Singapore Film Locations Archive (SFLA), a web database, explores locations used in local films in the last century! Through this project, we see how Singapore’s landscapes have transformed over the years. SFLA is the brainchild of Toh Hun Ping, a recipient of the irememberSG Fund. We hear from Hun Ping on his thoughts about the project.
(Photo credits: SFLA)
1. Why did you choose to create a web database to tell the story?
Hun Ping: I thought every single film produced then (early to mid-20th century) deserves attention. A web database seems to be the most appropriate way to tell the story and history of Singapore’s filmmaking industry and the abundance of filmmaking activities that took place back then. I also like compiling information, making lists and catalogues, and making sense of them.
2. Tell us about an interesting experience while working on SFLA.
Hun Ping: It was the day I went in search of the Tanah Merah/Nicoll Drive Park, which appeared in the film Korban Fitnah (‘Victim of Slander’, 1959). I woke up before dawn and caught the first bus to the eastern end of Singapore. When I alighted near Changi Prison, it was cloudy skies expecting rain. Walking in haste along the prison's periphery, I came to a dead end as the road was truncated by an airport runway. The former seaside park had been designated as part of land reclamation. As I looked at the skies, the morning light shone from behind the looming dark clouds - it was the most beautiful sight.
Screengrab of the SFLA web database
3. Why should people look out for SFLA in 5 words?
Hun Ping: Singapore’s film history is relevant.
A scene from Saudagar Minyak Urat/Love Crazy (1959) filmed at the Pasir Ris Hotel (Photo credits: SFLA)
4. Describe SFLA in 3 words.
Hun Ping: Historical, geographical, informative.
Pasir Ris Hotel used to be located where Elias Road now ends (Photo credits: SFLA)
Singapore Film Locations Archives is part of Rewind/Remind - a film festival by the Singapore Memory Project.
Check out http://sgfilmlocations.com for more stories!
This interview has been edited for clarity, length, and content.