9th National Youth Film Awards Spotlights Emerging Young Filmmakers in Singapore
The annual National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) was held on 31 August, granting 20 awards to outstanding individuals who displayed their flair in creating compelling and moving narratives through film. By: Theng Min Yee
Organised by SCAPE, NYFA recognised emerging young filmmakers in the industry through an awards ceremony that was held at SCAPE’s The Ground Theatre. Filmmakers from the categories of Student, Open Youth and Joint Awards, had submitted their films to the annual film event, with some bagging awards such as “Best Director”, “Best Cinematography”, “Best Screenplay”, etc. Winners walked away with cash and prizes worth up to a total of an estimated $70,000, including a $1,000 cash prize each and prizes from SONY, Cathy Photo, Mocha Chai Laboratories and more.
Awardees showed their flair for translating sensitive social topics – like mental health, death, and grief – into poignant stories in their films. The recipient of “Best Director” was clinched by Hein Htut’s Grandfather’s Son, which depicts the personal story of a man coming to terms with his grandfather’s death. Conveying emotional depth whilst grasping the subtleties of grief, the winning film was a moving depiction of profound human emotions. Another outstanding film came from Leong Yong Jia, Tiffany, with her film Ah Fen receiving the “Most Promising Award”. With creative shots that created an atmosphere of anticipatory suspense, the film reified the struggles of mental illness into tangible, pulsating nerves that coursed through its viewers. Taking home the “Best Short Film” for the Open-Youth category, Alvin Lee, Angelina Bok and Chew Pei Yi’s film artfully exposed the inflections of hypocrisy that surround funerals and death. The trio successfully earned praise across the jury panel, as well as a direct entry into Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)’s Official Selection, as part of NYFA’s partnership with SGIFF. The collaboration, which opens up a wider platform for young filmmakers, accentuates SCAPE’s mission of nurturing young filmmakers.
Apart from the winning films, a distinguished jury of filmmakers and industry veterans presented the NYFA 2023 Youth Inspiration Award to Jeremy Chua. His extensive mentorship experience, as well as his active involvement in the film industry as a prominent Singaporean film producer and screenwriter, had led to a unanimous decision by the jury regarding his receiving of the prestigious award.
Winners will receive Industry Passes to the 34th edition of SGIFF, with some earning access to regional film festivals, such as the 28th BUSAN International Film Festival. SCAPE’s efforts to bolster youth in their creative pursuits is evident with this opportunity to tap on international networks, which could become a springboard for up-and-coming filmmakers to launch their future careers.
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