Indonesian talent swept the awards at Singtel Group’s “The 5-Min Video Challenge” Regional Finals in Singapore last evening. Chick Chick directed by Mr Kevin Anderson beat a host of entries to be named the Grand Winner while Sowan by Mr Destian Rendra was the runner-up.
Chick Chick tells the story of a young girl who befriends a chicken. Her attempts to communicate with the chicken, inspires her to try and reconnect her fighting parents with a tin-can phone. As the grand winner, Mr Anderson received a cash prize of US$30,000 and a Sony camera and lens set worth more than US$5,000. Reacting to the win, he said, “We wanted to tell a story about connecting lives that goes back to basics without gadgets and social media. It’s been a great experience for us to connect with the finalists and judges from the region through this video challenge. We thank Singtel, Telkomsel and the judges.”
The runner-up Sowan follows a man who travels to various places on his motorbike. He hears about recent agricultural issues and discovers the conflicts among farmers, middlemen and sellers. Mr Rendra, who also competed in and won the inaugural video challenge last year, received a cash prize of US$15,000 and Sony products worth more than US$4,000. “We appreciate this video challenge for bringing our vision to a bigger audience. We’re back again this year because it’s been a priceless experience for us,” he said.
The entries impressed the regional judging panel headed by award-winning Singapore filmmaker Mr Eric Khoo and comprising Mr Aaron Lea (Australia), Mr Joko Anwar (Indonesia), Mr Serge Abessolo (Gabon), Mr Quark Henares (the Philippines) and Mr Thitipong Kerdtongtawee (Thailand).
Mr Khoo, who returned as a judge for the second year, said, “We were wowed by the great improvement in the short videos this year. The winning works really spoke to us and we look forward to working with some these talented filmmakers.” He advised aspiring filmmakers to hone their craft by continuously filming and finding new ways to tell a story even with their smart phones.
“The 5-Min Video Challenge” is both a celebration of the filmmaking talent in Asia and a content push by the Group. Centred on the theme “Connecting Lives” this year, it attracted hundreds of video submissions from Australia, Gabon, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The videos submitted spanned a range of genres from comedy, romance to drama and slice of life.
Two finalists from each of the six countries were chosen by local judges to compete in the Regional Finals. The Grand Winner and runner-up were then selected by the regional judging panel.
Mr Arthur Lang, Chief Executive Officer, International Group, Singtel, said, “We’re impressed by the different perspectives presented in the short videos that inspired, challenged and entertained us. As Asia’s leading communications technology group and a long-time supporter of the arts, we want to support the creative talent in the region and quality original content that our customers enjoy. Many of us today look for content that is mobile-friendly, authentic and connects with the heart. I strongly believe the finalist entries have all achieved these. We’re honoured to recognise them.”
Besides impressing the regional judging panel, Sowan and Chick Chick also captured the hearts of audiences who voted the videos as their favourites for the People’s Choice Awards. Mr Rendra received US$3,000 as the winner while Mr Anderson received US$2,000 as the runner-up.
Additionally, Chick Chick won the newly-created Sony’s Emerging Talent Award for outstanding technical skills and inspirational story-telling, and received prizes worth over US$5,000.
The grand winner, runner-up and finalists will have the opportunity to promote their videos on each Singtel Group member’s mobile and video platforms, allowing them to reach a 670-million strong audience across Asia, Australia, and Africa.