Ideas about zombie and space picked for Project Lapis Sagu

Ideas about zombie and space picked for Project Lapis Sagu
Homegrown film-makers Sanif Olek, K Rajagopal, Kelvin Tong and Eric Khoo have picked four entries out of 1,209 entries garnered for Project Lapis Sagu. Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information
Veteran film-makers will work with the aspiring film-makers to develop ideas into short films
Published: 4:05 PM, January 20, 2017

SINGAPORE — A film about zombies and a futuristic story set in space — these are some of the ideas which have intrigued four veteran film-makers here so much that they will be mentoring the aspiring film-makers who proposed them.

As part of Project Lapis Sagu, Singapore’s first crowd-sourced film initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) with an aim to foster wider discussions on the issue of social integration, film directors Kelvin Tong, Eric Khoo, K Rajagopal and Sanif Olek picked four entries out of 1,209 entries. They were submitted by participants of all ages, nationalities and professions from Nov 16 to Dec 11.

Tan Zi Hui, 23, a laboratory executive working at Cancer Science Institute Singapore was chosen by Khoo for her zombie story, while Alvona Loh, 23, a final year student from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, was picked by Kelvin Tong for her story set in the Basic Military Training phase of National Service.

Meanwhile, Thomas Goh, 22, currently a National Serviceman who graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, was picked by Sanif for his science fiction story about space and Sean Loo, a 19 year old student pursuing a diploma in Digital Film & Television at Temasek Polytechnic with a passion for photography, was selected by Rajagopal for his story set in the workplace.

The quartet’s entries will be further developed into short films which will be released in March this year, and they will receive their prize money of S$5,000 then.

On his choice, Khoo said: “There was a huge amount of quality entries that inspired endless possibilities. I was intrigued by Zi Hui’s concept as it was fresh, candid, yet filled with tension. When I met her, we clicked right away and started sharing ideas.”

As for Rajagopal, he said Loo’s concept “stood out because it was precise and direct, yet with space in his story for me to develop on it and relate it to a broader context. I was very attracted to it also because it came closest to unveiling the theme of social integration in a compelling way”.

Sanif added that he is “very pleased” with his choice. “It’s an original logline. I look forward to developing the logline into a meaningful storyline that is not only about cultural diversity, but also humanity and compassion.”

Tan, who graduated from the University of Manchester in July last year with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, said she is “excited” to be participating in the project with Khoo. “The opportunity to work with distinguished local film directors under Project Lapis Sagu was too hard to miss,” she said. “I look forward to learning as much as I can from the professionals,”

Loh, who also doubles up as a student correspondent at Lianhe Zaobao’s zbNOW, said her “deep passion for multiculturalism and multilingualism” inspired her to join the project.

“I look forward to learning more about the film-making process, and working closely with the director and producer to bring an idea in written form to the screen. I hope that our film will be memorable and thought-provoking, and allow the audience to reflect on the themes presented in the film.”