Over 1200 story ideas received on diversity and social integration

Project Lapis Sagu, Singapore’s first crowd-sourced film initiative on cultural diversity, has garnered a total of 1,209 entries for its logline contest which ended on 11 December 2016. The participants of different ages and nationalities hailed from various walks of life and professions.

Project Lapis Sagu is part of ongoing efforts to promote greater understanding and mutual respect between locals and foreigners here in Singapore. It is spearheaded by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), in collaboration with acclaimed filmmakers Eric Khoo, Kelvin Tong, K. Rajagopal and Sanif Olek. 

Ms Karen Tan, Senior Director of Public Communications Division, MCI, said, “We are pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response from the public for the Lapis Sagu Film Contest. The topic of social integration and cultural diversity is close to the hearts of people in Singapore. We are glad that Project Lapis Sagu has provided a platform to spark ideas and conversations on how we could come together to address integration issues.  We hope the stories will strike a chord, deepen understanding and strengthen bonds among various communities here, locals and foreigners.” 

The 1,209 entries offer interesting and multiple perspectives on the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly diverse Singapore. The story ideas ranged from zombie apocalypse tales to sci-fi fantasies, intercultural love stories, workplace conflicts and neighbourly tensions. 

“A good story will keep you absorbed and focused on what's happening. l'm overwhelmed by the sheer volume of entries.” said Mr Eric Khoo.

Mr Kelvin Tong said, “The entries come from a broad range of genres. What’s interesting is that a lot of them are about food. So perhaps it is food that obsesses Singaporeans as well as non-Singaporeans.” 

“There are a variety of ideas in the selection, but I am more inclined towards the more challenging and dramatic ones.” said Mr K Rajagopal.

On the general quality of the entries, Mr Sanif Olek said, “What impressed me are the loglines written by amateurs. They are really impressive and they have the potential to be turned into great films.”

Shortlisting is currently going on, followed by further story development with the four directors for the chosen entries.  

The contest was open to members of the public, budding film talents and enthusiasts in Singapore. Participants could share their story ideas at lapis-sagu.sg through a logline submission of not more than 30 words. The entries will be shortlisted based on their relevance to the theme of social integration, potential to be developed into a compelling story, as well as originality and creativity. The winning four entries will be awarded $5000 each. The winners will also have the rare opportunity to be mentored by the four film directors who will finally produce four short films for public screening in March 2017. 

15 DECEMBER 2016

Annex A 
Samples of original loglines submitted*

1) “When an elderly Indian roti prata stall owner broke his arm, the earnest Chinese helper facing unemployment wants to learn how to make roti prata to help him and his wife out from closing down.”

2) ” A kueh tutu vendor and a kacang puteh vendor opposite the road from each other battle it out to attract more customers to themselves till they discover that they are better together.”

3) “Four strangers are stuck in an HDB lift. While waiting for help, they have nothing to do but talk to one another. As the wait lengthens, tempers flare.”

4) “During a deadly zombie outbreak, three typically antagonistic neighbours from different backgrounds living on the 13th storey were forced to unite to survive the night.”

5) “A workaholic expatriate from Korea is torn between returning home, and staying and rediscovering missed connections, after forming an unlikely friendship with a hawker stall auntie who sells bibimbap.”

6) “An american recently got a job as a Chinese teacher in Singapore. Parents and students doubted her proficiency in the language. Fortunately, the school principal believed in her and encouraged her.”

7) “Lakshmi is an expat housewife, an ex-famous Indian Bharatanatyam dancer in her mid forties. She often clashes with the Malay street dancers at her neighbourhood until her daughter goes missing.”

8) “In the late 3000s, an ambitious biochemistry university student eager to create a ‘bridging pill’ receives mysterious letters in his lab on the formula to it.”

9) “A Bangladeshi cleaner in a housing estate helps an eccentric, widowed man with a damaged tap. Aloof initially, the elderly man gradually warms to his presence and a friendship begins.”

10) “Despite coming from different backgrounds, an elderly lady treats her 4 tenants as her own daughters.”

*These are just a sampling of the entries for the media’s reference, judges are still in the process of shortlisting the four entries to be developed into short films.

Annex B – Photos


Lapis Sagu directors: Sanif Olek, Kelvin Tong, Eric Khoo and K. Rajagopal



The five judges of the Lapis Sagu Film Contest: (clockwise) Sanif Olek, Eric Khoo, Kelvin Tong, K. Rajagopal, Karen Tan (MCI) and Andy Greenaway (Dentsu)



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