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Durai & Saro and Happy Place Secure a Place at Singapore Festivals Overseas4 min read

3 September 2010 3 min read


Durai & Saro and Happy Place Secure a Place at Singapore Festivals Overseas4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Two short films DURAI & SARO and HAPPY PLACE will be screening to audiences in Australia and Canada this September.

Both films screened previously at Sinema Showoff! Masala Mix in March 2010 have been selected for Singapore Film Festival Melbourne (SFFM) and Singapore Vancouver Film Festival (SVFF).

DURAI & SARO is a film on the platonic relationship shared between an Indian foreign worker and a domestic Filipino maid while HAPPY PLACE highlights the plight of a young boy who makes an attempt to save his sister from an “˜evil’ disease.

The inaugural Singapore Film Festival Melbourne will take place from 4th ““ 8th of September and screened as part of the Sinema Showoff! Short Films Special section at the festival.

The Vancouver Singapore Film Festival will take place from 17th to 18th September 2010.

“DURAI & SARO was selected for its compelling tale of migrant workers in Singapore, and the hardships they face as they struggle to earn a living to provide their families back home with a better life,” said Jeannine Sheares, Festival Director ““ 3rd Vancouver Singapore Film Festival.

When asked what he thought were the reasons for the film getting chosen for two festivals in a row Happy Place director Jeevan Nathan remarked, “Happy Place was a tricky film to produce in terms of the overall look as well as the content it dealt with. I went with a whimsical approach and telling it thru’ eyes of children made it simpler and more accessible to a wider audience.”

Both directors Prema Menon & Jeevan Nathan will be travelling to Singapore Vancouver Film Festival scheduled for 17th to 18th of September.

The Sinema Showoff! team comprising of Sinema staff, acad staff and students from Singapore Polytechnic are happy to have facilitated the films’ entry to the festivals.

Sinema Old School will doing be doing an encore screening of Sinema Showoff! Masala Mix on Tuesday, 9th November in conjunction with the Deepavali festivities. If you are yet to catch the films be sure to attend the local screening. Admission is FREE.

Official Festival Sites

Singapore Film Festival Melbourne (SFFM)

Vancouver Singapore Film Festival (VSFF)

About the Films

Prema Menon | Tamil, English & Tagalog | 28 mins | PG

Durai, a construction worker from India, faces pressure to remit more money back home. He takes on a part-time job by washing cars early in the morning. He meets Saro, a Filipino domestic maid, who washes her employer’s car in the same car park.

Supported by Singapore Film Commission (SFC)

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Prema Menon graduated from Murdoch University, Australia with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies (Hons).

Prema spent 18 months in India’s film industry working as an assistant director on a Tamil and Telugu film with noted filmmakers Selvaraghavan and Susi Ganesan.

She credits her time in India as the most eye opening and experiential step in her career thus far- and one that she took many lessons from. Prema remains busy running her own video and event coverage company plus freelancing for other major production houses in Singapore.

~~~ Soundtrack ~~~
The music of this film was taken from the CD compilation, “Migrant Voices”.

“Migrant Voices” was an initiative to bring together the musical talents of migrants from overseas who have put in their heart and soul to the growth of Singapore society, and aimed to raise funds through a music album.

~~~ Trivia ~~~
The Director volunteers with Migrant Voices and found ‘Saro’ for casting in a local shelter for abused maids.

~~~ International Film Festivals & Curated Programme ~~~

Curator’s Pick, Sinema Showoff! Masala Mix (March 2010), Singapore [World Premiere] Official Selection, Singapore Short Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Migration Film Festival 2010, Singapore
Official Selection, San Diego Asian Film Festival 2010, USA
Official Selection, Singapore Film Festival Melbourne, Australia
Official Selection, Vancouver Singapore Film Festival, Canada

~~~ Official blog ~~~

Jeevan Nathan | English | 10mins | PG

A dark whimsical story of a brother trying to save his dying sister from the “evil”.

Using drawings and imagination, he takes her away from the “bad house” and into the happy place.

Supported by Singapore Film Commission (SFC)

~~~ Director’s Bio ~~~
Jeevan studied filmmaking in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and later furthered his education at the prestigious New York Film Academy in California. He has been working in Singapore since 2003 on various projects for television and corporate organizations. In 2005, he started his own production company to embark on creative projects he could call his own. His latest production on television is Tina’s Catering (drama) currently airing on Mediacorp’s Suria channel.

Happy Place is his first official short film.

~~~ International Film Festivals & Curated Programmes ~~~

Official Selection, Singapore International Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Singapore Short Film Awards 2010
Official Selection, Sinema Showoff! Masala Mix (March) 2010, Singapore
Official Selection, First Take (March) 2010, Singapore
Official Selection, Goelali Children’s Film Festival 2009, Jakarta, Indonesia
Official Selection, New Filmmakers, New York Fall 2009 Series, USA
Official Selection ““ International Film Festival Nueva Mirada for Children & Youth 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Panoramic Selection ““ International Film Festival Nueva Mirada for Children & Youth 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Official Selection, Singapore Film Festival Melbourne 2010, Australia
Official Selection, Vancouver Singapore Film Festival 2010, Canada

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