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Sinema raises awareness of Singaporean short films overseas

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This April, representatives from Sinema made a trip to Shanghai, at the invitation of Xun Ji Social Enterprise. The trip was successful in rousing keen interest for Singaporean films in Shanghai, and was backed by gracious support from Singapore International Fund (SIF). The Singapore International Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 1991, and their activities revolve around three strategic thrusts: working with communities for sustainable development, exchanging ideas for greater understanding, and showcasing Singapore to build ties.

During this period, Singapore Day 2011 was held in Shanghai, where 5,500 Singaporeans gathered in Shanghai’s Century Park. Sinema facilitated the distribution of short films from the Sinema Showoff! Class of 2010 (curated by Singapore Polytechnic) collection for the event. Within the span of 10 days in Shanghai, Sinema’s co-founder Nicholas Chee also co-organised film forums and gave presentations, aside from volunteering at Singapore Day 2011.

The response from the locals in Shanghai towards the Singaporean films screened was heartwarming, as witnessed by Sinema’s representatives. This has led to plans to export Singaporean films to Shanghai, which will help to create exposure for Singaporean talents as well as bring Singapore’s films to a larger audience.

In a presentation initiated by Ms Soh Sin En, co-founder of Xun Ji Social Innovation Initiative, Sinema showcased ‘Homeless FC’ and other short films at Fudan University. This was followed by a Question & Answer session with James Leong, the producer/director of Homeless FC.

The purpose of the Overseas Film Forum (Singapore-Shanghai: A Path Less Travelled) was to gather independent filmmakers and social entrepreneurs to share their not-so-ordinary aspirations. The speakers included Sinema co-founder Nicholas Chee, Wokai founder Casey Wilson (US) and Thomas Meron from Shanghai Young Bakers.

Kurt (顾月坤),
 from the School of Management, Fudan University, said, “Films are a good way to tell people about existed social problems and things that people have done to solve these. It is a powerful method which can let more people try to learn something about that. After watching the film, I want to form a club to collect people who are interested in social entrepreneurship, and help them to begin social enterprise. I hope to see more of such films or social enterprises’ activities who are bettering the lives of the communities.”

Aside from the plans stated in the proposal mentioned, Sinema was invited by Yili Media, a varsity student-led project from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University to present a series of Sinema Showoff! short films at at Suzhou Dushu Lake Theatre.

“The Suzhou Industrial Project – University Town Administration office has invited us to run a Singapore Film Festival sometime in Sep/Oct this year and for 60 thousand students from 17 universities. It will be the biggest cultural event to happen over 15 years of the Suzhou project,” said Nicholas Chee.

“This is the first time that we managed to secure such a huge order, and short filmmakers normally make their films without thinking of making any money back. We hope to distribute films from the region like Indonesia and Thailand to a bigger audience. I think that as more people watches more good films and demand increases, naturally supply will be encouraged. This is what Sinema do to try and facilitate a more holistic approach (in line with Singapore’s education system).”

Sinema is now doing a call for entries for our Sinema Showoff! screenings.

All short films will be curated and grouped under relevant genres and compiled into a 60min-long programme. Student works (individually or school-submitted) are also welcomed. For more updates, join our mailing list here.

To order a copy of Sinema Showoff! DVD, please click here.

To order a copy of Homeless FC DVD, please click here.

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Click here for more information about the Singapore International Foundation, Xun Ji Social Innovation, the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (CSE),  the Fudan School of Management, and Sinema Old School.

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