Singapore investment company, Temasek, announced yesterday that they are having an open call for young, amateur filmmakers to participate and learn from the industry’s best. They said that ’20/20: The Temasek Short Film Project’ will return for a second season.
This season, the 20 filmmaker groups will be mentored by 10 of Singapore’s most acclaimed directors – Eric Khoo, Royston Tan, Boo Junfeng, Michelle Chong, K. Rajagopal, Kirsten Tan, Raihan Halim, Wee Li Lin, Ong Kuo Sin and Ervin Han.
Temasek commissioned 20/20 with the goal of nurturing the next generation of local filmmakers. 20/20 aims to provide students and amateur filmmakers exposure to industry best practices and access to some of Singapore’s most renowned directors, who will share their experience with these young filmmakers.
Films from 20/20’s first season, which premiered last year, garnered invitations to participate in international film festivals; I Believe screened at the AS Film Festival in Italy, while Mother was featured at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in Canada.
The second season seeks to build on the previous one’s encouraging momentum, and provide an even wider pool of talent a platform to share their voices.
While only polytechnic and tertiary school filmmaking students participated in season one, season two will see secondary school and junior college students invited to produce four music videos, among the 20 films. In addition, young graduates and non-filmmaking majors will have the opportunity to create and share their own short films.
The 20 short films will therefore comprise three categories – 10 short films produced by Tertiary School filmmaking students, 6 short films made by Open Category participants, and 4 music videos by secondary school and junior college students. For the Open Category, amateur filmmakers aged 25 and below have up till 23 June 2017 to apply online.
“We were inspired by the talent level we saw last year among Singapore’s filmmaking scene. We were especially moved by the touching stories the young filmmakers told about our community. Through films, we hope to provide a platform for our young creative talents to express their ideas,” said Stephen Forshaw, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Temasek.
Whereas season one’s films were inspired by community causes supported by Temasek’s philanthropic platforms, season two calls for the films to peer into the possibilities of a future Singapore. The theme “Beyond 2020” encourages the filmmakers to express their views and expectations about the nation’s future. The films can touch on a wide range of issues, from social issues to the economy, from technology to the environment.
Actress and singer-songwriter Jean Goh, 25, who won local Mandarin singing competition Hear Me Sing last year, composed and sang this season’s theme song “We’ll Be Okay”. Goh also showcased her acting and singing chops in the first season, starring in Love Exists and Treble Clef. “We’ll Be Okay” will serve as inspiration for the music videos, which secondary school and junior college students will create using mobile filmmaking techniques.
As in the previous season, Temasek will continue to collaborate with Singapore-based film production company mm2 Entertainment, which has produced notable movies such as the Ah Boys To Men series. mm2 will oversee the filmmaking process, and work with the mentor-directors and filmmaker groups to complete the films.
mm2’s Managing Director Ng Say Yong said, “For us, taking part in 20/20 is a way of contributing back to Singapore’s filmmaking community. We would like to bring these young, aspiring talents through a holistic professional filmmaking experience, from script development to post-production. We hope that in working closely with their mentors they can further hone their craft, and through these short films creatively articulate their visions, hopes or apprehensions.”
Director Boo Junfeng, whose 2016 film Apprentice was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and recently bagged the grand prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland, is one of the returning mentors. Mr Boo said, “I’m glad to be on board again after last year’s experience. The students were very enthusiastic and they made full use of the experience to hone their craft as storytellers. I am particularly excited about the theme this time, and look forward to seeing the kinds of stories younger filmmakers want to tell.”
New to 20/20 but certainly no stranger to the local filmmaking industry is veteran director and Cultural Medallion recipient Eric Khoo. Mr Khoo is also actively involved in grooming new talent, and established film production companies Zhao Wei Films and Gorylah Pictures with this purpose in mind. He said, “People have many different views, and the youth, who may be less experienced, nonetheless have valuable perspectives and fresh ideas that can benefit all of us young or old. ‘Beyond 2020’ is a theme that could not be more apt, as we live in a rapidly changing world. I am pleased to be able to work with the younger generation, in expressing their thoughts about life in a future Singapore.”
The first season of 20/20: The Temasek Short Film Project garnered over one million views, and Temasek hopes that this season will reach and allow the filmmakers’ voices to be heard by a wider audience.
“We are committed to nurturing young, local talents, and we hope that their craft and voices can be shared with even more people. In this way, 20/20 can hopefully serve as a spark for aspiring filmmakers, and help them as they venture further into the filmmaking space,” Mr Forshaw added.
The 20 short films will be launched in June 2018.
For guidelines, timelines and application procedures, visit www.project20twenty.sg.