The Silver Screen Awards is where all the movers and shakers of regional cinema converge to celebrate the best and the brightest of Southeast Asian and Asian cinema. Held at Marina Bay Sands, it was a venue for the pomp and pageantry that surrounded the event. Decked out in fancier garb than we usually see each other in (the dress code was “cinema chic”, which was kind of vague), the Youth Jury crew was let loose into the wilderness which was the Marina Bay Sands Theatre.
I suspect we might have looked slightly out of place, with our bright-eyed wonder and slight awkwardness. Half of the time was spent consuming alcohol and appetizers, the other half was spent marveling at the movers and shakers of regional cinema. We even managed to mingle and take pictures with some of them, which is a plus. Most of the time though, we weren’t too sure who directed or was involved in what or which film and were rather confused. I do blame the trippy lighting and Top 40 music playing in the background.
The awards show itself was a interesting, to say the least. It was really exhilarating to see our two representatives Say Peng and Tulika (because she resembles Mia Wallace), present the Youth Jury Prize to Kavich for Three Wheels. This was a culmination of all our work and weekend sessions over the past month, while it felt satisfying, there was also a tinge of sadness as it signaled the end of the 2015 Youth Jury Programme. After that, we sat back and enjoyed the rest of the award show. We were graced by the presence of the talented and stunning Amy Cheng, who serenaded the audience with a few local songs. David Beckham even made a surprise appearance to present the Best Director for the Asian Feature Film category, but that felt a little random and out of place.
At the after party, I went up to Kavich to speak to him about his short film and the prize. It was rather unexpected for him, seeing how this was the first time he directed a fiction film and seemed to be very happy about receiving the prize. The plot of the short film was inspired by his parents’ story, but he didn’t dare to make a documentary about them for fear of awkwardness.
Kavich’s approach to directing was rather hands off, in that some of the most interesting shots or scenes from the short film were in fact unplanned. In fact, one of the jury’s favourite scene was improvised while the make-up artists were doing make up for the actors. Perhaps that was were the authenticity came from, the fact that he let the short film take shape by itself rather than exerting too much control over the direction of the film.