The National Youth Film Awards (NYFA), jointlyorganised by *SCAPE and the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has announced the 2019 line-up of winners in a ceremony held at *SCAPE’s The Ground Theatre.
The award-winning films all had in common a search for identity, an exploration that encompassed both personal and national identity. This year, 38 nominees were shortlisted from the 446 submissions received by a judging panel that included industry stalwarts such as famed Malaysian actress-turned-director Sharifah Amani, and new jury member Looi Wan Ping, Cinematographer, who also worked as Associate Producer on feature film “Revenge Of The Pontianak”, now showing in theatres. A total of 15 winning films were then selected across the Media Student and Open Youth categories.
For the Media Student categories, Li Kayue, an NTU undergraduate, was awarded Best Live Action for “Foul Ball”, a film that powerfully depicts the value of resilience, showcasing this year’s theme the enduring spirit of youth.
LASALLE College of the Arts also took home huge winnings with Best Documentary going to Mei Fong Lin, for “Pigeonhole”, a documentary centred around the intersecting lives of two seniors citizens. LASALLE also clinched the Best Sound Design with horror film “Farah”, in which a tragedy that divides the family leads to terrifying consequences, and Best Art Direction with animation “To Be Apart” that follows the humourous exploits of a pigeon as he attempts to find a home with a flock of mynahs.
Best Animation was awarded to “Balance” by NTU undergraduate Raymond Limantara Sutisna for its use of masterful animation techniques that elevated its modest storyline.
For the Open Youth categories, Kris Ong’s “You Idiot” emerged as the biggest Open Youth winner of the night, with Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Original Music. Best Live Action and Best Director were awarded to Leon Cheo for his film “SIN-SFO”, while “Trespass: Stories from Singapore’s Thieves Market”, took home the Best Documentary and Best Sound Design awards. Returning NYFA participant Jerrold Chong scored Best Animation and Best Art Direction with ambitious sci-fi animation “Automatonomy”, making him NYFA’s Best Animation winner for two years running.
Earning a Special Mention and Best Screenplay in the Open Youth category is Alvin Lee’s “A Time for Us”, with their all-rounded excellence in art direction, cinematography and screenplay.
A slate of past winning films is now available for viewing on HOOQ, a video on-demand
streaming service. Many of these carefully curated films were made by first-time
filmmakers from Temasek Poly, Ngee Ann Poly, LASALLE, and NTU.
Furthermore, in to continue the growth of young talents in Singapore, NYFA will be launching a mentorship pilot to offer past participants and interested youths an opportunity to learn and hone their craft with the industry’s veteran filmmakers. Experienced filmmakers such as Boris Boo, M. Raihan Halim, Juan Foo, Nicole Midori Woodford, Yahssir M., Jeremy Chua, and Andrew Ngin are among the filmmaker-mentors set to nurture and guide these youths in producing their next short film.