The NYFA Conference 2021 kicked off last weekend with an exclusive closed-door screening of five short films produced under NYFA‘s Film Facilitation Programme.
A new initiative, the mentorship journey programme paired internationally renowned filmmakers with five past year NYFA winners to produce a short film that covered different genres – action, drama, horror, animation, and comedy.
Adapting to challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic as they pushed their creative limits under expert mentorship, the five short films produced are an ode to the sheer talent and potential of Singapore’s young filmmakers.
If you missed the screening at NYFA Conference 2021, you can still view the short films online via The Projector Plus starting 29 April 2021, where each short will be available every last Thursday of the month.
Here are the five genre short films to catch:
Set to the backdrop of an archetypal “action movie” (when a hitman seeks revenge on his former boss), we follow two henchmen, who try to avoid their inevitable fate, while waiting for their turn to “protect” their boss from the hitman.
Release date: 29 April 2021
Henchmen is directed by Alistair Quak, whose works have been featured at Cannes Film Festival and National Youth Film Awards, amongst other festivals. This year he was selected for the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild — 2020 amongst thousands of entries from Southeast Asia to develop “PROGRESS”; an action, sci-fi web pilot.
Alistair Quak was mentored by Mike Wiluan, co-producer of 2019’s hit Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians and director of western-action film Buffalo Boys (2018), which was nominated for Palm Springs International Film Festival.
At a traffic junction in Singapore, the Green Man refuses to show up. Various types of pedestrians appear – the law abiders, impatient jaywalkers, government critics and clueless playful children. Will they cross the road on red? Who would they blame for the fault?
Release Date: 29 May 2021
Traffic Light is directed by Ang Qing Sheng, a lecturer in the Animation programme at LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore. As an independent animated filmmaker, Ang Qing Sheng has won numerous awards for his animated short films, such as “Lak Boh Ki” and “Kua Bo”.
Ang Qing Sheng was mentored by Daniel Jeannette, an LA based Animation Director and Visual Effects Supervisor, who is known for his work on the Academy Award winning animated film Happy Feet (2006).
On the night before his debut, Isa decides to open up to his parents about his long-hidden pursuit.
Release Date: 24 June 2021
Bridget is directed by Li Kayue, a consecutive recipient of the Best Picture award at
the National Youth Film Awards (Singapore) for his films ‘Bangla’ (2018) and ‘Foul Ball’ (2019). More recently, he shot ‘Washed Off’ (2020) which is a part of a secondary selection for HBO Asia’s Invisible Stories series.
Li Kayue was mentored by Jeremy Chua, a Singaporean film producer who has co-produced
international feature films by K. Rajagopal, Lav Diaz, Raya Martin and Ying Liang that have premiered in competition at Cannes Critics’ Week, Berlinale and Locarno.
Erin, a burnout editor, escapes the clutches of an overbearing arthouse film director, finding freedom away from the confines of her boxed-in life.
Release Date: 29 July 2021
Metadata is directed by writer-director Grace Song, whose recent works under the Creatives Commissioning Creatives residency titled ‘Bat Soup’ and ‘Dirty Laundry’ were shot during the lockdown in Singapore, garnering much media attention. Besides Metadata, she has been working on a commissioned short film for the LEAP! Programme called ‘Nocturne’.
Grace Song was mentored by Sorayos Prapapan, director of award-winning short films which have screened at many international film festivals including Rotterdam, Winterthur, Fribourg and Venice.
In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn.
Release Date: 29 August 2021
Strawberry Cheesecake is directed by Tan Siyou, a Singaporean filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her most recent short film, HELLO AHMA, played in competition at the Toronto IFF and the Berlinale. She’s working on her first feature, AMOEBA, which is in development at SEAFIC, and was awarded the Most Promising Project at the Southeast Asian Film Lab.
Tan Siyou was mentored by Amanda Nell Eu, director of award-winning short films such as ‘It’s Easier to Raise Cattle’ (2017), which was screened in international festivals including Venice, Locarno and Clermont-Ferrand.