The National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) is celebrating National Mentoring Month this January with the introduction of its mentorship initiative – the Film Facilitation Fund programme. Organised by *SCAPE, a non-profit organisation, and conceptualised by Huang Junxiang, NYFA 2020’s Youth Inspiration Award winner, the programme will see five internationally renowned filmmakers mentoring five past year NYFA winners.
The mentors include Mike Wiluan, co-producer of 2019’s hit Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians and director of action film Buffalo Boys (2018), as well as Daniel Jeannette, the animation director of 2006 film Happy Feet. Each mentor-mentee pair will receive a budget of $10,000 to produce a short film in a specific genre – action, drama, horror, animation, and comedy – that will be screened exclusively at the annual NYFA Conference come April 2021.
The film industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. As Singapore’s only platform that is catered to youth filmmakers, NYFA remains that pillar of support for aspiring filmmakers to pursue their passion despite trying times.
Working closely with NYFA Youth Inspiration Award winner, Junxiang – producer of films such as Tan Bee Thiam’s Tiong Bahru Social Club (2020), Mike Wiluan’s Buffalo Boys (2018), and Eric Khoo’s Ramen Teh (2018) – the Film Facilitation Fund programme aims to connect youth filmmakers with industry veterans in a bid to foster their professional development through the sharing of real world experiences.
“The Film Facilitation Fund programme is an excellent initiative to groom the next generation of filmmaking talents, and I am delighted to be a part of it,” said Mike Wiluan. “2020 was a difficult year for the film industry, particularly for the young ones. It is encouraging to know that platforms such as NYFA continue to provide the needed guidance and resources, to enable youths to turn their dreams into reality.”
Joining Mike Wiluan and Daniel Jeanette as mentors are Amanda Nell Eu, director of award-winning short films which have screened in international festivals including Venice, Locarno and Clermont-Ferrand; Jeremy Chua, Singaporean film producer who has co-produced international feature films by K. Rajagopal, Lav Diaz, Raya Martin and Ying Liang that have premiered in competition at Cannes Critics’ Week, Berlinale and Locarno; and Sorayos Prapapan, director of award-winning short films which have screened in international festivals including Venice, Locarno and Clermont-Ferrand.
Over the next three-months, mentees will discover new approaches to filmmaking over one-on-one meetings with their mentors. The mentors will guide the filmmakers from scripting to completion, imparting insights from their years of experience in the given genre.
“To commemorate NYFA’s 7th anniversary this year, we are excited to introduce the Film Facilitation Fund programme to our youth filmmakers,” said Ivy Lim, Executive Director of *SCAPE. “It is with great joy and satisfaction to kickstart an extension programme that will help our young filmmakers hone their skills and prepare them for the future.”
In the coming month, NYFA will also be calling for submissions the 7th edition of NYFA.