15 Shorts

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15 Shorts: The Buddy
Hidayat is an 8-year-old boy tasked to be a buddy to his classmate, Tam, and finds that he is frightened by Tam's erratic behaviour. Despite having Tam's parents and teachers dismiss him as reclusive and "weird", Hidayat chooses to accept Tam as different and tries to understand his behaviour and the two develop special relationship.Although Tam's condition is not explicitly stated, the film addresses the topic of autism, and the lack of knowledge behind this disorder, especially in the 90s. Delivered in the spirit of acceptance, the film aims to portray the innocence of childhood, and centers on Hidayat’s dilemma in doing the right thing for his friend.The director dedicates this film to Autism Association (Singapore).The Autism Association (Singapore) is one of the Social Service Organisations in Singapore dedicated to supporting individuals with autism and helping them lead meaningful and quality lives in society. It provides a broad spectrum of services for people with autism in Singapore, encompassing education, vocational and life skills training and residential care. Since 1992, they have impacted the lives of over 1000 clients and students.Director's Statement:No two autistic persons go about things in exactly the same way and it is incontrovertibly unjust to label them as a mere category. Just like any other individual, they have the ability to experience emotions and to give affection. In 'The Buddy', we see Tam, a primary school boy, who builds a friendship with Hidayat, his classmate-buddy. The friendship is innocent, pure and genuine.

15 Shorts

Fifteen Singapore filmmakers are coming together in a ground-up effort to show a lesser-told side of Singaporeans from the 1970s to the 1990s.

This was a time when news headlines focused on Singapore’s growth as a nation and on bread-and-butter issues; a time when we strove hard and persevered as a people. A time when Singaporeans earned labels of being hardworking, conscientious, and law-abiding, almost to a fault.

Through 15 Shorts, a collaboration between the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Blue3Asia, the 15 film directors will provide an alternative perspective to the nation-building narratives of the era. They will tell true stories of Singaporeans who performed powerful acts of selflessness between the 1970s and 1990s. These are slice-of-life stories that reveal how this human, giving side has always been a part of us.

These true stories were uncovered through various archival sources and interviews. The 15 film directors come from a wide range of creative backgrounds and inclinations. They range from the acclaimed and experienced, those presently making a name for themselves, to young filmmakers who show promise and potential:

Eric Khoo, Kelvin Tong, K. Rajagopal, Boo Junfeng, Kirsten Tan, Chai Yee Wei, Randy Ang, Daniel Yam, Sean Ng, Nicole Midori Woodford, Gladys Ng, Kee Swee San, Jian Hao Tan, Chong Yu Lun, and Jason Lee.

In the spirit of giving, each director will dedicate his or her film to a charity in Singapore. Working with NVPC, the directors have curated a list of charities that cover a spectrum of needs, including support for the elderly, people with autism, and migrant workers. We hope the films move Singaporeans to support these worthy causes. Find out more about each charity at this website.

The short films will be released in an integrated online-offline approach, on the 15 shorts microsite, and will appear on the big screen, broadcast, and various digital platforms, thanks to our kind partners Filmgarde, Mediacorp, Viddsee and Singapore Airlines.

The project is supported by Our Singapore Fund, and is in support of SG Cares, a national movement to support efforts of ground-up volunteerism in Singapore, to build a more caring and inclusive home for all.