Arts Film Preview Singapore

Film Fanatic: Changi collaborates with local filmmakers to launch three independent short films set at Changi Airport

Changi Airport Group has announced the launch of ‘Where Dreams Take Flight: Singaporean Short Stories’, a compendium of three short films in a collaboration featuring local filmmakers and talents.

In a time marked by safe distancing, self-isolation and physical barriers, the project aims to capture untold stories of human connections at Changi Airport, while exploring themes such as family relationships, social interactions, and personal aspirations. The first of the films to be launched, ‘Auntie Oh Lives In Your Memories’, has been officially selected in the Singapore Panorama segment at the Singapore International Film Festival and will debut on 4th December 2021.

Set in a time when flights are curtailed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the film brings viewers on a whimsical journey as the protagonist, Auntie Oh who works at Changi Airport’s baggage claim division, discovers the lives behind the abandoned luggage of passengers. From an unexpected friendship in France to finding love in Hong Kong, she rediscovers the joy of social interaction and the beauty of life.

From L-R: Huang Junxiang, Li Kayue, Zon Chan, Kathleen Bu, Eysham Ali, Li Lin Wee

The films were produced by up-and-coming local filmmakers Eysham Ali, Kathleen Bu, Li Kayue and Zon Chan, who were invited to participate in the project based on their experience in filmmaking, style of execution and ability to create stories that resonate. Showcasing the individuality and creativity of the local filmmakers, each of the three short films presents a unique look at the interactions that take place in a familiar setting to many Singaporeans and travellers. Through the shared experience of travelling through Changi Airport, the films hope to inspire both Singaporeans and international travellers to travel, reigniting the desire to fly again.

The quartet are mentored by Li Lin Wee and Huang Junxiang, award-winning local filmmakers whose experience working on previous projects with CAG such as the ‘SG50 I’m Home’ video, provided valuable insight and perspectives to the budding filmmakers.

“As a key air hub and Singapore’s gateway to the world, Changi Airport remains focused on its vision of connecting lives and strives to deliver the best Changi experience for every passenger. Whether parting from or reuniting with loved ones, taking off and landing at Changi is a collective memory and shared experience for many Singaporeans. Through this film collaboration project, we saw the opportunity to reconnect with our audience in a time when travel is curtailed and at the same time, raise the profile of the local filmmaking industry. We hope everyone will enjoy the stories while looking forward to the day we can travel freely again,” said Mr Kelvin Ng, Vice President of Changi Airport Group’s Corporate and Marketing Communications.

The first short, Auntie Oh Lives In Your Memories by Kathleen Bu, follows Auntie Oh, an employee in Changi Airport’s Baggage Claim division. With flights curtailed during the pandemic, she ends up feeling lost. She discovers the stories and lives hidden within the abandoned luggage of passengers. Told through a whimsical lens, the film shines light on the social interaction that many miss today, and the beauty of life.

The second short, Last Call by Eysham Ali, follows Yusuf, who plans to attend his daughter’s wedding overseas but misses his flight. He makes a scene and Nadia, a new airport ground staff, is tasked to help Yusuf get on the next available flight. Through an emotional recount, the film explores the intricacies and textured layers of relationships, love, and regret.

Finally, Li Kayue and Zon Chan’s VuJa De plays on the term ‘Déjà vu’, and brings viewers on a poetic journey of experiencing something familiar as if it were unknown through the juxtaposition between the airport and three individuals who undergo a similar period of uncertainty in their lives. As the sun rises and dawn breaks, a fresh perspective emerges amid the emptiness, presenting a glimmer of hope for the next day, as well as a sense of reversion towards the familiar once again.

“Working with Changi is always a positive experience and the project gave us the opportunity to capture the airport in a unique moment of time. Personally, it is energising and inspiring to work with young filmmakers, to hear their story ideas and help them through the process of bringing the films to fruition,” said mentor Li Lin Wee.

“I was excited to jump onboard the project because Changi Airport is so iconic and representative of so many aspects of what makes Singapore, Singapore. As a site of connectivity, I found it poignant that the airport was trying to connect young filmmakers to the rest of the world during COVID-19 – that spirit really captures what makes Changi Airport such a special place,” added Huang Junxiang.

The first short film, ‘Auntie Oh Lives In Your Memories’ is now available on Changi Airport’s website and Facebook page. The two other short films, ‘Last Call’ and ‘VuJa De’, will be released in 2022. More details available here.

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