BBC Culture

Talking Movies

Short films go mainstream in Singapore

Movies under 30 minutes, traditionally relegated to film schools, have achieved widespread popularity in the city-state. How did this happen?

Aspiring directors have usually regarded short films as stepping stones in their careers: a necessary learning experience on the way to feature filmmaking. But rarely−outside of film schools −are short films given much aesthetic consideration or exhibition. This is not the case in Singapore, where movies of 30 minutes or less have broken out of classrooms and cinema societies to become a vital part of the city-state’s film culture.

Singapore has cinemas and film festival programmes crammed with short films.  Being able to watch a story unfold on a mobile device in the time it takes to commute across the city has perpetuated the fad. And the increasing availability of affordable HD cameras has allowed new directors of different ages and backgrounds a platform – it’s a democratisation of movie production.

Talking Movies explores Singapore’s short film revolution and reveals the diverse new group of filmmakers who are now picking up cameras.

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