Results of 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards 2011

14 03 2011

The 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards Night 2011 was held last Sunday, 6 March at the Substation. I was part of the 4 person jury for this year. I think there were some surprise that 3 Awards were not given out. Straits Times even wrote an article about it! (Click on it to view full document)

Here are some pics from the awards night 🙂



2nd Singapore Short Film Awards

25 02 2011

Guys and Girls, it’s here again! The 2nd Singapore Short Film Award will be held at the Substation from 28 Feb ~ 6 March 2011. Out of 126 films that were submitted, 30 films have been nominated for the various award categories. Although I have no work in the festival this year, I am part of the Judging Jury! hah 🙂

Best part is that the admission is by donations, you donate at the door any amount that you are comfortable with! How can you beat that. Must support and go and see the newest short film works by Singapore filmmakers!

Here’s more info:

The 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards
Dates: 28 February to 6 March 2011
Monday to Friday, from 7 pm
Saturday to Sunday, from 11am
Admission: By donation (no minimum amount)
The Substation Theatre
Presented by The Substation Moving Images
Co-organised by Objectifs: Centre for Photography and Filmmaking

An entire week of short film screenings every night showcasing all Singaporean short films produced in 2011! This is your chance to find out what our filmmaking landscape has yielded. Come see new works from established filmmakers to explorations by first timers. This is your chance to catch the films that you may have missed, the films you’ve seen and loved, and discover new talents before everyone else does!

In conjunction with the awards, SINdie, the only online site in Singapore fully dedicated to independent Singaporean films, will be presenting the first-ever Singaporean film poster exhibition. MISE EN SIN will feature over 100 film posters from about 60 Singaporean filmmakers. Many of these posters are unseen and only available in limited editions. They will be on sale to the general public during the course of the Singapore Short Film Awards.

MISE EN SIN, the exhibition, will take place in the foyer and random room, both located on the ground floor of The Substation.

For more information about The Substation & the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards, please click here.
For directions to The Substation please click here.

“失去愛” (Love Lost) screened “In-Competition” at the 13th Thai Short Film & Video Festival 2009

29 08 2009

After my TVC job in Bangkok, I stayed for another 4days for the 13th Thai Short Film & Video Festival! “失去愛” (Love Lost) was screened “In-Competition” for the International Competition! 🙂


I haven’t been in Bangkok for about 8years, I think! The changes are quite a lot, with the Metro & BTS. But the creative energy is still there!

The festival is being held in the newly opened Bangkok Arts & Cultural Center which is just opposite MBK, right smack in the city center shopping district. Didn’t get to shop much, but went DVD hunting instead. Hard to get Thai films by some of my favourite Thai directors like Pen-ek, Wisit, Aditya or Apitchatpong. But managed to get a copy of “Tropical Malady” – Hurray! I guess the situation is the same everywhere in South East Asia.

Here are some pics from my adventures!

IMG_7463 The screening venue: Bangkok Arts & Cultural Center.

IMG_7501The screening hall on the 5th level.

IMG_7488A life size cut-out from the poster. I really like this one! 🙂

IMG_7491The view of Bangkok city from the screening hall.

IMG_7495The screening of my film! 🙂

IMG_7540IMG_7583IMG_7603Day, Sunset & Night along the Chao Praya River. Took a slow and unhurried ferry ride down the Chao Praya River. Really enjoyed it! 🙂

IMG_7585A school girl on a ferry on the Chao Praya River.

IMG_7576The end of the ferry ride is at the suburb town of Thonaburi.

IMG_7564Market at Thonaburi.

IMG_7639The Awards Ceremony!

IMG_7648The festival coordinator – Sanchai Chotirosseranee. He programmmed the Queer Section of the festival which I thought was really good. It touches quite a lot of aspects of the gay & lesbian issues, like a Docu on having children in Spain for gay & lesbian couples. There is even a very good gay thai comedy called “Hungry or Full”!

IMG_7653Lighting of the Giant Candle for the Awards Ceremony.

IMG_7658The youngest winner!

IMG_7665All the winners!

Breakdancing in Bangkok near the skybridge next to the Bangkok Arts & Cultural Center!

Happenings at 5th InDPanda 2009, Hong Kong

27 08 2009

Had a wonderful time and screening in Hong Kong for the 5th InDPanda 2009! 🙂 Many thanks to festival directors, Jonathan Hung & Henry Chan, for inviting my film “失去愛” (Love Lost) and myself for the festival. I had to cut short my stay and fly to Bangkok for a commercial job, which I didn’t wanted to go because I haven’t watch enough films! 🙂

Here are some pics from the festival:

IMG_7160IMG_7157Screening Venue: Broadway Cinematheque. They have a great DVD store and Bookstore as well!


IMG_7164The Attic Room where I stayed. It is on the 14th Floor of the same building as the office of the festival. It is like an apartment run by an Arts Group called ACC. There are 3 rooms in the apartment and Jonathan arranged for me to stay in the Attic Room because of the great view. I have to watch my head every time I go down the stairs though, haha.

IMG_7170The great view from my Attic Room. I can see Victoria Harbour!

P1410469Jonathan Hung (Left), Myself & Henry Chan (Right) in some SERIOUS discussions….asking for info on some good place to get DVDs!

IMG_7219IMG_7198IMG_7249Day and Night view of Hong Kong from The Peak. They even have a light show on the buildings at 8pm! 🙂

IMG_7290Victoria Harbour. View from Kowloon side.

IMG_7305The Walk of Stars

IMG_7325Ann Hui’s handprint!

IMG_7338Myself and…..myself again in the poster for “失去愛” (Love Lost).

IMG_7335The film was categorised as category IIB by the censors.

IMG_7346IMG_7364The Q&A after the screening of my film. As it was the last screening of the day, the Q&A was done very late, past 12am! I was surprised anybody stayed behind at all! 🙂

IMG_7373After the screening. From L~R: 李俊宏 (Li Chun Hung – Director from Taiwan), Jonathan Hung, Myself, Mona Long (friend of Chun Hung) & Henry Chan.

P1410845Having a cooling time at a dessert store after a screening. On the extreme left is Paolo Bertolin (Programmer from Venice Film Festival) – he was on a stopover in Hong Kong. Third from left is Wilson Yip, Singapore Director of the short film “Madam Chan”.

IMG_7380Me and Mona showing off the finished dessert! 🙂

IMG_7381The gang having breakfast. Chun Hung & Mona were going to the airport after this.

P1410886Me checking out the butter! 🙂

“Love Lost” screening at Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival

10 08 2009

Just came back from the Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival in Yogjakarta, Indonesia! 🙂


My latest short film “Love Lost” was shown to a sold-out audience! It was a very good experience.

What is special about this festival is that there were a lot of student filmmakers from the different communities and regions of Indonesia. They all came to the festival to show their short films in a side bar program call “Forum Community”. There were about 100 of them and Garin Nugroho (the festival president) had to put them up at a hostel. The community filmmakers even invited me to screen my film at the hostel. It was a great experience even though they just had a projector, a loud speaker and a DVD player in the courtyard to screen my film. What I felt is that there is something bubbling among these student filmmakers. They don’t depend on anyone to make their films. I think this is a very good way of nurturing the next generation of Indonesian filmmakers. Below are some highligts from the festival:

IMG_6970IMG_6974The Opening Ceremony at the main festival venue, Taman Budaya


IMG_7001Forum on “Dream of a Nation: Cinema, Identity & Nationalism”. The speakers are L~R: Dharmasena Pathiraja (Sri Lanka Master Director), Sivamohan Sumathy (Sri Lanka Writer), Anis Baswedan (Indonesian Lecturer), Nuraini Juliastuti (Moderator), Garin Nugroho (Indonesian Director), Paolo Bertolin (Programmer from Venice International Film Festival)

IMG_7014During the screening of my film “Love Lost”

IMG_7017Some of the audiences at the screening of my film “Love Lost”

IMG_7068Photo op at Borobuda, the biggest buddhist temple in the world. From L~R: Warren Sin (Curator from National Museum of Singapore), Myself, Paolo Bertolin, Frida Farid (Hospitality from JAFF), Fadli Al-Akiti (Malaysian writer & film critic) & Yuni Hadi (From Objectifs Films Singapore)

IMG_7073Warren trying to touch the Buddha statue inside the Pagoda for good luck. It’s not easy!

IMG_7074Yuni also giving it a go!

IMG_7042Yuni & Garin Nugroho on a trishaw. The pic is quite blur but they seems to be having a blast!

IMG_7079Community screening for Indonesian Short Filmmakers at JAFF

Jaff5-300x224JogjaThe community filmmakers invited me to their hostel where they were put up to show my film! It was a great experience as it was just shown in their courtyard with a DVD player, a OHP screen and a beat-up speaker. We had a very lively discussion afterwards.

IMG_7098Having dinner at a traditional Javanese restaurant. The person sitting next to Warren is Azhar Rudin (Malaysian Filmmaker)

IMG_7113Waiting to get on the bus. Sitting next to Fadli is Ridla An-Nuur Setiawan (Producer from Bundung)

IMG_7139Myself and Frida

IMG_7106IMG_7104Press Conference for JAFF. From L~R: Budi Irawanto (JAFF Festival Director), Christine Hakim (Indonesian Actress) & Garin Nugroho

IMG_7083Myself & Garin Nugroho

IMG_7114More photo op at the last day of the festival

JAFF Closing Party!

Why Ban on Brides, Boy?

14 05 2009

I came across this article while checking I think it is an interesting argument against the ban of these films during the SIFF. Here is what it says: 

I refer to the letter by Amy Chua, ‘Why Ban on Brides, Boy’ (Life Mailbag, April 11). 

In the letter, the Board of Film Censors attempted to justify its ban of the film ‘Brides of Allah’ on account of it being ‘sensitive’. It claimed that the female terrorists interviewed in the documentary ‘did not seem to be remorseful and were determined to perpetrate acts of violence should they have another opportunity’. The Board was concerned on the effect of such a film on ‘those who are like-minded’. 

This line of reasoning seems to me to be tenuous at best. There are many documentaries which portray all manner of sociopaths and deviants—including unrepentant criminals, racial supremacists and homophobic bigots. Just because they are allowed their points of view does not mean that the documentary, as a whole, necessarily endorses their perspectives. It is a grave disservice to refer to the warped ideology articulated by these terrorists as ‘the documentary’s distorted view of Islam’. This ‘distorted view’ is one held by the interviewees, and do not necessarily reflect those of the filmmaker. 

As a matter of fact, it has to be noted that the filmmaker herself is an Israeli female director, who professes at most a curiosity towards, rather than an admiration for, these female terrorists. A review of the documentary on the Hollywood Reporter states that ‘this is a film ripe with ambiguity, neither wholly sympathetic nor wholly judgmental about the subjects’. It takes a paranoiac leap of the imagination to interpret the film as one that ‘provides a platform for terrorists to champion their cause’. 

Likewise, FIPRESCI film critic Pablo Utin expresses his bewilderment at the actions of these Palestinian women. In his review, he asks, ‘How can a mother abandon her kids and husband and go to kill others by committing suicide? How can a pregnant woman put an explosive belt around her belly, right on top of her unborn son?’ Chris Barsanti of concludes that ‘some of these supposed martyrs…are nothing more than homicidal maniacs given a pass by a handily convenient ideology.’ None of the reviews I have read identified the film as pro-terrorist propaganda which in the Board’s own words, ‘portray[s] terrorists or terrorist organisations in a positive light’. 

By banning the documentary, the Censorship Board assumes that a typical Singaporean filmgoer is bereft of what it patronizingly describes as ‘a discerning and mature mind’ (even after having passed 21 years of age) and is unable to reach some of the conclusions I have outlined above. More worrying is the idea that terrorists are not supposed to communicate the reasons for their chosen course of action, or rather, that the public should be shielded from their testimonies. 

There are supposed proto-terrorists now who are languishing under indefinite detention at the Whitley Detention camp. Until today, the public has yet to hear their side of the story. Denied a fair and open trial as well as access to the media, these prisoners have been effectively silenced. This veritable gag order, however, is not in the national interest. Public education on the dangers of terrorism must include an avenue where these ‘terrorists’ are allowed to make a statement on their motivations and justifications, and to defend themselves against the evidence laid against them. 

The Nuremberg trials, which allowed Nazi war criminals to testify in court, was an exemplary case in point. Despite fierce attempts by the Nazis to exonerate themselves, it was clear from those who witnessed the proceedings that the atrocities they had committed were patently indefensible. The Censorship Board, by banning ‘Brides of Allah’, has not only failed to recognize its pedagogical value, but has squandered an invaluable opportunity to educate the public on the multifaceted causes of terrorism. 

Alfian Sa’at 
Censorship Monitoring Committee

“失去愛” (Love Lost) wins “SPECIAL AWARD” in Romania

12 05 2009

Following the three successful sold out screenings at the recent 22nd SIFF in Singapore,  I had just received another very good news! My latest short film “失去愛” (LOVE LOST) had won the “SPECIAL AWARD” at the Timishort FIlm Festival in Romania which was held from 6~10 May 2009! 🙂 + victory sign!

You can check out the festival website for more details here: Timishort Film Festival

During the prize presentation, President of the Jury and noted Romanian documentary filmmaker Mr Andrei Ujic commented: “The film shows, with ironies and cliches, of love, desire and desperation.”

Other members of the jury include Corneliu Porumboiu (his feature “12:08 East of Bucharest” won the Camera d’Or award in Cannes in 2006), Jakub Felcman (Programmer for Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), Leo Soesanto (Programmer for the Long Features section of the International Critic’s Week at Cannes Film Festival) and Nadja Rademacher (Director of Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden, Germany).

Many thanks to supporters and especially sponsors of film, and also to those that have attended the screenings during the SIFF! I will strive to continue making more films!