Young filmmakers win big at Cathay Motion Picture Awards

SINGAPORE - Four teams of aspiring filmmakers won the Cathay Motion Picture Awards 2013 and walked away with cash and prizes totaling more than $40,000.

Team Ayam Man received the coveted Best Motion Picture award with the grand prize of $15,000 - the biggest cash prize ever for a filmmaking competition in Singapore - with their superhero film. Team members Randy Ang, Adam Tun-Aung and Mavis Kuang are in their thirties and are first-time participants in the Cathay Motion Picture Awards.

On top of the cash prizes, the aspiring filmmakers will also realise the ultimate dream of seeing their own films grace the silver screen and entertain mass audiences. All four winning short films will be screened on Cathay Cineplexes' circuit for a period of four weeks in 2014.

The top 15 films were showcased during the awards ceremony last night. The first runner-up, Reality by Team Lawliepop Offset, used special effects to embellish their futuristic story of a couple who keep secrets from each other.

In its second year, Cathay Organisation's annual short film competition saw a robust 120 per cent increase in participation with a total of 109 entries, compared to the 49 entries received in 2012.

More than half of the participants from the 109 teams were below the age of 24, with the youngest participant being 17 years old. About 90 per cent of the participants were also taking part in the competition for the first time.

Jack Neo, founder, CEO and director of J Team Productions and one of the judges for the competition, said: "The short film submissions for this year were very interesting. The participants were very creative with the way they portrayed the competition's theme of 'Tomorrow'. While watching the films, I felt that they reflected the kind of talent that the industry needs - filmmakers who can present new ideas successfully."

The panel of judges, formed by esteemed members of the local film industry, shared that the competition has indeed identified an emerging trend in the next generation of filmmakers.

"A lot of the entries actually point to a new type of filmmaking that is emerging. This is not the traditional film set where there are a lot of cameras, equipment and crew," said Stuart McAra, Executive Producer for Industrial, Light & Magic and a judge on the panel.

"Now you have what is basically consumer equipment, where there is much less pressure, so you can get better performance out of non-professional actors.

"We are at a very unique time in filmmaking; the idea of being able to make your own film is easier now than ever before.

"My advice is to grab a camera, get out there, and do it. Whether you shoot your film with your mobile phone and edit it on your iPad, or shoot it on a digital SLR, I think the quality of what can be done now, with zero budget, is that everyone's as good as what's coming out of Hollywood.

"Ultimately, it all comes down to the kind of ideas you have and the stories you want to tell."

Cathay Motion Picture Awards 2013 - Hall of Fame

Best Motion Picture: Ayam Man by Team Ayam Man

1st Runner-Up: Reality by Team Lawliepop Offset

2nd Runner-Up: Pause for Tomorrow by Team P2

Viewers' Choice: Child by Team Redream