Empowering youths to pursue their aspirations in film
Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Communications and Information at the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) 2019 Awards Ceremony, at *SCAPE The Ground Theatre
31 August 2019
Ladies and gentlemen
- Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here with you at the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) to celebrate the achievements of our aspiring young filmmakers. All of you have set a high benchmark for others to emulate and I hope this will encourage you to continue striving towards greater heights in film making.
NYFA empowers our youth to pursue their aspirations in film
- Since its inception in 2015 NYFA, has evolved beyond just being a platform to celebrate our youths’ achievements in film, to becoming a connecting point for youths who are interested in filmmaking. I am heartened to note that this year, there are a record number of entries from media students across our institutes of higher learning – ITEs, LASALLE College of the Arts and our Polytechnics.
- Competitions like NYFA give students an added confidence to pursue their craft; as well as an appreciation of the standards, rigour and expectations of them in the media industry, thereby better preparing them for the working world. Tey Xue Qi was nominated for Best Editing in the Documentary Film Award in 2016, when she was studying at the ITE. Just three months after graduation, Xue Qi found herself a job casting for film and television commercials. Another graduate Humaira who was the winner in the Best Documentary category in 2018 is now working for Berita Harian as a journalist who does not just write but also documents human interest stories through video.
- The Award also provides youths with an industry network to showcase their talents in film. In the international scene, a number of past NYFA winners have been selected for screening at international film festivals such as the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Le Cinéfoundation, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
- For example, the winner of Best Direction in 2018, Tan Wei Ting, had her film screened at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France with her directorial debut CA$H. It has also been screened at other film festivals in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan.
NYFA will support our youth in their filmmaking journey
- The journey of film-making is not easy. It’s a unique craft that takes time to perfect, with plenty of hits and misses. I am glad that NYFA continuously supports the aspirations of our youth with opportunities for partnerships with local screenwriters and producers.
- In December last year, *SCAPE partnered with Beach House Pictures and provided our youth with green-lane access to pitch ideas to major over-the-top commissioners such as HBO, VIU and Toggle. *SCAPE will also be enhancing NYFA’s contribution to youth talent development with the launch of a *SCAPE Mentorship Pilot Programme later this year. Through this Programme, participants will stand a chance to learn from established filmmakers as they work towards improving their craft and producing their next short film.
- I am also happy to note that *SCAPE will be partnering with Mediacorp to provide our youths with even more opportunities. Under this partnership, NYFA winners can explore opportunities on the production set in creative or technical roles as producers, content writers or be part of the filming crew – which will prepare them for future careers in the film industry. The winners will also have fast-track access to pitch their stories to MediaCorp, and potentially have them filmed and aired on Mediacorp’s content platforms.
- Film is one of the many channels that our youths can harness to speak their truths, and shape the future they want to see. In May this year, MCCY embarked on a series of youth engagements under the SG Youth Action Plan to empower youths to imagine and bring their vision of Singapore’s future to life through projects, partnerships and policy changes. These include how Singapore can be a place where more youths can boldly chart their own pathways to success, grow to their fullest potential and achieve their aspirations. This event is one such example of our commitment to support youths to Spark the Next change.
- Once again, I would like to congratulate all our young filmmakers for their hard work. As you continue to pursue your passion in film, I hope that you would also find ways to use this talent to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and to give back to the community.
- I also wish to thank all those who have made this event possible, especially members of the judging panel, and our industry partners who mentor our young budding film makers. Like us, I am sure they will work hard to do you proud to make your efforts worthwhile.
- Thank you all, and have a pleasant weekend.
Last updated on 07 October 2019