Civic Life’s Where The Heart Is: time to vote

Earlier this year, we mentioned the Civic Life project which explores the ideas of memory, place, belonging and community through film and writing. A short film, TIONG BAHRU, has been shot with a cast of 150 volunteers from Singapore and directed by UK-based filmmakers Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor.

In conjunction with this pioneering film, the online 90-second film competition, WHERE THE HEART IS, just concluded and the the huge number of entries received by the organisers has put the notion that Singaporeans are not interested in the arts to shame. The organisers reveal that they have been highly impressed by the quality and breadth of the entries received. The competition required the making of a film which conveys an emotional response to a place (or a concept of place) and filmmakers have taken that concept in very different, very personal and very interesting directions. The resulting films give a fascinating impression of both the physical geography of Singapore, while also providing insights into its emotional landscape.

The organisers are currently shortlisting the films (which we hear has been a very difficult task since almost all entries are equally good) for entry into the competition element – where 15 shortlisted films go to a public vote commencing on Friday, 24th September, and ending at 5.00pm on Thursday, 30th September. The winner will win him or herself a CANON EOS 7D camera whilst the Jury Prize winner gets to attend the UK’s leading short film festival in a 5-day visit. A selection of the films will also play alongside TIONG BAHRU at the National Museum in October. Below you can see a selection of films that caught our eye, and you can check out the full gallery at

The quality and range of expression is startling – so do take the time to see the films (perhaps during lunchtime), and share them with your friends too. And if any of the films catches your eye (or heart) remember to show your appreciation by voting for it from tomorrow onwards!
The Civic Life project is a collaboration between the British Council and the National Museum of Singapore, with support from the Singapore International Foundation and the URA. A creative writing programme, WRITING THE CITY, will be launched at the end of October.