We really ought to give Singaporean artists more credit. Cartoons Underground certainly agrees, which is why the leading showcase for animation talent, founded in 2012, has added a brand new set of awards to be handed out during the festival this year. On Oct 21, Kult Kafe will host the sixth edition of Singapore’s largest independent animation festival, and see three films win the Golden Durian award for best film, best director, and best Singaporean film.
This year’s lineup consists of 13 films from both local and international filmmakers—whittled down from the original 400 received from more than 50 countries. Of the lot, receiving its Asian Premier at Cartoons Underground is the film Poles Apart, produced by Singaporean Low Ser En and directed by Paloma Baeza, which won the McLaren Award for Best British Animation at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. And because the student talent pool here is just as deserving of recognition, the program also features NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media graduate Javad Kahjavi’s The Third Script—selected for the Ottawa International Animation Festival this year—as well as Miayko Makio’s My World from LASALLE College of The Arts.
The panel of judges will pick the winners for the best film and best director; the Golden Durian for best local film, however, is a “people’s choice” that will be chosen by attendees present on the day of the awards ceremony. Head of judging panel Chris Shaw, who also heads the school of film and animation at LASALLE, started his animation career working on Walt Disney Animation’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit—and says Singapore deserves to be the home of the region’s first animation awards.
“My dream is to see more and more animators, not just starting their careers here, but staying and working here as our animation industry grows and receives the worldwide recognition it deserves,” he said.
Golden Durians today, Academy Awards tomorrow.