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Republic Polytechnic’s Student-Run Film Festival ‘First Shot(s) X5’ Celebrates The First Giant Steps of Budding Filmmakers2 min read

14 October 2021 2 min read


Republic Polytechnic’s Student-Run Film Festival ‘First Shot(s) X5’ Celebrates The First Giant Steps of Budding Filmmakers2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Presented by Republic Polytechnic and School of Technology for the Arts, the student-run First Shot(s) X5 will feature 16 films, 14 of which are student films from Year 1 students from the Diploma in Media Production and Design’s Visual Storytelling module.

The remaining two films are from the Open Category, where RP staff and students to submitted their first films to the festival.

The films will be transmitted live on YouTube on 27 October 2021, 7pm, and for the first time, will be open to everyone outside RP.

Get all the updates from this year’s edition via the festival’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Films in the Official Selection are currently being revealed on its Instagram page, where it also hosts exclusive interviews and podcasts with the festival team.

First Shot(s) is a student run film festival founded in 2017 by RP Lecturer Tzang Merwyn Tong and a team of RP students. The idea was to create a micro film festival to showcase the works of Year 1 students from Republic Polytechnic’s School of Technology for the Arts. Decided early to be a non-competitive festival, it was built on the principles of being a platform for raw talent, of being a celebration of first works, and a showcase for budding visual storytellers.

Likewise, the festival looks to provide early encouragement to budding talent, and to support them early in their filmmaking journey. Films are selected not based on grade or score, but for their exhibition of raw brilliance, creativity and spark.

The festival theme for this year is “Rise Above!” – a response to last year’s theme of “Against the Odds”. A large portion submitted films this year are no-budget one-man-crew films, that are self-shot, self-acted, self directed, and self-edited. Through these films, the festival hopes to inspire audiences to ‘rise above’ the odds that the pandemic has stacked against everyone.

“We want creativity and diversity. We want to create a culture, not a competition,” says Festival Advisor & RP Lecturer Tzang Merwyn Tong, “In a competition, there is one winner and many losers. Inevitably, people will want to win. They will try to make a film that has the best chance of winning. They will not try to be creative or authentic or take risks with their ideas. I hope to undo that mindset. Because there is no competition, and there are no awards, and no winners, everyone comes to our screenings to watch the films they support and also be (accidentally) introduced to other films, other styles, other works by fellow filmmaking schoolmates. It helps them discover what films can be.” 

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