Film and media students take note! Even if you’re not, take note anyway as your friend may be mentioned in it.
The National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) is an initiative by *SCAPE. It aims to establish a connection between students in film schools and practitioners in the film industry. As the local equivalent of the Academy Awards, which acknowledges the best in movies, the NYFA seeks to recognise students who have strong skills in areas of film production and encourage them to embark on a career in film-making.
A call for entries saw the submission of 238 films by students from nine local Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs). Of these, 47 films were shortlisted, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony that will be held on Sunday, 2 August 2015.
Nominated films contest for prizes in 14 different categories, and these include equipment vouchers, as well as apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities with industry stakeholders. To qualify, films submitted have to be works that the students made as school projects in the last two academic years.
The first of its kind, the inaugural NYFA seeks to set a benchmark for standards in filmmaking at the tertiary level and hopes to identify young talents who will spur the growth of film-making in Singapore.
As Awards Director Nicholas Chee puts it: NYFA recognises the names (of the students) first, then the films they have made. This is to encourage them to continue making more films.
Of the nine institutions that participated, Nanyang Technological University stands out with 25 nominations, with LASALLE College of the Arts and Ngee Ann Polytechnic garnering 13 and 10 nominations respectively.
At a press conference at *SCAPE on Wednesday (1st July), the NYFA trailer was shown and nominated films were revealed. Six nominees were featured, and each have their individual creative strengths. Here, we feature two of the films and the filmmakers behind them:
Nominated for: Best Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay
AWOL is an acronym for Absent Without Official Leave, a common term heard in National Service. The film is about a young man that makes the decision to “go AWOL”, and attempts to explain how the external factors surrounding his life, including past habits and family issues, had influenced him to do it. Directed by Ivan Yau from LASALLE College of the Arts, this is a beautiful story that explores the life of a man who has gone AWOL, the underlying issues behind it and his reasons for doing so.
What we think it should win: Best Screenplay, because it’s not everyday you hear about a film that touches on a topic such as AWOL.
Nominated for: Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Screenplay
A teenage couple, Kai and Min, goes to the clinic after Kai tests positive for herpes. Min, who always thought that this was the first serious relationship for both of them, suspects Kai of infidelity. With the onset of adulthood, uncertainty lies ahead as Min is forced to face her fears. NOVEMBER is directed by Shane Lim as his Final Year Project in Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Diploma in Film, Sound & Video, and the idea was derived from a previous Herpes scare he once had.
What we think it should win: Best Direction and Best Screenplay, because this film’s direction was meticulously handled and the pacing was consistent throughout. Also, topics of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) tend to be shunned, so it is bold of Shane and his team to tackle it.
Head on here to find out more about the works that were shortlisted. We wish the best of luck to all nominees!