SINGAPORE, Nov 24 – Two outstanding Singaporean short films, ‘The Kitchlets’ and ‘Better Together’, were honoured at the Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore 2020, an annual industry pick award celebrating best short films from Singapore. The awards ceremony, which was held virtually for the first time, was broadcasted live on Viddsee on November 21.

The Gold winner is Clarisse Chua for ‘The Kitchlets’, an animation that centres on Mina, a woman who lives alone in her apartment accompanied by three little house spirits, the Kitchlets, who feed off her positive emotions and take care of her negative ones.

This is Chua’s first award for the animation, with previous works such as ‘Taku & Mama’ and ‘Bigman Businessman’ having participated in various festivals around the world.

“I’d love to thank all the teachers and friends at CalArts for the advice that they gave me; I had to ask for more help than usual, as it’s one of the longer films I’ve made. And even though I had a specific idea of who Mina is, no one really could tell exactly what she was going through – some say she was having a bad day, others say she was going through some form of depression – and I’m glad people put themselves in her place, and each took something different out of the film,” said Chua, who is currently studying Character Animation at the California Institute of The Arts.

Phoebe Ho was named the Silver winner for ‘Better Together’, which tells the story of a young female candidate in the Singapore General Elections, who struggles to deal with family responsibilities, media scrutiny and her own expectations in the lead up to the elections.

Danica Pablo also received a Special Mention award for her film ‘Hiding Birds’, a coming-of-age drama about Leila, who is torn between pursuing her relationship with another woman and having to follow her parent’s traditional values. Meanwhile Vicky Loh bagged the Audience Choice Award for ‘The Times We Shared’, about a 9-year-old A-student who learns a precious life lesson when she is paired up with Haziq, who appears to be the laziest student in the class.

The winners were picked by an international panel of judges comprising Kiki Fung, the programme consultant for the Hong Kong International Film Festival; Filipino producer Alemberg Ang, who has produced award-winning films such as Liway and ‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’; Singaporean producer Juan Foo, who produced ‘Return To Pontianak’, ‘Perth’ and the-soon-to-be released ‘Circle Line’, Singapore’s first monster film.

The Gold winner was awarded the Filmmaker Gold Kit, which includes a 13-inch Macbook Air, a gold plaque, and exclusive Viddsee merchandise. The Silver winner will take home the Viddsee Filmmaker Silver Kit, which includes a silver plaque, and exclusive Viddsee merchandise. All 10 finalists will be awarded finalist certificates, and a 12-month Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription, sponsored by Adobe.

This year was the first time the Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore was held exclusively online, with TikTok supporting the awards as the Social Community Partner. In the two days leading up to the awards ceremony, Viddsee and TikTok hosted two live-streamed watch parties comprising short films curated around the theme of mental health.

Aside from TikTok’s activities, Viddsee also organised several online film screenings and Juree-edition episodes of Viddsee’s All Credits Due podcast featuring interviews with judges. The podcast is available now on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

The annual Juree Awards initiative debuted in Indonesia in 2016, and expanded to include the Philippines in 2017, and Singapore in 2018. Find out more about the Juree Awards at https://www.viddsee.com/channel/juree.

The public can learn more about the Juree Singapore Awards Programme, visit https://www.viddsee.com/c/juree-singapore-2020.

Watch all nominated and other out-of-competition films for free on https://www.viddsee.com/channel/juree/singapore2020

More images and stills can be found in the public drive here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1c3S8T6mqsmappfV-U--8OFXONWV90WIK

Jury Citations for Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore 2020

Gold Winner

Winning Film: The Kitchlets
Film link: https://www.viddsee.com/video/the-kitchlets/fq1o2
Director: Clarisse Chua
Citation by Jury: This short is a clear favorite among all of us, and stood out immediately as the Gold Award. A deft application of animation as the craft to tell this particular story, affirms the filmmaker’s respect to the art form; and the sensitive handling of the underlying themes of solitude, and imaginative distraction presents a whimsical yet solemn after taste -- hence thoroughly satisfying to embrace in appreciation.

About Clarisse Chua
Singaporean-born, Clarisse Chua studied Art in Japan for three years at the Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language and Tama Art University and graduated from California Institute of the Arts, studying Character Animation, in 2020.

Her work is inspired by the myths and legends as well as the different cultures she was exposed to growing up in multicultural Singapore. She continues to learn about different parts of the world to further inform her story-telling. Clarisse strives to tell real stories and emotions through a fantastical lens. On a regular day, she enjoys a nice cup of tea and making miniature items out of felt.

Silver Winner
Winning Film: Better Together
Film Link: https://www.viddsee.com/video/better-together/c51o2
Director: Phoebe Ho
Citation by Jury:  For its depiction of the bitter-sweetness of family bonding through a smooth flow of narrative and tonal consistency, anchored by confident direction, natural performances and a charming art direction that delightfully captures the colours and vibrancy of the urban life in Singapore.

About Phoebe Ho
Phoebe Zoe Ho relishes in extracting eccentricities out of the mundane, and capturing vignettes of the everyday human condition. With a background in Art Direction, Phoebe crafts visual narratives that are decadent and immersive.

Special Mention
Winning Film: Hiding Birds
Film Link: https://www.viddsee.com/video/hiding-birds/dx0em
Director: Danica Pablo
Citation by Jury:
For its honest and intimate look into the hurdles faced not only by same-sex couples but by other youths today. Well-crafted and well-directed, this short highlights through stunning cinematography, beautiful production design, and seamless editing the struggles involved in a romantic relationship between two people from two different worlds.

About Danica Pablo
Danica believes in cathartic release through films and translating fears into a form of art that creates an emotional bridge for people to empathise with. She hopes to continue creating films that provide a voice to the minority about deep rooted social issues. Her works are often inspired by coming of age films, day to day stories about the gray area of moral relativity and redeeming one’s self.

About Viddsee Juree Awards
Viddsee Juree Awards (‘Juree’) is an annual industry pick award celebrating best short films from Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. In each edition, the countries’ brightest talents and storytellers submit their films to a panel of international judges, who will then handpick the winning entries. Viddsee amplifies the out-of-competition entries and finalists to our audience communities. Juree is part of Viddsee’s commitment to grow a network of prestigious storytellers, to support local film communities, and to inspire a new generation of storytellers across Asia.

About Viddsee
Viddsee is a leading video entertainment platform for short premium content. With over 1 billion views powered by data insights and a trusted community, we empower storytellers by enabling the creation of films and amplifying stories to targeted audiences.

Media contacts
John Lim john@viddsee.com