Story of dying grandpa comes up tops at Singapore short film competition

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman (right) with Jastine Tan (in orange), winner of the ciNE65 Movie Makers Awards. (PHOTO: Nexus, MINDEF)

SINGAPORE — The top prize for this year’s ciNE65 short-film competition has been claimed by 21-year-old Jastine Tan, a recent Temasek Polytechnic (TP) graduate.

Announced on Thursday (13 June), Tan’s My Homeland: A Photography Project by Grandpa Chen beat 112 other entries to win the ciNE65 Movie Makers award.

Tan and his team also walked away with the overall best film in the student category. The three-minute short film follows protagonist Max Chen, who returns to Singapore on a quest to capture one last photo for his dying grandpa’s final photography project called “My Homeland”.

Winning the top Movie Makers Award will give Tan an opportunity to produce a feature film with entertainment company mm2 Entertainment.

Meanwhile, the overall best film for the open category went to $ingapura, which follows a day in the life of Ah Hock, a taxi driver.

The short-film, directed by Lan Yu, 24, was also awarded best screenplay.

Teams behind both overall best film awards walked away with an overseas learning trip to this year’s Busan International Film Festival, in addition to cash prizes and Panasonic cameras.

Echoes of 1965, a short documentary-style film focuses on challenges faced by older Singaporeans who lived through the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, was voted favourite film under the audience choice category.

Launched in 2011 as a short film competition by Nexus, the Ministry of Defence department responsible for Total Defence and National Education, the biennial ciNE65 encourages aspiring young film-makers to share what Singapore means to them.

In line with Singapore’s bicentennial, this year’s theme “Singapura” called on film-makers to create three-minute shorts reflecting on Singaporean stories of past generations.

The competition was judged by Nexus director Colonel Joseph Tan and a panel of industry players, including local director K Rajagopal, local actor Edmund Chen, director-writer Heiward Mak and mm2’s general manager Gary Goh.

Guest-of-Honour Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman said this year’s theme allowed film-makers to share with future generations the “wonderful stories that our forefathers have told on what makes us Singaporean”.

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