JOINT NEWS RELEASE BETWEEN NEA AND VIDDSEE
Singapore, 22 November 2022 – Ever wondered how food waste reduction can be fun and easily achievable? Imagine if the trash you throw away had feelings, or the possibilities it could have if you gave it a new lease of life. These were the concepts behind the three winning films for the #RoadtoZero Youth Sustainability Film Programme that premiered today at the Temasek Shophouse. The programme supports young filmmakers in the creation of meaningful films centered around zero waste and the pursuit of a sustainable lifestyle.
2 Through these stories captured through the lens of the youths, the programme aims to spark conversations and encourage advocacy on the topic of environmental sustainability in Singapore. The premiere was graced by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, and form part of a nationwide effort to drive youth advocacy for our environment through film.
3 The winning concepts – “How To Have Fun While Reducing Food Waste!’’ by Chantelle Ng, “Left Wandering” by OKJ, and “The Second Life of Secondhand Objects” by Chuah Weiqi, were selected from a total of 85 submissions following a pitch callout in April. The top three film concepts were awarded a production budget of $8,000 and a cash prize of $4,000 to turn their film ideas into reality.
4 “How To Have Fun While Reducing Food Waste!’’, a film about food waste reduction, follows a passionate individual on her quest to save ‘ugly’ food. “Left Wandering”, a film about the discarded items and trash, provides a humorous, satirical take on these items as ''wildlife'' to encourage viewers to reflect on their actions towards the environment. “The Second Life of Secondhand Objects”, a film about upcycling, presents the transformation of an old bookshelf into a cat tower to show how sustainability could be supported through originality and creativity.
5 The films and relevant content will be available progressively on roadtozero.viddsee.com as well as Viddsee and Clean and Green Singapore’s social media platforms from 23 November 2022 onwards. For more details on the films, please refer to Annex A.
6 The National Environment Agency (NEA) and Viddsee were supported by several partners to bring the programme to fruition and enrich the learning experience of our young filmmakers. FairPrice Group is a key collaborating partner, who supported the mission of driving youth advocacy through providing sponsorship and guiding filmmakers on sustainability issues through an educational tour held at FairPrice Xtra @Kallang Wave Mall. The filmmakers then gained behind-the-scenes insights into waste management in Singapore through visits conducted by Chye Thiam Maintenance Pte Ltd and Sentosa Development Corporation. To further enhance and excite their learning journey, NEA also hosted the young filmmakers at the Tuas South incineration plant.
7 The young filmmakers were mentored by Viddsee Studios and three experienced local documentary filmmakers, Eileen Chong, Kenneth Cheong and Kenneth Chan, who provided guidance through the development and production of their films. A behind-the-scenes video capturing the learning and filmmaking journeys of all three filmmakers with their mentors was screened at the premiere. In the video, the filmmakers shared their key takeaways about sustainability and how the community can do their part in a zero waste journey.
8 “Viddsee is eager to support young storytelling talents and we’re excited to launch the stories by three filmmakers who are passionate about zero waste and sustainability. This campaign is spearheaded by our Viddsee For Good initiative, which will provide a good stepping stone for young filmmakers to discover and learn more about impactful storytelling”, Derek Tan, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Viddsee.
9 This programme is launched under NEA’s Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) movement, and supports the Singapore Green Plan and Clean & Green Singapore. For more information on the #RoadtoZero youth sustainability film programme, visit roadtozero.viddsee.com
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Profiles of Winning Filmmakers & Synopsis of Winning Films
How to Have Fun While Reducing Food Waste
The documentary is centred around Yen-ling, someone who's passionate about protecting the environment. We follow her as she navigates the topic of food waste and shows that blemished ingredients can still be cooked aesthetically and consumed safely, instead of going directly into the bin. Will she succeed? Watch on to find out! The film encourages the community to (re)imagine food waste reduction as an activity that can be a fun and social one, and to reflect on how they can do their part in reducing food waste.
Chantelle Ng Li Jun
Recent NUS Sociology graduate with filmmaking experience
Chantelle graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a major in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. She aspires to be a film director and to make films with the primary goal of elucidating mental health and social issues.
A short comedic documentary that spoofs the epic yet intimate tone of David Attenborough’s nature documentaries by replacing animals with waste. Set in Singapore, a city in nature, audiences will follow the journey of the trash that humans waste as they wander about with no control over their fate. The message of this work engages audiences to reflect and learn about the implications of human behaviour to our environment, and through laughter, take more responsibility towards a zero waste journey.
OKJ (Ong Kah Jing)
Documentary Storyteller & Founder of OKJ Works Pte Ltd
OKJ is a Singapore-based documentary storyteller who does justice to stories. The compass of his artistry is based on the fundamental belief that documentaries can intimately connect people and that his works will outlive both his subjects and himself.
Since 2013, OKJ’s earnestness has resulted in the production of over a dozen documentary works featuring more than 100 people and their stories. He also enjoys sharing his process through his website (okj.works) and telegram community (okjworks.t.me).
The Second Life of Secondhand Objects
How does a piece of furniture go from living out its final days waiting to be thrown out, to gaining a new lease of life in a freshly furnished home?
We follow the journey of an old shelf on its last legs as it waits to be rescued by a new owner, and watch as it transforms through a crafty makeover to find a new purpose in its new home.
Both an introduction into the art of upcycling, as well as an exploration of sustainable habits that can help reduce waste, this film takes the audience and filmmakers through the process of what it means to reuse and reduce as individual consumers.
Freelance Director and Writer
Weiqi is a writer and director telling stories for the page, stage and screen. Her work seeks to unpack the relationships we make with each other and the ways we find our place in the world.
She is a two-time prizewinner of the 24 Hour Playwriting Competition, and her short films have participated in festivals including the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival and Busan International Short Film Festival. Weiqi is an alumni of the IMDA WritersLab 2021 and the Looking China Youth Film Project 2019, as well as the New Scripts Residency with Centre 42.