An Exclusive Film-Making Workshop with BananaMana Films

It was a very hot Saturday afternoon and while we could just laze at home and take a nap or plan for our wedding, both Jacqueline and I attended an exclusive film-making workshop that was hosted by the team from ciNE65 and BananaMana Films.

Held at OBJECTIFS, Centre for Photography and Film, we had a very enjoyable and fulfilling time and we were really glad that we attended the workshop because we had gained a great wealth of information from both Christian and Jason; so much so that we are now contemplating whether we want to submit an entry for the ciNE65 Short Film Competition.

In case you are new to ciNE65, the ciNE65 Short Film Competition is a competition that encourages Singaporeans to express and embrace the Singaporean identity through film and to cultivate budding film-makers to boost the local film scene.

This year, the theme for the ciNE65 Short Film Competition is, “Believing . Home” and it calls upon Singaporeans to reflect on their past, present, and future as a nation while celebrating 50 years of being one people, one nation, one Singapore.

Well, whether or not we submit our entry for the ciNE65 Short Film Competition, here are just some of our personal thoughts and opinions about the theme, “Believing . Home”

The dictionary defines the word, “believing” as “having confidence or faith in the truth of a positive assertion, story, and etc.; giving credence to” and the word, “home” is defined as “a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families in a tribe.”

Having been born and raised in Singapore, Singapore is our home and we count ourselves pretty fortunate [than most people in the rest of the world] because we have a good education system [which is quite elitist], an efficient public transport system [which breaks down more often than not nowadays], a credible defence force [that trains with simulators and mock-up exercises], and good governing policies [that are really not so popular with the masses].

Do we really believe in Singapore, our home?

We know this is an irony but really, Singapore may not be the best country to live in because the country has no natural resources and only has a land area of about 716.1 square kilometres [which is way smaller than Hong Kong, China]. Furthermore, the general working hours are pretty long; car ownership is highly regulated; and all Singaporean sons turning 18 have to serve a mandatory 2-year National Service with the Singapore Armed Force.

Seems pretty bad eh?

However, no matter how bad Singapore is, Singapore has been our home for the last 2 decades and it will be in the many years to come.

Since the days of old, our forefathers have worked extremely hard so that future generations of Singaporeans [like us] can enjoy the fruits of their labour. They were far-sighted and they looked at things from a bigger picture. They sacrificed and they saved what they could. There weren’t much entertainment back in those days, but still, they were happy and satisfied.

Today, we enjoy the fruits of our forefathers’ labour but in the midst of the enjoyment, we forget to ask ourselves this question, “What can we do to continue enjoying the fruits of our forefathers’ labour and how can we ensure that the future generations of Singaporeans [our children’s children] can continue to do so too?”

For any fruits to bear, there must be the sowing of seeds and the act of tending to the young seedlings. Without the sowing of seeds, there will be no seedlings, and with no seedlings, there will be no trees that can bear fruits.

However, having said that, even when the seeds have been sown, there may be a possibility that the tree will not bear any fruits because the seeds were not sown in good conditions and given proper nurturing. It could be due to overcrowding [over-population], the competition for water and sunlight [jobs, survival, and finance], the quality of fertilisers used [education, family background, and network of contacts], or any other factors [family issues, debts and etc.] that may affect the growth of the seed.

However, a point to note is that every seed has stored potential. It has all the necessary micro-nutrients [the God-given gifts, talents, and abilities] to cause it to sprout, grow, and bear fruits.

To us, we personally feel that there are no good seeds and there are no bad seeds. All seeds are the same because a bad seed can become a good tree with proper conditions and nurturing, causing it to produce sweet fruits that contain better seeds while a good seed can become a lousy tree with poor growing conditions, causing it to not produce any fruits and die off without leaving any trace of its existence.

Singapore is like a giant tree and her people are like the seeds. The kind of tree we want Singapore to be, depends on us, her seeds.

Do we believe in ourselves to grow, outshine, and achieve [the constant seeking of knowledge to improve and become better/more productive] so that Singapore can be the kind of tree that not only produces fruits [the people’s happiness, prosperity, and progress], but also be a home to the birds and animals [investors] or do we believe that there is nothing we can do [just complain all day long and become keyboard warriors] to change the tree from becoming a decaying stagnant piece of log?

What will you do and what do you ultimately believe in?

Be the change that you want to see and believe that you can make a difference in the community; even when others may slam you, judge you, and criticise you for doing the right thing. Don’t be easily swayed by what other people tell you but hold fast to your own conviction about how you want Singapore to be in the next 10-20 years down the road.