Sunday, October 25, 2015

Kudos to Singapore Shortcuts Films 2015 -Awesome Films

Returning with its 12th edition, Singapore Short Cuts continues to be one of the most distinguished showcases of Singapore short films. The programme features a wide selection of recent works including documentaries, animation and experimental films paired with engaging post-screening discussions with the filmmakers. Some of the filmmakers whose films have been featured in previous editions of the Singapore Short Cuts include Ho Tzu Nyen, Anthony Chen, Boo Junfeng, Sun Koh, Tan Pin Pin and Eric Khoo. 

Last year I did not manage to catch the films and this year I'm glad I did. Specially since its SG50 and I heard more funding was provided and hence there were more films to choose from to feature. I hope its not SG50 but that the government will create more funding for anyone who is interested in portraying an issue through films - and Provide more avenues for these films to be shown - best if throughout the years - in schools; in their functions etc - to create more awareness and support. 

24 October, 3pm (M18)
25 October, 3pm (PG)
The Tiger of 142B
The Great Escape
Not Working Today
The Body
Total running time: 104mins
The Swan of Tuonela
Three Little Pigs
My Autograph Book 

Total running time: 102mins
After having watch the films featured on 24 Oct, I just had to go back for the 25 Oct. And this time making time to hear from the directors and cast. 

There were many of the films that I liked, but these few stood out and tugged at the strings of my heart.
The great thing about films is that the symbolization and themes are how you interpret them to be with your actual experiences and the learning from your own reflection.

The Tiger of 142B
Dir. Henry & Harry Zhuang
2015 | Singapore | Drama/Mystery | 11 mins | In English | PG13

Synopsis: Kevin, an unemployed man in his late twenties, finds communicating with his girlfriend increasingly difficult. At the same time, a series of mysterious killings suddenly unsettles the people of Block 142B. Some claim to have seen a roaming tiger at the estate… Adapted from Dave Chua’s short story ‘The Tiger of 142B’ from the book ‘The Beating and Other Stories’.

This film spoke to me in these cuts:
Unemployed husband living on the salary of his working wife - where he tries to please her by pretending to be someone he is not (said he will repair the piano that she likes but instead spends the money she gives him to get a repairman to tune the piano). She strays and is found smsing 'a friend' on the phone constantly and eventually he spots her going up the 'friend' car. He rejecting a job because of the look in the interviewer eyes. And the tiger appears in his life. 
- To me, the tiger was symbolizing him. The desperation and losing of control and most importantly lacking of respect from others, caused him to take on another role in the fantasy he lives in. Someone with power, who vents his frustration through the killings, just to escape from the reality which no longer accepts him.

Passenger / Tang Kang Sheng / 19:30 / NC16 – Special Jury Prize; and Best Performance (Teo Jun Jie & Lau Xiang Ying) – w/ director and co-writer in attendance - Zhen Hui and Minyi run into each other at a class gathering during their final year. Through the night they rekindle the past and romantic interest grows that was already there before. However it is unable to progress because something hangs over them and they quickly realize that what they have with each other has to expire. .
Passenger 夜路 Trailer from Tang Kang Sheng on Vimeo.
This film spoke to me in these cuts: I can't remember word for word but here's the gist
Can you be more responsible? You were the one who said you did not want to go home. What were the last few years to you? Laughter and giggles. 
- Many people try to maintain relationships by shutting themselves down, not communicating, but disregarding to prevent quarrels. And after a while, just like a seed, this irritation grows till it finally explodes and it leads to divorce. And just like the laughter and giggles that tries to hide the tension, its a short term solution that won't solve the problem.

Three Little Pigs

Ang Geck Geck

Cecilia, an introvert preschooler, is selected to represent her school in a storytelling competition. But first, she has to present the story to her classmates. Excited by the opportunity, Cecilia is determined to shine despite the many obstacles in her way.
在幼兒園上課的Cecilia 被老師選為班上的講故事代表。獲得這次難得的機會,她感到興奮不已,但卻也讓自己陷入了自我的掙扎之中。

This film caused me to tear :
- Do we know our neighbors? Will we render help OR do we just say its other people's business? How many children such as the protagonist is still waiting for that kind assistance in Singapore? I've seen many similar situations and I lament at myself in forgetting, in not searching them out to provide a more long term assistance. Its not the grandparents fault. Many are 'thrown' with the children because the parents separate or at times end up in jail due to petty crimes and they themselves are struggling to survive to care about the 'heart welfare' of the child. Many children end up with the dreams of escaping by dropping out of school and working at very young ages, and finding security in the wrong places - and that vicious cycle for the next generation. If only. 

Dahdi [Granny]

Kirsten Tan 
Singapore / 2014 / 

An elderly widow finds an unexpected visitor, a young asylum-seeking girl, in her home during dinner. The widow is trapped between morality and legality. She chose legality.Inspired by a 2012 event, whereby 40 Burmese Rohingya asylum seekers due to shipwreck arrived on the shores of Pulau Ubin.

This film caused me to tear :
- The eyes of the child so lost and so helpless and so fearful of the world - Left with no one. Yet because of possible circumstances, (what came to my mind when I watched this film was the sharing by my Burmese friend that a lot of the Rohingyas nowadays are rumored to actually be paid by ISIS to spread the ideology in the countries they escape to, and in Myanmar these days, Rohingyas have become rich and are moving closer and closer to the city center.) and so do we disregard rationality ? Same as how the problem now is with European Refugees ; and instances of Australia and USA with the extreme ideologies of the shooters. How many things that we hope are simple are instead that with many layers of complexities. Am I being selfish to be considering those other factors?

The Autograph Book

Singapore /Wee Li Lin

Autograph books, filled with poems and prose penned by friends or frenemies alike, were key to deciphering the messy web of primary school friendships. Take a nostalgic meander down memory lane in Autograph Book, which looks at how a tender friendship between two 12-year-old girls is put to the test.

This film made me reflect:

- on how past experiences have made me who I am today. Friendships. Failures. Successes. Relationships. 
Let our journey be something we enjoy not live with regrets.

Not Working Today

Shijie Tan
Singapore / 2014 / Fiction / 19'19

Synopsis: Apu Ahasan decides one day to not go to work but instead go to the governmental office to complain against his employer who has not paid salary to him and his co-workers. However to prevent being found out, he fakes illness.In the governmental office, an errant lawyer comes up to him to suggest to use him as a lawyer which thankfully he did not accept and the officer who questions him on the case.

This film made me reflect on the current migrant situation in Singapore:
- These bosses who do not pay salary, you are incorrigible. Coming from 2 sides of the coins, There are Migrant Workers who truly need help and those who are just taking advantage of the fact that they are migrant and then cheat through their situation. And many have commented that the tone in which the officer use is not appropriate just because they are migrants. But... The officer uses the same official tone with us Singaporeans. Its their duty to find out the actual situation and ask questions. 

And it made me reflect on M21- A social enterprise that I visited in Hongkong where students were given the fundings and courses to explore issues through making of a film. I wonder if we could explore this further in schools. Its an effective way of education through reflection rather than just instructions and words.

There's one last showcase on 31st October. The theme seemed to be horror though. So if you are a fan of such theme, join them! #imtooscareycattodoso

31 October, 3pm (M18)
Chamber of Tongue Ripping 
Forest of Copper Columns
Chamber of Rock
Chamber of Ox
Mountain of Knives
Yard of Stone Mill
Total running time: 62mins
Free tickets can be collected at the National Museum of Singapore (Visitor Services Counter) from 17 October 2015. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and limited to four tickets per person. Any remaining tickets will be given out at the door on the screening day. 

National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897, Tel: 6332 3659
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm

Valid identification showing proof of age is required for all screenings.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Movie review - The good Lie - Whay will these lost sudan boys remind you of ?

Just had to write on this amazing and heart wrenching movie that I watched recently on the flight!
My eyes were puffy from the crying when I got off the plane.

The film is a masterpiece. The storyline and scenery, the cast and everything about the film is just wonderful.
It slowly guides you through the emotional state of the characters and gives you time to reflect. 

Here's the summary
Five Sudanese children were orphaned after their village is massacred in the Second Sudanese Civil War. They were then made to go on the arduous and dangerous trek through the plains in order to reach a refugee camp in Ethiopia. 
Along the way one of the boys asked the eldest brother (also known as the chief) to let them rest as they have been walking for many days without rest. A costly mistake as in the morning, he was noticed by their pursuers and his  'chief' took the rap (while keeping the rest of them hidden) and went back with the pursuers. The remaining 4 of them continued their way to the refugee camp. They finally make it there however 1 of them died due to illness. 

They lived many years in the refugee camps (and my heart pained from seeing how many of were hoping and waiting for a new life in America, just like the recent Europe-Sudan-Syria crisis - where they all had one hope which was for a better life in another country - that hope. ... And in this show, the camp seemed well - allowing the character to be able to learn the skills of being an assistant ' doctor' , in having sufficient food, in having friends, but I'm sure not all refugee camp have such amenities and might not even have sufficient food, and the females having to fight off 'predators'  - all the scary scenarios you see written in the newspapers and social media)
Many Years later , these 3 youths were among 3600 selected for resettlement in America, only to have the one girl among them sent to Boston, while the three boys must to make a new life in Kansas City. 

(Yes the bags are the only belongings that have - reminded me of how much we have yet we always say there is not enough. Its all about expectations. But the current generation lament whenever I tell them we have so much already - why do you compare us with the third world when we are already in first world - what I'm saying is to be thankful. It doesn't mean being in first world means you are entitled to more. The foundation of whats important is still the same - employment, food, family etc)

Together, these young men must adjust to an alien culture even as the emotional baggage of their past haunts them. 

(Food wasting scene at the supermarket tugged at my heart and reminded me indeed how wasteful I am in a developed countries where we usually won't touch food beyond expiry date while in the other needy countries, food is food. Peel off the moldy parts and eat the good parts. Even if it has been a trash, as long as its edible its good)

 However, these newcomers, and their new friends like employment counselor Carrie Davis, strive to understand each other in this new home, as they make peace with their histories in a challenge that will change all their lives.

(Reunion with their sister and brother reminded us indeed how family is the foundation of everything. The deepest love of all. )

(Comparison of the life when he returned back to the refugee camp many years later to search for his brother - with that of his peers who till date have not made it out )

(while sourcing for a job, also reminded me that those who need help, probably it isn't to make them fit into the job, but to check out their strengths and love then to match the jobs to it, so they are internally motivated to keep themselves in the job rather than others having to keep an eye on them to make sure they are still in the job)

Now while living in comfort, we are going back in times looking for the basic foundations -to care for others, to show gratitude, kindness - the values which have been lost in the times where we were taught to live for ourselves. And this movie reminded me of how much more we should be thankful for. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Idea Village picks 15 startups for next business accelerator season

Always love how startups are born from trying to solve problems.
Upcoming are 15 startups that Idea Village had picked for the next business accelerator season. 

So I've added the extra info I found on each startup :p

  • iSeeChange, Julia Kumari Drapkin – A "community-driven almanac" that lets users record local observations about the changing environment and compare it to NASA satellite data.
Okay I don't really understand the importance of this startup but it seems quite a big thing with so many sponsors and investors.

  • Grok + Bankter, Staacy Cannon & Keegan Brown – An ad-tech company that has developed proprietary technology to trace offline connections through devices and can measure the effectiveness of advertising.
Grok + Banter is an ad-tech company in the Internet of Things and big data space. We have built a proprietary system that intuitively deciphers the offline world through connected devices, which enables us to measure the effectiveness of out of home advertising. 
  • Lend Stand, Aaron DeLong – An online lender to businesses and nonprofits.
Lend Stand is an online lender to businesses and nonprofits working in the public enterprise space.  Lend Stand provides simple, convenient financing to small businesses working with federal, state, or local government agencies and to nonprofits working with development organizations.
  • Freesource, John-Michael Alderson, Adam Mitchell & Dustin Renaud– An alternative ad agency providing "scalable, social responsible" marketing solutions for small business and nonprofits.
Freesource delivers a scalable, socially responsible marketing model that rethinks the way services are delivered. By offering an alternative to the traditional ad agency, we increase efficiencies for businesses, support and connect the creative community and offer a self-sustaining resource that helps startup non-profits grow and thrive.
  • Juggle, Brendan Minard & Sonny Smith – A tool for mobile companies to manage and organize a freelance workforce.
uggle is an essential tool for mobile companies and their ‘gig economy’ workforce to organize and optimize their daily activities while adjusting for changes on the fly.
  • The Sweat Social, Rupa Mohan & Manoj Mohan – Fitness solutions for travelers visiting New Orleans.
The Sweat Social provides fitness solutions for travelers visiting New Orleans who want to look their best, energize their trip, connect with the city and go home in shape, feeling great.  

Digital MediaX
  • Culturalyst, Sam Bowler – A web platform that allows users to easily "discover and directly support local culture."
  • DreamStarter, Arielle Jordan & Kaitlin Kubisch -- A web platform that connects people to self-help experts.
  • Kudoboard, Aaron Rubens – An online tool that allows groups of users to gather photos, videos and messages of appreciation -- a.k.a. "kudoboards" -- and send to friends and family.
  •, Alex Rawls -- A website covering New Orleans music and culture.
  • Toured, Karynn Verrett – A mobile app that provides personalized travel content to individuals. 
  • OBOCS, Julie Kuchta & Michael Miller -- OBOCS stands for on-board oil containment systems, which allow boom to be deployed immediately and quickly at the site of a spill.
OBOCS provides a unique system of oil spill containment wherein boom can be deployed immediately at the site of a spill without the need for external air blowers or support vessels. The boom is inflated as it comes off of the reel, resulting in decreased time, labor, and resources required for deployment in the event of a spill and it can be deflated as it returns to the reel when being used for training purposes. 
  • Louisiana Technical Instruments, Chad Deville -- A startup that helps pipelines meet emissions standards through a technology that reduces "methane bleed."
Louisiana Technical Instruments specializes in the emerging methane emissions reduction market. Our technology adapts to pre-existing controllers to drastically reduce methane bleed, thus improving the environment and helping pipelines achieve the new emissions standards moving forward. 
  • 3rd Dimension Media, Brett Gauthier -- A services firm that provides 3D animation, interactive training and marketing materials for use at trade shows, company meetings and in training.
3rd Dimension Media specializes in technical 3D animations, interactive training, and sales/marketing Solutions. Their product is an essential way to capture your audience at trade shows, presentations, and in the training room. 
  • Data Specialties Group, John Tauriac – A service company that combines data, electronic maintenance systems and real-time visualizations to improve oil and gas well monitoring.
Data Specialties Group is a data monitoring, manufacturing, and service company that provides vertical surveillance solutions for creating safer operations in hazardous environments. They integrate condition based monitoring, electronic maintenance systems, and real time visualizations into Intelligent well monitoring.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

FOC DIY Workshops Happening at Nee Soon South (Khatib)

Well, Good things I've got to share

With so many raves on Instagram and Facebook on DIY Things
e.g.  Copper making Lamps

e.g. Handwriting -  Typesetting, Calligraphy

e.g. Cute clay art

e,g, Cocktail Mixology

e.g. Terrarium Creation

e.g. Balloon Sculpting


RSVP Now at

Registration closes this Friday at 3pm.
Limited Slots!

I'll be there!
See you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Movie Review- Dearest 親愛的 ( How many children have been abducted that has yet to be found?)

Just had to share my thoughts on this movie that I caught while on a business trip - yes- in the plane.
Dearest 親愛的

Based on a true story, the film centers on Tian Wenjun (Huang Bo), a divorced father in Shenzen who lets his son, 3 year-old Pengpeng, run off to play with neighborhood kids only for Pengpeng to get abducted while he was chasing his mother's car

Wenjun and ex-wife Lu Xiaojuan (Hao Lei) quickly mobilize to search for Pengpeng, but to no avail.

False reports.
Attempted scams.

What stuck in my mind was one incident where he jumps off a bridge into a river to escape scammers trying to steal his ransom money. Where this grown up man wails pitifully telling them bashing a knife pleading these thugs to let him go as he needs the money for his child.

The pain.
The desperation.

Three years later, Wenjun gets a message that a boy suspected to be Pengpeng is in a small village in a remote province. Working with Xiaojuan and friend Han Dezhong (Zhang Yi), Wenjun snatches the boy and runs. But the boy screams for this 'mother' whom he have stayed with for the past 3 years, Li Hongqin (Vicki Zhao), who gives chase along with the rest of the village.

The mix of thankfulness that he was 'trapped' in the hands of someone like Li Hongqin who loves him gives me comfort - as my fear of the recent report that appeared on facebook - of children being captured and sold into other countries as beggars together with anger as to how she can robbed the parents of 3 precious years with their child. And worse the fact that the child no longer identifies them - but instead cries out for Li Hongqin as his mother.

The fear in his eyes for his own parents.

Can 3 years make such a difference?

Love the child acting.
The change in facial expression.
The dazed look in the eyes.

As for Han Dezong (seemingly the cheerleader for the parents whose children have been kidnapped) , he experiences both elation and bitterness at Pengpeng’s return, because while he’s happy for Wenjun, his own child was never found. That gnawing sadness and hope that seems to fade - I can't imagine. Worse, if he and his wife want another child, they’ll have to clear it with the government due to the One Child Policy – and doing so requires that they willingly declare their first child to be dead.

But for parents whose child returns to them after the many years robbed, how their lives change.
The fear. The suspicion.

Wenjun, after getting back Pengpeng, leaves his house late at night to throw out the trash - and the scene shows him having a sleeping Pengpeng slung over his shoulder - the fear of losing him once again - so the safety is to bring him everywhere he goes.

The added in details of the sister that was truly abandoned and picked up by Li Hanqing who then try and get custody - was abrupt and made me wonder what was the intention for that? To portray the fact that there are indeed many abandoned children in the homes?

My personal take was that the front part of this movie was great. But as they added more characters in and cut short the deepening of plot in each scene, with many touch and gos - it lost me at the end of story and felt very unfocused. And this twist in the story that Li Hongqin indicates that her husband had bought the child to her saying he was abandoned confuses me even after the show ends.
 But the first part draws out many emotions among the viewers which I found made it still a good movie to watch.

Rating 4* out of 5*

Stolen Children

Also bring my thoughts to the article recently of orphanages being cover up for kidnapped children.
Sigh Sigh.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Random rant

Its been a number of years since I started blogging and to me, its about recording my escapades and the causes I believe in. I don't write well. And sometimes I wonder is it because I don't spend enough time doing so. Or ?

What do I want to see in my blog that's important to me?

1. My views
2. People realizing whats' happening in the world
3. Sharing the good and the bad - food, events (most importantly experiences)

Random thoughts that I wanted to pen down.
As age catches up with me, and many new entries of bloggers with eloquent writing, I decided to remind myself of the purpose of this blog.

Thankful for the many years of invitations to events that I never would have gone if not being invited, dressing up as cartoon characters for movie screening, Designing jeans and shoes for a certain brand and many more.

To my readers, love yourself so others can love you too :)

Somewhat a foodie

Very particular about my food.
But yes its what breaks or makes my day.

After church, my cellies introduced me to this yummy place.
23 Jumpin
The Commerce Irving, #01-25, 1 Irving Pl, Singapore 369546

The crispy fried drumlets dribbled in honey.
And the duck confetti - though presentation was so so. The meat was very tender (but portions small?) Or was it nice and hence I did not feel it was enough? lol
Only 1 complain about the pork stew. I thought it would be like the beef goulash that I usually have, But this was too watery and the taste a little bland. And the pork ermm...

But their desserts redeemed that dish. 
Though I think they should have melted the marshmallow a little more and smear it a little over the waffle. The lava molten cake in the middle was the killer. Loved it!
The waffle if it had been thicker would also help add points to this dessert.

All in all,  4 stars our of 5. Would definitely be going there more often.

Out for another meal in Bugis and was thinking of what to eat. Seeing such good reviews for this place, Yoogane Bugis - being the best Galbi Chicken that taste just as it is in Busan according to the review, I was sorely disappointed.

Though service was fantastic, the food was bland I felt. And the chicken didn't feel all that fresh and chewy. Well the cheese idea was good though.

Was it me? Let me know. Being a big korean food lover, I don't know about going back there.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Planning to represent your country for UN Women Project Inspire 2015

Applications close on 1st July 2015. You can apply it here
Project Inspire must be made of 2-4  people.
Your project must directly impact or benefit women and/or girls living in Asia Pacific, Africa or Middle East.

The theme this year is 'Design as a Tool' 
Utilizing design as a tool for social good. 
Additional examples of design include the creative planning of clothing, products, systems,
websites and even organizational structures!

2013 People’s Choice Winner, Liter of Light redesigned recycled plastic water bottles to create affordable night-lights which run off solar energy.

Grand Prize

Thanks to MasterCard, the grand prize winner will receive a US$25,000 grant to implement their project.


Thanks to Hilton WorldWide, the runner-up will receive a US$10,000 grant each to implement their project.

Ten finalists will each receive

  • 1 return flight from the finalist’s capital city to Singapore, to participate in the grand final.
  • 1 ticket to the Project Inspire Grand Final on November, 13 2015.
  • 4 nights accommodation in Singapore, plus meals and transfers.
  • Exclusive INSEAD and Bain & Company workshops, plus one-on-one mentoring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chingay 2015 - Singapore

The uniqueness of Singapore is indeed its community. 
And Chinggay is an example of why
For every important event in Singapore, the community, the schools, the public service and the volunteers contributes to it and making it their purpose to make it significant and splendid. 
Thats why it always makes me feel so proud to be a Singaporean.

This year Chingay is no exception. Specially so because its SG50 this year.

The handmade costumes. 
The icons.
The meaning behind every showcase.
And excitingly, JJ Lin (haha)

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