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​National Youth Film Awards 2017

Published on: 28-Jul-2017

​​Changi, a short film about immigration, wins top prize at 2017 National Youth Film Awards

The Best Picture award went to the team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for their insightful work on the short film titled Changi. The film also saw actress Carey Ou take home the Best Performance award.

NYFA is a film-making competition organised by *SCAPE and co-presented by the National Youth Council (NYC) and DBS Bank, which aims to discover and recognise the best emerging talents in technical film crafts by connecting them with local practitioners.

This year, a total of 23 awards were presented to emerging youth filmmakers from local Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), with winners selected by a 20-member industry stalwart jury panel out of 200 submissions. The biggest winners of the event were short films Paper Roof and Buang Bayi - Behind the Baby Hatch, each clinching three awards. Paper Roof, which explored the breaking down of the family unit in today’s society through the eyes of two young sisters, bagged accolades for Best Camera Work, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

The team from Buang Bayi - Behind the Baby Hatch swept the entire documentary category for their outstanding work capturing the plight of abandoned babies in Malaysia. The team walked away with three awards - the Fujinon Best Documentary Film Award, the Best Camera Work in Documentary Film Award and the Best Editing in Documentary Film Award.

The annual ceremony was officiated by guest-of-honour Grace Fu, who is the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth. "The National Youth Film Awards celebrates the talents of our young filmmakers," said Ms Fu. "Despite its short history, many of the past winners have gone on to achieve recognition on the international stage. *SCAPE and NYC provide many opportunities for our youths to develop their film making craft besides having an award to recognise excellence. I urge all our youths to explore their creative passions, and be a driving force for social good."

Indeed, this year’s award entries seem to be leaning towards pertinent social issues in Singapore with the winners strongly representing a generation of socially conscious youth. NYFA organisers noticed that many have used their films as a means to highlight social issues that more youth are facing today, such as the breakdown of the family unit, lost love, as well as self-image issues. Ward 77 by the LASALLE College of the Arts for example, sheds light on the rising issue of sexuality in Singapore. The film, which was awarded the Hyundai Best Direction Award and the Best Screenplay Award, features the coming out story of a terminally ill elderly woman to her husband after an unexpected visit by an old flame at the hospital.

Other films such as Red by Curtin Singapore, which won the Blackmagic Design Best Colour Grading Award, also give viewers a rare glimpse into hidden aspects of Singapore such as the underground triad scene, exploring themes on brotherhood that underpins many of these societies. “From brands to local film veterans, it is heartening to see the entire local film industry rallying behind our young emerging film talents at the National Youth Film Awards,” said Mr Nicholas Chee, Awards Director for NYFA. “The entries for this year’s National Youth Film Awards point to a young generation of local emerging filmmakers who proudly wear their hearts on their sleeves and are able to translate prevalent issues that they are facing in our society today into quality films that resonate with a local and even international audience. "They are a reflection of a new wave of passionate, creative and competent youth that are unafraid to pursue their creative interests and we hope that the National Youth Film Awards will serve as a springboard to realise the full potentials of these young talents," he added.

The Best Overall School award was bagged by NTU for the third consecutive year. Its students took home 13 awards including the aforementioned Best Picture.

By Genevieve Sarah Loh
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A movie still from the Best Picture winning short film Changi (Photo: National Youth Film Awards 2017)

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