Film News Singapore

Film Fanatic: *SCAPE’s Film Facilitation shorts make waves at international film fests

Organised by *SCAPE, the second edition of the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) Film Facilitation Programme (FFP) returns this year following the success of last year’s run. NYFA FFP is a nine-month mentorship programme, a holistic end-to-end mentorship initiative that provides a seed funding of $10,000, where past NYFA nominees and winners are mentored by internationally-renowned filmmakers to produce a short film.

The inaugural 2020 edition celebrates all five short films entering top-tier international film festivals, which are all available for rental from The Projector Plus.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake (2021), a horror short directed by Siyou Tan, was screened at the 74th Locarno Film Festival, where Singapore previously clinched the Golden Leopard award for A Land Imagined in 2018. The film follows three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal, before their revenge prank takes a sinister turn.

Henchmen (2021), directed by Alistair Quak under the mentorship of Mike Wiluan, won the Special Mention Award at the 25th Fantasia Film Festival. Set to the backdrop of an archetypal “action movie” (when a hitman seeks revenge on his former boss), we follow two henchmen, who try to avoid their inevitable fate, while waiting for their turn to “protect” their boss from the hitman.

“I’ve always wanted to bring [Henchmen] to life, but never managed to pull together enough resources to produce it,” said Alistair Quak, mentee under the Action genre. “To be able to finally see such an idea brought to life, thanks to *SCAPE and also everyone that was a part of the cast and crew, is really an amazing experience.”

Bridget

Bridget (2021), directed by Li Kayue and Zon Chan, also recently entered the 44th Asian American International Film Festival, which follows the story of Isa, who, on the night before his debut, decides to open up to his parents about his long-hidden pursuit.

Given last year’s success, FFP 2021 has also announced an exciting lineup of mentors to guide our next generation of filmmakers and impart valuable advice from their years of experience. The list of mentors for this year includes Rafael Manuel, winner of the Silver Bear Jury Prize at the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival and George Lucas Award at the 2020 Short Shorts Film Festival for his film Filipiñana (2020); Fran Borgia, producer of A Yellow Bird (2016), which was nominated for the Critics Week Grand Prize and Golden Camera in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2016, who also co-producer of Apprentice (2016), which screened at the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in the same year; Frank Smith, who has produced for BBC, National Geographic’s Fish Wars (2016), and more recently, for HBO Asia’s The Teenage Psychic (2017) and Netflix’s first original series in Mandarin, Nowhere Man; Siqi Song, director of Sister (2018), which was nominated for Best Short Film at the Oscars in 2020 and an Annie Award, Oscar-equivalent accolade of animation in 2018, and The Coin (2019), featured at the Short Shorts Film Festival in 2020; Bradley Liew, director of Motel Acacia (2019), nominated for Asian Future Best Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival in the same year, and was the showrunner of Astro Malaysia’s Doors: A Philippine Horror Anthology and Cignal Philippines’ Now Streaming Anthology Series, and Tran Thanh Huy, director of Ròm (2019) which won the Best First Feature at the 24th Fantasia International Film Festival in 2020.

In addition to the new mentors, this year’s edition will also include a Documentary genre presented by Impact Films. This increases the number of film genres from five to six, and will give young, aspiring documentary filmmakers the chance to hone their craft through genre storytelling and narratives.

Over the course of the mentorship programme, mentees can look forward to broadening their horizons on specific genres while having their perspectives challenged through the process. Apart from gaining technical and career advice on filmmaking, they will also be able to expand their network with the international film community. With six genres and a slew of distinguished mentors this season, NYFA FFP hopes to equip young filmmakers to scale greater heights, push the frontiers of Singapore’s film industry and foster a tight-knit community.

All five short films are available for rental from The Projector Plus.

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