A new film project featuring local filmmakers has arrived, screening free-of-charge on a television near you.
In a first, local film company Blue3Asia has partnered with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), to produce a line-up of short films with distinct social messages. Called 15 Shorts, the project features original films from 15 Singaporean filmmakers, focusing on the lesser-told stories of everyday Singaporean heroes in the ’70s to ’90s.
Spearheaded by veteran filmmaker Daniel Yun, the project comprises films from both established directors—the likes of Boo Junfeng, Eric Khoo, K. Rajagopal and Kirsten Tan—and upcoming voices. Each film (lasting between 10-20 minutes) explores critical social issues like social isolation of the elderly, migrant worker conditions and more, via real-life stories sourced from local individuals. Aside from just sharing inspiring stories, the project, which is in support of national movement SG Cares, involves 15 charities chosen by each filmmaker. At the end of each film, viewers will be encouraged to contribute to the filmmaker’s chosen charity—via donations at Giving.sg or simply volunteering.
Released in three phases of five films at each time, the entirety of 15 Shorts will be hosted on the dedicated website here. In addition, you can catch the films on Mediacorp Channel 5, local hosting platform Viddsee, Toggle and even in-flight on SIA Krisworld come May. The first five films have already been released, and will air on TV at 10pm beginning March. Here’s what to catch.
Shelter (already online at Viddsee)
Directed by Sean Ng. A 17-year-old Chinese boy is left in debt and homeless with his mother and younger sister in 1998 Singapore. When they become forced to live in a tent at East Coast Park, they battle suspicion and prejudice when a mysterious Indian man offers his help.
*Real-life hero Rashid Bakar is the only one of the five unsung heroes who remains unfound today. If you have information on his or his family members’ whereabouts, get in touch with NVPC at email@example.com.
Waiting Room (already online at Viddsee)
Directed by Nicole Midori Woodford. A poetic reflection on death, friendship, and the power of simple gestures, the film tells the story of Tommy Yu—a man who opens up his life and home to those left alone in their last hours.
One At A Time (Mar 2 on Ch5)
Directed by Daniel Yam. Set in the mid-1980s, One At A Time tells the inspiring true story of Teresa Hsu, a well-known Singaporean social worker who at 67, founded one of the first homes for the sick elderly in Singapore, the Home of the Aged Sick.
Ali Baba (Mar 9 on Ch5)
Directed by Randy Ang. The year is 1997, and real-life journalist Augustine Pang braves the risks of breaking the news of an illegal immigrant left for dead by his employer in a forest in Singapore. Will his choice to stand up for the untold stories of migrant workers be worth it?
The Buddy (Mar 16 on Ch5)
Directed by Jason Lee. Eight-year-old Hidayat is paired as buddies with his classmate Tam, and though initially frightened by his erratic behavior, comes to develop a special friendship with him. The mid-1990s film looks at the topic of autism through the lens of childlike innocence and sincerity—something most adults could benefit from today too.
For more information on 15 Shorts, visit here.