Short & Sharp: Samsung announces inaugural short film festival


Ahead of the Festival in May, Samsung is commencing a call for entries starting from 27 February for aspiring storytellers and serious content makers to submit a 1-minute short film shot on any mobile phone based on the theme “What the World Needs Now” – inspired by the new world we live, work and play where the pandemic has moved us to express our hope, joy, compassion and humanity in new ways.

15 shortlisted finalists will get to work with the who’s who of the local film and content industry, with the winner walking away with a cash prize of $20,000, Samsung products and an opportunity to produce Samsung-branded video content in 2022. They will create content using the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G while working with luminaries such as:

  1. Eric Khoo, Award winning filmmaker, Cultural Medallion recipient (Film) and the first Singaporean director to showcase his feature films at major global film festivals

  2. Anthony Chen, Film Director, First Singaporean to be awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and Winner of 3 Golden Horse Awards

  3. Mark Lee, veteran Singapore entertainer most known his comedic works. In 2017, he founded production house King Kong Media Productions, focusing on digital content, and was most recently nominated in the 57th Golden Horse Awards for his portrayal as a drag queen in the feature film,Number 1

  4. Jeanette Aw, a multi-hyphenate who’s an actress, producer and director, and best known for her role in The Little Nonya. Aw is also the founder of the production company Picturesque Films

  5. Ministry of Funny, Ministry of Funny, Helmed by Haresh Tilani & Terence Chia, is a content studio that creates award-winning films & TV shows, comedy videos with more than 25 million views as well as “Yah Lah BUT…”, one of Singapore’s top podcasts with more than 500,000 downloads

  6. Wong Kim Hoh, Deputy Editor of The Straits Times Life, author of five books and screenwriter of Eric Khoo’s well acclaimed feature films Be With Me and My Magic.

All co-created content from the finalists and the participating auteurs will be showcased at the Short & Sharp Film Festival. More details will be announced at a later date.

“We’ve seen the rise of digital content creators in recent times and new consumer habits influenced by the pandemic has also driven the consumption of digital content. Technology now plays an important role in fulfilling a content creator’s vision in telling stories that matter. With the inaugural Samsung Short & Sharp Film Festival, we want to put the power of our smartphones in the hands of budding filmmakers so that they can leverage on our advanced camera features to tell stories that relate,” said Sarah Chua, Vice President, IT & Mobile, Samsung Electronics Singapore.

The Festival is held in conjunction with the launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S21 Series 5G. Designed to deliver epic experiences, the Galaxy S21 Series 5G smartphones feature advanced photography and videography features powered by a pro-grade camera system.

The top-of-range Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G features a 108-megapixel camera to capture details and depth that are critical in emotive storytelling. It also supports 8K video recording, as well as Super Steady feature for action-cam-like quality in which AI stabilisation delivers gimbal-smooth video – even as you capture fast-moving action. All new videography innovations such as the Director’s View and Enhanced Single Take offer new tools and ways for storytelling, so that users can choose the best output to suit their storyline.

More details on Galaxy S21 5G and S21+ 5G available here, and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G here.


Quotes from participating luminaries

Eric Khoo

If not for short films, I doubt I would be making features today. Working on my early short films provided me with the best training and preparation for my big dive into features.

I believe very strongly in the importance of short film competitions as that was the platform by which I started my own career. Not only that but over the years, I have also discovered many promising and talented directors through these competitions.

I am moved that Samsung has organised its own short film competition and I eagerly anticipate the discovery of new gems! Definitely, technology has made film making much more affordable for budding directors. I think it would be fantastic if we could all create something wonderful together combining the love of storytelling with an incredible new device!

Anthony Chen

Some of the best films that have left an indelible impression on me have been short films. It is a medium close to my heart as it is by making short films that I honed my craft. Many might remember Ilo Ilo winning at the Cannes Film Festival, but it was through a short film (Ah Ma) where I won my first award in Cannes.

It is wonderful to see Samsung embark on this endeavour to nurture young filmmaking voices through ‘Short and Sharp’. I am thrilled to be part of this journey and can't wait to discover a new generation of film talents and present them to the world.

Jeanette Aw

Times are changing and the way film is made is quickly evolving as well. Creating and filming a short using a mobile phone is also becoming quite the norm. I’m looking forward to seeing what will be created and the stories that will come forth. I’m also honoured to be part of ‘Short & Sharp’ together with the likes of Eric Khoo and many others I have so much respect for.

Ministry of Funny

Our first foray into the world of filmmaking began with a short film we uploaded online. Looking back, it was the best way to start because the format allowed us to go through the full process of production while giving us enough room to experiment and really zoom in on the kinds of stories that we wanted to tell.

So, we’re extremely excited that Samsung is starting its own short-film competition for the next generation of filmmakers. Our big break into the world of film and TV also came through a competition, so we know how it can change your life overnight.

We’ve always been at the forefront of technological change in the industry, which has helped our videos reach millions of people around the world. So, we’re honoured to be part of a movement that combines a revolutionary device with the incredible stories we know are waiting to be told.

Wong Kim Hoh

It takes as much skill, creativity and planning to make an emotive and evocative short film as it does a long one. A good short film is singular in its purpose, and tells a story or expresses an idea clearly and concisely.

Many acclaimed directors cut their teeth making short films and I'm really happy that Samsung is giving aspiring filmmakers a platform through its short film competition ‘Short And Sharp’. I look forward to discovering new talents.

APPENDIX: Samsung Short & Sharp Festival – Call for Entries Overview

  1. Entry submission period: 27 February – 26 March

  2. Theme: “What the World Needs Now”

  3. Format:

  4. Length: Not more than 1 minute

  5. Prizes:

  6. Grand Prize: Cash prize of $20,000, Samsung products (including a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G smartphone). Winner will also have an opportunity to shoot video content in partnership with Samsung in 2022[1].

  7. Second Prize: Cash prize of $10,000, Samsung products (including a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G smartphone).

  8. Third Prize: Cash prize of $5,000, Samsung products (including a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G smartphone).

  9. Additional prizes[2] to be awarded for 1) Best Original Idea, 2) Best Script, and 3) Best Performance.

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