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Sinema Showoff!

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It’s the return of Sinema Showoff! Back in the Sinema Old School days, the programme is a monthly curation showcasing local short films. Throughout its run, the programme showcased the works of then-budding filmmakers Anthony Chen, Nicole Midori Woodford, Michael Kam, and K. Rajagopal.

For this new season of Sinema Showoff, we’ll be showcasing and celebrating the works of the Class of 2020 and 2021 from youth filmmakers on the Sinema Disco(rd) Club! Across the four programmes, we will be taking a look at just what is on the minds of youths and how they have expressed them through exciting, boundary-pushing films.

We’ll be kicking off this edition on 17 August at 8pm! Here’s how you can join our screenings:

“Singapore only have social dramas and comedies set in the heartlands what, no meh?”

It feels like there is no better way to kick off Sinema Showoff!’s revival than to challenge this common misconception. These selections from the Class of 2020 and 2021 are emblematic of the expanding palettes of Singapore’s young filmmakers, and are exemplary of their fighting spirit despite the uphill climb they have to make as students.

Come experience something different. Come see the future of Singapore film. It’s time to cause a scene.

(Note: the screening is rated NC16)

Programme Lineup

Huan Express (2020)
Dir. Lee Si Min

A junior college student struggling academically makes a bargain with a mysterious old man with the ability to help students magically achieve good grades overnight — at the cost of their memories. As A-Level approaches, the student must decide if he is willing to trade As for his most precious memories.

About the Director

Growing up seeing the world through films, director/producer Lee Si Min’s films explore the complexity of human relationship. In the past three years, she has directed various genres spanning horror, fantasy, and documentaries. Her work is largely influenced by real people and events that are close to her heart. Ultimately, Si Min believes that filmmaking is a time machine that can capture the present but also transport you back in time to relive moments long gone but not forgotten.

Trapped (2020)
Dir. Glen Michael

A detective on a rescue mission soon finds himself in a fight for his life.

About the Director

Since young, Glen Michael has been enthralled by the likes of James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, and all the action icons of the 90s. As a filmmaker now, action has become his signature genre. Heavily inspired by the golden age of cinema, Glen finds thrills in blending notable genres from the era — namely noir, psychological thrillers and romance — with action. He is intrigued by the wide array of stories he is able to tell when the emphasis isn’t just on the gunfire and explosions, and how they can reveal psychological human studies.

Booking (2021)
Dir. Haziq Adam De Silva

Struggling to provide for himself and his daughter during the COVID-19 pandemic, a driver decides to turn his taxi into a mobile brothel in hopes of giving his daughter a better life. One life-changing moment forces him to reconsider his choice.

About the Director

Haziq Adam De Silva is an aspiring Singaporean director and screenwriter. He graduated from Digital Film and Television with merit in Temasek Polytechnic. His work in captivating audiences and pushing the unexpected has been recognised through awards such as the Sinema Screenplay Challenge First Place Award (2020) and Cine65 Best Screenplay (2019).

In this edition, we dive into the complexities of familial relationships. Is blood truly thicker than water? These films capture chaos, pain, selfishness, selflessness, hope, love, and so much more. As generations clash over their ideas of what family looks like, take a glance through the lenses of these young filmmakers and witness the evolution of what family means in Singapore today.

Catch the screenings and live Q&A session with the filmmakers on 31 August, 8pm, at Sinema Disco(rd) Club.

Programme Lineup

Lean On Me (2021)
Dir.Nathaniel Jareth Nonis

Lean on Me tells the story of a broken relationship between a father and son who have recently encountered a terrible family tragedy. The two loggerheads are at constant odds but learn that the only way through this is together.

About the Director

Born in the bustle of multicultural Singapore, Nathaniel Jareth Nonis, 22, is an aspiring Director & Cinematographer that seeks to constantly improve his craft and aims to bring a balance of performance and visual style to his works. From street photography to film making, Nathaniel has an eye for finding stories in his works

A House Is Not A Home (2020)
Dir. Shafna

A House Is Not A Home follows the relationship between Yasmine and her mother Hayati as they deal with her brother, Khai’s drug abuse problem.

About the Director

Shafna, born and raised in Singapore started out her filmmaking journey from her love of writing. She has a keen interest in writing and producing stories that revolve around millennial women of colour and understanding the human condition. 

Since graduating she has been active in the TVC production industry in Singapore producing advertisements for various brands from fast food to banks.

New Dogs (2020)
Dir. Lucas Kua

Mark, an independent loner, is asked to pretend to be his late twin brother. Before long, he experiences what it is like to be a father, and learns to love it. But how long can happiness built on lies last?

About the Director

Lucas started off as a writer. Later realising he could quench his thirst for storytelling through the medium of film, he has found his niche in drama.

His pursuit of tasteful, intricate dialogue has led him to idolise industry greats such as Aaron Sorkin and Noah Baumbach, and he aspires his own work to include a dash of surrealism with every story, each an escape into the peculiar.

Decades of progress through activism, media and education have now led to more and more shunning traditional gender roles — despite society’s best efforts to reaffirm the vicious cycle. This edition of the Sinema Showoff! features stories and characters placed at the epicentre of this conflict. Can we truly move beyond ‘he’ and ‘she’? What is keeping us back? The three films from the programme look to illuminate the path forward with their thought-provoking stories. ⁠

Catch the screenings and live Q&A session with the filmmakers on 14 September, 8pm, at Sinema Disco(rd) Club. ⁠ ⁠ Don’t miss out. Join the club —⁠

Programme Lineup

As Bold as Red, as Soft as Velvet (2021)
Dir. Nguyen Minh Truong Giang

Gary is a 20-year-old fresh graduate who initially identified himself as asexual. However, following a surprise visit by his colleague Matthew, Gary discovers that he’s actually gay. Things escalate when Gary’s mother, Mrs. B, unintentionally finds out about his true sexual orientation. In the midst of chaos, Gary finds himself jumping back and forth between the real world and his subconscience, where he has to face Matthew, Mrs. B and himself to complete a maturity ritual and gain acceptance from others and, ultimately, himself.

About the Director

From the hospitable southern Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Truong Giang, 21-year-old, loves to explore unconventionality and dualism. With a mind of a self-described contradictory and peculiar person, he wants to learn, unlearn and relearn about how humans interact with one another, with objects and concepts around them. Indeed he loves making videos, but he doesn’t stop himself with that and strives to discover, explore and try out different media, approaches, and subjects.

Pretty When I Cry (2020)
Dir. Sherlyn Lee Si Hui

The intense psychological drama centres around a sister-manager of a social media influencer who must let go of her greed and jealousy of her sibling before she loses her sister forever.

About the Director

Sherlyn believes that the kind of filmmaker that is able to survive in this oversaturated market is one that has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and experience while constantly evolving to become better; she is that filmmaker. Her philosophies are “An obsession with the craft leads to a constant passion to learn, to see and to become more than what I was yesterday” and that “Effort doesn’t betray a person so hustle hard, hustle harder and hustle the hardest.”⁠

Ixora Flower (2020)
Dir. Hannah Yoong Soong En

A 15 year old kampong girl who works as a babysitter for a British family must save her younger sister from the Bukit Ho Swee fire.

About the Director

Hannah Yoong is the Director for ‘Ixora Flower’, based in Singapore. Hannah has worked on TVCs, school based short films and documentaries as Production assistant, Producer and Director respectively. She is a graduate from Temasek Polytechnic, Digital film and Television in 2020 and is continuing to pursue film as an assistant producer in the industry. She hopes to be a Producer of feature films in the future.

⁠We’re concluding our current run of the Sinema Showoff! Class of 2020/2021 with an upsized edition of four fantastic films!⁠⁠With Singapore’s breakneck speed of progress over the decades since independence, generational gaps, each with its own perspectives and dreams, are seemingly inevitable. The Internet Age has only worsened the divides, making it possible — or even preferable — to live in echo chambers of shared values. The four short films from this edition of the Sinema Showoff! embraces the generational tensions that we so often shirk from and earnestly demonstrates that the next and previous generation is only an outreach away. ⁠

Catch the screenings and live Q&A session with the filmmakers on 28 September, 8pm, at the Sinema Disco(rd) Club.

Programme Lineup

Mr Singapore 1974 (2020)
Dir. Josiah Tan How Rong

A grandson attempts to make a film about his grandfather. However, their insecurities lead to conflicting visions of his portrayal, resulting in disappointment but eventually, an understanding.

A Little Closer (2021)
Dir. Cheryl Mong

A Stay-Home Caller must help a lost dementia-stricken lady find her husband or she would be left roaming around the streets alone during a pandemic in Singapore.

About the Director

Cheryl Mong graduated from Temasek Polytechnic’s Digital Film & Television in 2021. During her course of study, she was given the opportunity to direct and produce several student short films. She took the chance to experiment and explore different themes within the short films that she worked on. ⁠Cheryl has a strong passion for storytelling, and she strives to infuse realism into her works, making her films as relatable and realistic as possible. She admires films that reflect the simplicity of life as she believes it is the most substantial element which can connect audiences to the film.⁠

Voices To Keep (2020)
Dir. Bernice Ng

A documentary film about the dying traditional art of Wayang street opera in Singapore. Featuring Tan Cai Hong, an experienced performer in one of the only remaining Hokkien Wayang troupes in Singapore. With 45 years of experience, Cai Hong will share the unseen struggles of an opera performer along with the challenges and dilemma she faced while juggling the art and her family commitments.

About the Director

Bernice Ng has been studying film since 2016. She has tried several roles and settled down with producing as her best interest. During her school life, she was given a chance to write and direct ‘Voices to Keep’. It was an unfamiliar experience with the roles she normally does. ‘Voices to Keep’ is a personal documentary that she wants to keep in her archives when the world changes quickly during this modern time. With this documentary, she hopes to make an impact on the youth, and also reminisce the seniors on how her childhood is like back then.⁠

Last Retro Journey (2021)
Dir. Nor Elfiezah Bte Tarmonoh

When former band members – way past their heyday and now in their fifties – unexpectedly reunite for a dear friend’s funeral, it feels like the past never left.

About the Director

Elfiezah Tarmonoh started her filmmaking journey in 2017, pursuing Filmmaking (Cinematography) at ITE College Central. With a strong passion for film and other areas of media, she continued her studies in the Diploma in Broadcast Media at LASALLE College of the Arts. She has always been inspired by Yasmin Ahmad’s works and aims to create such highly acclaimed work.⁠

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