Hidden Gems: Prize-winning entries from the Singapore Video Competition 1985, 1986 and 1988

02nd September 2022
Friday 8:00pm - 9:30pm

Venue:

Oldham Theatre

Tickets

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2/9 HIDDEN GEMS - General
$ 10.00
2/9 HIDDEN GEMS - Concession
$ 9.00
2/9 HIDDEN GEMS - Friends of AFA
Please note that invalid membership ID or redemptions exceeding the number of complimentary tickets would be rejected without notice.
$ 0.00

Description:

In the 4th edition of Singapore Shorts, the Asian Film Archive presents a selection of eight short films digitised from the surviving VHS copies residing at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Collection at the National Library of Singapore. These tapes contained the prize-winning entries from the 1985, 1986 and 1988 editions of the Singapore Video Competition (SVC), a locally organised film making competition.

There will be eight short films screened for this programme.

The Rating for this programme is 


Traveller (1985)
Directed by: Choo Hoh Yim (Zhu Houren)
Runtime: 21 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: English
Rating: PG (Some Disturbing Scenes)

1985 Open Section

Synopsis
A mockumentary on the phenomenon of Western backpackers travelling in Singapore and Southeast Asia during the 1980s. Featuring real interviews and interweaving staged sequences simulating a travel infomercial, the video offers a light-hearted look at the clash of cultures.

The film was produced by Singaporean actor Choo Hoh Yim (better known as Zhu Houren) in 1983 when he had just returned to Singapore from Hong Kong, where he was a script supervisor. Choo was working as a social worker and had intended to test out his new filming equipment. With a colleague, they headed to the streets to capture some images that eventually evolved into the idea of making the documentary.

 

A Day with the Labourers (1985)
Directed by: J.R. Kamble
Runtime: 9 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: Singapore
Rating: Exempted

1985 Open Section

Synopsis
This film is an expository documentary that discusses the livelihood of migrant workers in Singapore and how they are treated as a transient and disposable workforce in the 1980s.

The demand and influx of migrant construction workers reached a high in the early 1980s as Singapore started the tunnelling works and construction of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. The film was a response in defending the dignity of the workers and highlighting the contribution of foreign labour towards Singapore’s development.

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1985)
Directed by: Viola Kok
Runtime: 12 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: English
Rating: TBA

1985 Amateur Section

Synopsis
Quaintly narrated and thoughtfully weaved with stock footage, this short film is a creatively homemade live-action interpretation of Walt Disney’s 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

 

The Garden (1986)
Directed by: Ong Ann Meng (Meng Ong)
Runtime: 21 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: English
Rating: PG (Some Disturbing Scenes)

1986 Amateur Section

Synopsis
The Garden is an experimental work that describes the inner worlds of two sisters manifested through their connection with the garden outside their home. While mourning the passing of their close relative, the sisters encounter a man in the garden, evoking a sense of mortality in one and awakening the sensuality in another.

The film was directed by Ong Ann Meng (better known as Meng Ong), who went on to win numerous awards for his short films at the Singapore International Film Festival between 1991 and 1993. His first feature, Miss Wonton (2001), won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival.

 

Being a Woman (身为女人) (1986)
Directed by: Jack Neo
Runtime: 5 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: Mandarin
Rating: PG

1985 Amateur Section

Synopsis
Being a Woman is Singaporean director Jack Neo’s first short film, produced during his time in the Singapore Armed Forces Music & Drama Company (MDC). An unofficial music video played to a same-titled track by Taiwanese 80s songstress Lin Ling, it tells the story of a tomboy who tries to change herself to please her boyfriend but is rejected by him for a more ladylike woman.

According to Jack Neo, the music video helped kickstart his interest in directing and was shot using a VHS camcorder that the MDC had acquired in 1985. The talents in the music video were his colleagues at the MDC and parts of the video were filmed at the former Central Manpower Base in Tanglin Camp on Dempsey Road.

 

Stranger Danger (1986)
Directed by: Gilbert Yap
Runtime: 4 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: English
Rating: G

1986 Open Section

Synopsis
An educational video for children performed using hand puppets, where siblings Jack and Jill teach one another about stranger safety and crime prevention.

 

Feathered Friends (1988)
Directed by: Ong Jong Keg, Rexon Ngim
Runtime: 6 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: English
Rating: G

A 1988 entry

Synopsis
A wildlife documentary highlighting some of the 300-over species of birds that were native to Singapore. It also addressed the diminishing population of birds due to Singapore’s urbanisation.

 

都市面具 (City of Masks) (1988)
Directed by: Jack Neo
Runtime: 3 minutes
Country: Singapore
Language: Mandarin
Rating: PG

A 1988 entry

Synopsis
This is the second short film directed by Jack Neo, who created it as an unofficial music video for the Singapore Video Competition in 1988. Neo used musician Lee Wei Song’s original song from his 1987 debut album and also casted Lee in the film.
Lee Wei Song is one half of Singapore’s most prolific song writing and music producing twins. Lee won the male category in the singing competition “Talentime 1985/1986” and when offered his first recording contract, he wrote this upbeat title track that describes how a jaded man loses his way in life and conforms to the behaviour of a materialistic and pretentious society.

 


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Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre does not play ads and screenings will start promptly. Arrive early so as not to disrupt the screenings. All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online to be able to secure a seat. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred. Mask-wearing is required at all times for both staff and patrons. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime.

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