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Young And Successful Filmmakers Share Their Experiences

By Chen Shun  /  20 Apr 2020 (Monday)
Last Friday, was the annual National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) which concluded without a hitch but due to the ongoing ‘circuit breaker’, the entire event was held online, in a web conference format. While the entire NYFA was interesting in its own right, one particular section caught many people’s eyes. It was the ‘Young Filmmakers Go International’ section, the last web conference and also the highlight of the day. 

NYFA gathered past winners to talk about how they felt when they won the NYFA and also their experience of bringing their art to a major film festival like Cannes Film Festival. Let us take a look at the highlight of the conference together.

 Jerrold Chong

When the panellist discussed more in-depth about animation, Jerrold has a fervent passion in bringing it to a whole new level, saying:

“Universally, as a medium, animation characters can go beyond, race, age and humans. You can recreate your imagination with no limitation. For me, ‘Piece of Meat’ stands out for its story. A character is trying to survive within a caste system. One day it is my dream to create a live-action of Piece of Meat.”

Image: Piece of Meat

Jerrold Chong's animated short film 'Piece Of Meat', which was part of Cannes' Directors' Fortnight, is a cutout stop-motion animation featuring anthropomorphised objects representing Singaporeans; its story centred around a lamb cutlet trying to make ends meet. With some hope, we also wish to see Jerrold’s short film 'Piece of Meat'  recreated into a live-action piece.

Jonathan Choo

Jonathan provided great feedback when he was asked about his experience at an international film festival, saying:

“People gave me honest feedback and criticism overseas than in Singapore. In Singapore, people tell me that my short film, HAN, ’ it's great’ or ‘it was shot well’, but while in overseas, I get poetic feedbacks and people tell me their perspective and we can have a better discussion. I felt that it broaden my perspective by a lot even though it was my first film festival.”

Image: Han

To find out more about Jonathan Choo and his work, check out this article

Shoki Lin

Shoki provided some behind-the-scenes story of how his team rushed out out ‘Adam’, a film with flaws and had no expectations of winning.

“I was first introduced to Cannes in NTU and it was tough to submit before the deadline due to the tight submission deadline. We were very lucky to submit our film in time right before the closing. I had no expectation when we submitted our work to Cannes as there was a lot of room for improvement. I think we were very lucky to be chosen.”

Image: Adam

Shoki also provided young filmmakers with the advice of “submitting your work anywhere as there is nothing to lose since you are young.” Travelling to multiple film festivals allowed Shoki to have an eye-opening experience as there were diversity and various styles which allowed him to learn and improve.

Tan Wei Ting

Wei Ting further added on to what Shoki shared, by talking about her experience at her first festival. She also advised what young filmmakers should prepare for if they were to go to a film festival one day.

“I did not expect to be selected for the first festival I submitted my work, CA$H, to but I was happy to be selected. At the festival, I didn’t expect people to bring new proposals to show investors as it was my first festival. Regarding the short films that were playing at the festival, it was intriguing that there all the filmmakers did a great job in condensing a long story into a short film."

Image: CA$H

She also talked about the filming process of her masterpiece, CA$H. Her cast and her team filmed for about 24 hours in a supermarket and she managed to beg the supermarket to halt their business for about 2 hours so that they could film in the dark.

After attending this year’s NYFA and listening to their thoughts, one word came into my mind. Perseverance. Without this key factor, many would not be able to achieve what many filmmakers did. Want to be like them? Submit your entry for NYFA today!
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