Three short films by Temasek Polytechnic students screening for free at Singapore Discovery Centre for a year

As part of the Singapore Stories initiative, the student-led films discuss the notions of embracing family and cultural traditions.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 24 May 2022, 11:35 AM

Three short films by selected students of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design – Diploma in Digital Film & Television will be screened exclusively at Singapore Discovery Centre’s iWERKS Theatre for a year, from May 20.

Titled Bahay (Home), 热爱传统 (Made with Passion) and Pesanan (Order), the films were unveiled at the Singapore Stories Film Premiere 2022 on May 19 (Thursday). 

Being part of Singapore Stories, an ongoing initiative between Singapore Discovery Centre and Temasek Polytechnic, the three films centre around themes of resilience, adaptability and unity.


singapore stories temasek polytechnic
The film initiative was introduced in 2014, allowing Temasek Polytechnic students to conceptualise, showcase and educate the public through filmmaking. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE DISCOVERY CENTRE


Around 70 scripts were submitted by the now graduating cohort of students. From that, a total of eight scripts were selected to be produced as Final Year Projects.

As part of the initiative, Singapore Discovery Centre then sponsored three Final Year Project films that fulfilled its criteria of sharing local stories and inspiring a desire to contribute to the nation’s future.

This year’s films will evoke deep feelings and approach realistic topics on family and cultural traditions that are frequently taken for granted or forgotten, Singapore Discovery Centre said in a press release on May 19.


directors scriptwriters short films
The films’ directors (from left) Jason Del Mundo, Celeste Koh and Rodriguez Glenayre Aquino also wrote the scripts of their respective films. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU


The first film, Bahay, written and directed by Jason Del Mundo, chronicles a Filipino boy as he adjusts to life after moving to Singapore. Just when he finds two new companions who share a love for basketball, he is stuck in a dilemma as he is persuaded by his parents to return to the Philippines. 

Jason said. “The film draws a lot from my personal experience as it’s a story about migration and being Filipino, like myself.

“I was born in the Philippines and my family moved here when I was seven, so I had to go through the whole assimilation process. I had to draw a lot of inspiration from that, and the conflicts that my parents had to go through.”

From the struggles of finding a school and saying goodbye to childhood friends, Jason hopes that by portraying these moments, other foreigners will feel represented and locals can gain better insight into their lives. 

The second film, 热爱传统, which Celeste Koh directed and co-wrote, tells the story of an old hawker who is stuck in tradition and has lost his passion for cooking. Contemplating retirement, he finds an apprentice Benjamin, who brings along new ideas, and the two try to find common ground in the future direction of the business. 

The story idea originated from the film’s director of photography Edlyn Yew, who co-wrote the film’s script with Celeste.

“Edlyn’s brother-in-law and sister are hawkers, and seeing their difficulties, she felt inspired to give thanks to them with film as a platform.” Celeste said.

Through shining a light on the perseverance of hawkers to cultivate respect for the job, she hopes that viewers can be inspired to do things with passion and creativity, yet not forgetting their heritage in the process.

The third film, Pesanan, written and directed by Rodriguez Glenayre Aquino, follows the life of an ex-convict after he returns home from prison, as he struggles to find work and tries repairing a strained relationship with his mother. 

Though the story originated from the film’s production designer Nur Shazriena Othman, its notions of morality and progress resonated with Rodriguez.

“As a Filipino, my relatives and I have experienced instances of prejudice in Singapore, similar to moments portrayed in the film,” he said. 

By touching upon the societal prejudices faced by delivery drivers and ex-convicts, he hopes that viewers can empathise and be more embracing. 

“I feel that the idea of second chances can relate to everyone,” said Rodriguez, “That all of us have flaws and make mistakes and so we should be open to giving others the benefit of the doubt.”

From May 20, the three films will be screened for free on selected days and timings at the iWERKS Theatre for a year. The timings can be found on Singapore Discovery Centre’s website

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