20 February 2013 - Local and international audiences can now watch Singapore short films online as part of “Watch Local”, an initiative started in 2012 by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC)... Read more
Online SGFilm Channel to extend reach of Singapore films locally and internationally; launches with 10 notable short films
Singapore, 20 February 2013 –Local and international audiences can now watch Singapore short films online as part of “Watch Local”, an initiative started in 2012 by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) to drive local appreciation and support of Singapore films.
This year’s edition of “Watch Local” continues online and includes the SGFilm Channel (www.youtube.com/sgfilmchannel) which is hosted on YouTube. Besides short films –films of duration below 30 minutes - the channel will also show trailers of upcoming feature films by local film directors.
The launch of SGFilm Channel follows from the success of the inaugural “Watch Local” initiative which started off last year, as a two-month pilot run from October to December. This joint industry partnership to nurture homegrown demand for local films saw more than one million viewers enjoying 28 Singapore films over multiple platforms including free-to-air TV channels and at partner venues.
Said Mr Yeo Chun Cheng, Director, Singapore Film Commission: “We are heartened by the strong show of public support, and we hope to build on this momentum by extending audience reach with the addition of short films to the initiative this year. Short films are an important stepping stone for many of our filmmakers, for it is where they cut their teeth. The SGFilm Channel extends the reach of these short films beyond physical spaces and fosters greater audience engagement through social media platforms. I am confident that SGFilm Channel will be able to do this, and in time to come, become the channel from where our next generation of filmmakers emerge.”
40 shorts for SGFilm Channel in 2013
The SGFilm Channel will kick off its first year with 40 short films. Every quarter, a total of 10 new titles will be released for online viewing. Launching the channel will be a series of 10 festival works, with heart-warming stories of family ties and friendships, including Sons by Royston Tan which helped launch his career in filmmaking. Sons tells the story of a father who expresses his wish to fix a relationship that has become cold and distant.
Said Royston Tan: “Whenever I travel to festivals with a new film, people always request to see my other films. I can now refer them to SGFilm Channel where they can watch my films and also discover other short films from Singapore.”
Among the channel’s film offerings are award-winning titles including Keluar Baris (Homecoming), The Secret Heaven and Di (Little Brother);as well as experimental works such as Wrong Turn by Charles Lim, and defining ones such as Anthony Chen’s noteworthy short film Ah Ma which was in competition at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007. Also included is Edward Khoo’s seminal work Late Shift. The 10-minute narrative tells a poignant story about an elderly taxi driver’s encounter with a drunk passenger and was in the running for “Best Short Film” at the 17th Busan International Film Festival last year.
Said teenage filmmaker Edward Khoo: “Being my first short, Late Shift will, naturally and always, carry a special kind of sentiment as it is the first thing you really invest yourself in. An online channel dedicated to Singapore shorts like Late Shift will help young, aspiring filmmakers like myself gain greater exposure for our works. I look forward to being part of the community of short filmmakers.”
For more details on the line-up of the first 10 films screened on the SGFilm Channel, please see Annex A (343.91KB).
Positive industry support for SGFilm Channel
Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film has been appointed to manage and create the channel.
Said Ms Yuni Hadi, Partner, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film: “We are creating an online community for Singapore films that is not limited by geography. Presenting our local short films on a platform with the widest global reach will allow these films to entertain a new audience who are not only curious about the world but also constantly on the go. Our first year is to present the widest scope of Singapore short films, new and old, to give new audiences a broad perspective of what our local talent have to offer. I hope that the channel will continue to grow and that it would serve as an important educational resource for teaching and research.”
Local filmmakers welcome the move as it helps them reach out to a larger audience and the online community. Tan Wei Keong, a graduate from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) added: “I am delighted to learn of the launch of SGFilm Channel and Hush Baby being part of this initiative to promote Singapore films to international audience. Hush Baby is about restriction and setting boundaries. To have the short film shown on an online platform allows viewers to break the traditional act of going to a cinema, and having freedom to watch whenever and wherever they want. In a way, it is liberating the baby in Hush Baby.”
Michael Kam whose past short films have screened at festivals such as Berlin and Hamburg said: “It's great to know that my short film, Di (Little Brother) which taps on a time and a memory from my past, will have a new platform to be shown.”
Filmmaker Wee Li Lin, who is developing her third feature film this year agreed: “I'm so excited for a new generation of people to see Autograph Book. I hope it makes them re-look at their old autograph books and reminisce about what was then (in the 70s 80s and 90s) the equivalent of Twitter or Facebook.”
With SGFilm Channel and Watch Local returning this year, movie buffs can expect an even more exciting year for local films, with cinema attendance and box-office takings going up in the last five years with an average of 10 to 15 Singapore films being produced yearly.
More information on this year’s “Watch Local” initiative including film screenings will be revealed in the coming months.
About Singapore Film Commission
The SFC was formed in 1998 and is part of the Media Development Authority (MDA) since 2003. It is spearheaded by a panel of members from the film, arts and cultural community, and is supported by a Secretariat within the MDA. The SFC has, over the years, supported more than 500 short films, scripts, feature films, as well as film-related events in Singapore that showcase homegrown talent and works. Some notable films by new and upcoming filmmakers include 4:30 (Royston Tan), Sandcastle (Boo Junfeng), and Where the Road Meets the Sun (Yong Mun Chee).
About Objectifs - Centre for Photography and Film
Established in 2003, Objectifs (www.objectifs.com.sg) offers a space for all photography and filmmaking enthusiasts to learn and share. To complement its courses and workshops, Objectifs regularly hold photography exhibitions, film screenings and talks to create awareness among our students and other visual arts enthusiasts. Objectifs has judged, co-/curated and/or organized national and international events such as the Digital Film Fiesta, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, Month of Photography, NOISE Singapore, Singapore Arts Festival, to name a few. Objectifs also runs photography and film education workshops to tertiary and secondary schools on a year-round basis, providing specialized media training to our youths. Objectifs is a partner of Objectifs Films, spearheaded by Objectifs - Centre for Photography and Film, Infinite Frameworks and Shooting Gallery Asia. Objectifs Films is the largest short film distributor in Southeast Asia, and represents award-winning short films from the region. Selected films by Royston Tan, Boo Junfeng, Tan Pin Pin, Anthony Chen etc are represented by Objectifs Films.