The awards ceremony for the fourth season of the ciNE65 short film competition was held this evening at the Joyden Hall, Bugis+. Themed "Home Truly", this year's competition allowed film-makers to reflect on what it takes to make Singapore a home for future generations. Many drew inspiration from their personal experiences and memories shared with their families, friends and neighbours.

"The Red Packet" took home the top honours for "Overall Best Film" and "Best Direction" in the Open Category, and "#12-99" won "Overall Best Film" in the Student Category. Both teams walked away with the grand prize of an overseas trip to the Busan International Film Festival 2017, in addition to cash prizes and Panasonic cameras. "Foster" was voted "Favourite Film" by the public, while Ngee Ann Polytechnic received the Inter-School Challenge Trophy for submitting the highest number of quality entries under the Student Category. Fourteen other awards were also given out for Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Design, Favourite Actor and Favourite Actress. [Please refer to the Factsheet for full list of winners].

In his speech, Guest of Honour Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman drew attention to how the theme was spelt with a little red dot in the middle. Once a label used to remind us of our smallness and vulnerabilities as a nation, the little red dot, he said, "has become a symbol of strength, representing how we have turned constraints into opportunities, and defied all odds to build a successful and unique multi-racial and multi-religious country that we can all be proud of". Dr Maliki added that besides being moving and entertaining, "the ciNE65 films also reflect our values, our hopes and dreams for Singapore, and what we want future generations of Singaporeans to have and cherish". Dr Maliki also commended the film-makers for their high-quality entries and reminded them of the role they played in shaping the Singaporean identity, and giving strength to those around them through their stories.

This season received a total of 103 entries - 37 under the Open Category, and 66 under the Student Category, including entries commemorating 50 years of National Service (NS). Colonel Joseph Tan, Director Nexus, who was also one of the ciNE65 judges said, "I was very impressed with how the films were able to portray moments that resonated well with Singaporeans. This season, we also had a high number of NS-related film submissions, reflecting how NS has been an integral part of the Singapore story over the last 50 years."

Commenting on the quality of this season's entries, ciNE65 judge and commissioned film-maker Mr Sanif Olek said, "The quality of the films we received this year has improved from the previous seasons in both storyline and technical aspects. Overall, the films had a more polished look. For example, some entries had good tracking shots and even scenes captured by drones. Most importantly, theme interpretation and the storytelling element have improved. It is very encouraging to see many of the film entries being produced by talented youths in the Student Category and we hope that this will inspire more young budding local film-makers to come forward with even more creative content for the next season."

Launched by Nexus in July 2011, ciNE65 encourages aspiring film-makers to tell their Singapore story and what Singapore means to them. Through ciNE65, Nexus hopes to harness the potential of short films to touch the hearts and minds of Singaporeans, as well as to recognise and nurture local film-making talents.

Source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)