film maker’s short film may soon be part of an American
university’s audio and video collection – thanks
to exposure in a foreign film festival.
After the 10-minute film, Once Upon A Time In The Not Too
Distant Future, was shown at the Hawaii International Film
Festival this year, the University of Hawaii contacted Miss
Christine Lim its director, about buying it.
Miss Lim’s experience highlights an encouraging trend
for Singapore film makers – more of their films are
getting exposure in overseas film festivals.
Better yet, their work is also gaining respect.
Lim’s film is one of several local movies which have
been making the rounds at international festivals.
Other home-grown film makers who have made the international
scene include Eric Khoo and K.Subramaniam.
Last year, five Singapore short films were shown at the
South-east Asian Film Festival in Amsterdam.
This year, apart from the Hawaii festival, several Singapore
short films were also shown at the Yamagata International
Documentary Film Festival and the Clermont Ferrand International
Short Film Festival.
Miss Lim, a Singapore Broadcasting Corporation producer,
said she will sell her film to the university, but has not
decided on the price.
"Ragged - shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival"
|She said: “It’s good
to have someone interested in my work. This sort of exposure
is, I feel, very important.”
Her movie tells the tale of anti-smoking troopers going after
a man who desperately needs a cigarette. It won the top prize
in the short film category of the Singapore International
Film Festival earlier this year.
Miss Teo Swee Leng, director of the Singapore International
Film Festival (SIFF), said of overseas interest in Singapore
films: “It says that the effort of having the best Singapore
short film awards is paying off.”
She said the SIFF helps the film makers promote their work
overseas by showing their movies to festival directors and
telling them about the competition.
But, she added: “It doesn’t mean that if you
send them the film, they will show it. It depends very much
on how the programmers see the film.”
Besides Miss Lim’s film, others which have been shown
overseas include Carcass, Barbie Digs Joe, August and Symphony
92.4 FM, by Mr Khoo; Ragged, co – directed by two
brothers Nisar and Nazir Husain; Ah Tong by Mr Victor Pan;
The Cage, an animated short by Mr Subramaniam; and China
Doll by Mr Meng Ong.
On the international exposure, Mr Khoo said: “It is
very rewarding. You meet foreigners who can relate to what
you are doing. Some film makers have said that my work has
an international touch.”
And will Singapore short films be shown one day at prestigious
film festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice?
Said Mr Philip Cheah, SIFF’s programme director: “It’s
a matter of time. The connections are already there, it’s
the quality now.”
To further encourage film makers here, next year’s
short film competition includes a cash award of $5,000 for
the best director.
Previously, there was no cash prize accompanying the award.
There will also be a new special achievement prize for a
deserving entry - a $60,00 package which includes, among
other things, film stock, equipment rental, film processing,
film editing and finished sound mix.
The best short film award winner bags a cash prize of $10,000
and Kodak film stock.
Click here for more information about Ragged.