'It's really incredible!': Singaporean producer on winning a BAFTA for her animation film

Nurul Azliah
Senior Lifestyle Reporter
Ser En Low and Paloma Baeza, winners of the British Short Animation award for the movie ‘Poles Apart’ (Photo: Yahoo Movies UK)

Singaporean producer Ser En Low has described her prestigious debut win at the recently concluded 71st British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) for her animation film “Poles Apart” as “really incredible” and “surreal”.

Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore about her victory on Wednesday (21 February), Low also paid tribute to her production team after clinching the Best Short Animation award for her 12-minute graduation film at the BAFTA ceremony – widely considered as the British equivalent of the Oscars – on Sunday (18 February).

The 27-year-old student at the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) worked with director Paloma Baeza on “Poles Apart”, which features two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter and actor Joseph May as voice artists. Recorded in stop-motion, the film is a charming story about the unlikely pair of a polar bear and a grizzly bear living in the Arctic.

Expressing surprise at beating two other notable nominees “Have Heart” and “Mamoon”, Low said,  “We are very happy to be recognised for our work on the film. It was a long journey that took a lot of determination and hard work from everyone on the team. If shooting a live action film is a sprint, shooting an animation is a marathon. But it was all worth it!” 

Photo: Poles Apart

The team behind the film spent a total of 15 months on production, with 29 weeks spent on shooting alone.

Calling it a “very collaborative” effort with Paloma, Low said, “I had the chance to be creatively involved from script development all the way to the edit. I also worked on the scheduling and budgeting for the project, and learnt a process very different from live action producing.”

Low also praised the voice actors in the film. “They were very professional, and gave their 100 per cent for the film. They didn’t treat the film like a student project at all,” she added.

Photo: Poles Apart

After missing out on the Chinese New Year celebrations, Low, an alumni of Nanyang Technological University and Victoria Junior College, flew back to Singapore on Tuesday night and said she was glad to be home.

“It’s been a really unique CNY experience. I will endeavour to do some celebrations with my family this weekend,” said Low, who is also a producer at media company mm2 Entertainment. 

Before enrolling in NFTS in 2015, Low was awarded a joint scholarship by mm2 Entertainment and the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). She is involved in an upcoming local production called “Zombiepura”. 

In addition to the BAFTA win, “Poles Apart” had also snapped up two other awards last year: McLaren award for Best British Animation at the Edinburgh Film Festival and Best Student Film at the Annie Awards.

Watch a trailer of “Poles Apart” below:

Related stories:
Not dead yet: Long overdue Singapore movie ‘Zombiepura’ starts filming in January 2018
Bafta 2018: The Head-Turners, the Glam, and Time’s Up
Bafta 2018: Here Are the Complete List of Winners
The 2018 Oscar Nominations Are In—See the Full List Here

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