Sun, Jun 20, 2010
The New Paper
Is this Singapore's most erotic film?

[Above: A scene from local short film Hush.]

By Tan Kee Yun

ITS film-makers claim on social networking site Facebook that it's "the most erotic film ever made in Singapore".

Hush, an independently produced 20-minute short film, features several scenes of sexual activity where the actors are seen in varying degrees of nudity - including a brief full-frontal shot of one of its actresses.

The people behind Hush also claim on their Facebook page that their film is the first local movie to show group sex.

The film was submitted on June 6 to the Media Development Authority's Board of Film Censors (BFC) for classification.

A check with BFC confirmed that the film is "under consideration".

The art-house film is written and directed by Singaporean Jeremiah Oh, who was behind the 2005 short film Even, which starred Keagan Kang, Mindee Ong and Evelyn Maria Ng.

Ng returns in Hush, which also stars fellow local actress Natalie Faye and Canadian-Chinese actor Darren E Scott. The film tells the story of a dysfunctional family whose members keep dark secrets from each other.

Ng plays a bespectacled, bookish-looking girl who, unknown to her dad and younger sisters, is living a double life as a mistress to Scott's character. Scott's wife (played by Faye), coincidentally, is her good friend.

Darren E Scott and Natalie Faye star as husband and wife in Hush.

Oh and his crew shot the film in 2007 for $10,000 - money which came from their own pockets.

It is expected to take between a couple of weeks and a month for BFC to revert with a rating.

Hush's film-makers are hoping for an R21 rating as it will make film distribution much easier, but they are also prepared for it to be banned.

"If it is banned, we are allowed to apply to MDA to hold one single closed screening in Singapore, which we are already in the midst of planning," said Kelvin Sng, 36, the executive producer of the film. The film-makers won't be permitted to sell tickets for the screening, which will be open to invited guests only and held in August in a 250-seat hall at Cathay Cineplex, he said.

But if the film gets the green light, Sng will market it to the local audience by packaging Hush with two other short films to form a 90-minute feature, possibly to be screened at Sinema Old School (a popular venue for local indie film screenings).

Sng owns film production company Kelvin Sng Productions which has produced a string of short films like Bad Times, Cafe, Kichiro, More Than Words, The Gang and My Blue Heaven.

He is hopeful Hush will find interest outside of Singapore.

"Essentially, our screening in August will be a showcase for the film's potential investors and sponsors."

Sng said he plans to send the film to "all the major film festivals" around the world, including Cannes, Venice and Pusan.

When contacted, Ms Amy Chua, chairman of BFC, told The New Paper that when making a classification decision for a film, the BFC considers elements such as sex, nudity, language, violence and horror, as well as the theme, content and overall impact of the film.

To be classified, films would have to meet "a set of film classification guidelines which are drawn up in consultation with the community to reflect community standards and norms", she added.

>> Criticism

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