NYFA Interviews: Nicholas Chee, NYFA Awards Director3 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
In September 2007, Nicholas Chee co-founded Singapore’s first independent cinema; Sinema Old School and in 2011, he founded Sinema TV; Singapore’s first independent Public Service YouTube channel. He was an Honouree in the Spirit of Enterprise Awards in 2009.
Nicholas is currently the Executive Creative Director of The Flying Kick Asia, a boutique Transmedia content development and producing agency specialising in Original Content and Marketing Videos.
1. How did NYFA come about, and what was the main driving force to bring it to fruition?
NYFA came about after a series of industry consultations with major stakeholders in the local film industry. One of the key issues faced in our industry is talent attrition, especially for the male students who have to undergo National Service upon graduation.
Also, there is a severe lack of opportunity for talent recognition, and it is always the directors who get the exposure. In a typical film production, many other crafts are involved. The National Youth Film Awards wants to recognize the contributions of each filmmaking department, and equally acknowledge the different individual roles played by each member of a film crew.
2. What kind of value-add will NYFA bring to emerging film students?
The industry is always on the lookout for talented individuals, and NYFA’s mission is to bring to light these talented film and media students in Singapore. This is the first time a national level awards is being established by the 3Ps – Public, Private, and People.
Besides accolades, NYFA also offers the opportunity for students to have their respective crafts recognized by the film industry. It will give them a good head start, and they will be able to make connections with the film industry, thus laying a strong foundation for them to realize film production as a viable vocation upon graduation. In addition, award winners will have apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities with industry forerunners, who will provide them guidance to take their respective skills to a higher level.
3. What sort of effect do you foresee NYFA will have on the standards of filmmaking in Singapore?
Every school has different benchmarks, expertise and training in assessing and developing the talents of their film and media students. If you were to assess this year’s cohort with NYFA, it will be easy to identify the strengths of this year’s students through the film works they submit. Once we establish a common judging standard, every film and media student will be benchmarked against the same standard, and we will be able to spot talented filmmaking students deserving of recognition and direct mentorship from industry forerunners.
4. How does Sinema Media view its role in partnering *SCAPE to launch and promote NYFA?
Sinema has been championing local filmmaking since its inception in 2006. *SCAPE is an ideal partner for the National Youth Film Awards due to its being an established youth hub, with a wide reach and accessibility to youths. Sinema wants to champion local filmmaking starting from early education in film-media courses at schools all the way through to finding foot in the filmmaking industry.