June 11.
Free screenings for ciNE65 Festival 2019 will be held at various venues from June 5 to 9; the full schedule can be found here. For more information, go to cine65.sg.