It’s no secret that Singaporeans love our food. As much as we enjoy scouring for the latest cafes in town or the fanciest restaurants to hit up, you can’t go wrong with a traditional plate of good ol’ chicken rice (nasi lemak, laksa, chilli crab… the list goes on). That’s why this emotive short film produced by 21-year-old filmmaker Lucas Ashwin Clamence can easily strike a nostalgic chord with local foodies.

Titled Sappudu, Makan, Chifan, it revolves around the story of three unassuming locals and how they’ve bonded through food in the multiracial, culturally diverse society we call Singapore. With the help of his mentors from MDIS School of Media and Communications, Lucas’ hard work paid off as it deservedly clinched itself an honourable award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018.

Ahead, we talk to the aspiring filmmaker on the inspiration behind his award-winning passion project and the importance of preserving the tradition of culinary heritage through film.

Hi Lucas, how did you first come to discover your passion for filmmaking?

When I was 14, I was part of the Media Communications club back in secondary school and I was asked to act in a sports safety video. I got hooked onto acting and then went on to pursue the various aspects of production after joining the club.

Lucas Clamence

Congratulations on being awarded the Merit Award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018! What was the entire experience like?

It was amazing! Having to shoot during hectic situations and chasing sunlight was quite a challenge, but we pushed on nevertheless. New members of the media club were also asked to come down and contribute to the production, thus there was a lot of learning for the new members and enhancement of skills for the older members.

Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018

Your short film Sappudu, Makan, Chifan features three Singaporeans across different races and how they have bonded through food. How did the idea come about?

I remember back in secondary school, I was filming a documentary when an interviewee made the comment that “food is not food, food is the relationship”. That got me thinking – every time we eat with someone, we are bonding over food. Regardless of the race, religion or food, there is a common bond that we share with everyone, which is that we all eat together.

What do you hope people will take away with them after watching Sappudu, Makan, Chifan?

I hope they realise that the everyday chores of eating are actually moments spread across time for us to cherish. Food is one of the most prominent aspects of our daily lives, be it a good breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead, or a warm Sunday dinner at home with your loved ones. These moments are not just meant for nourishing our body, but for motivating our souls and ending the day with gratitude.

It’s heartening to see youths getting in touch with cultural heritage and traditional cuisine. What’s your take on that?

Indeed, I strongly believe that more teenagers need to learn and embrace our cultural roots that provide them with a sense of identity wherever they go. Singapore’s unique identity comes mainly from cultural diversity. I hope that my work inspires the audience and helps them to strengthen their bond with our cultural heritage.

What are some ways you think the younger generation can do to help keep heritage food alive?

Eat! The origin of where a particular dish is from is always, and will be, an interesting story to tell. Whether it’s a dish you’re dabao-ing from your local coffee shop or your grandma’s cooking at home, find out what’s the story behind it.

Sappudu, Makan, Chifan

Recommend three of your favourite heritage food spots!

Newton Food Centre, Leong Yeow chicken rice down Waterloo Street, and D’Rubinah Restaurant in Sembawang.

One of your inspirations includes the story of how two teenagers fell in love over air batu (ice lolly). We love a good ol’ love story – tell us more about it.

This part of the story was about creating an impression and connecting two individuals through food. Here, it was air batu that bridged this connection. People always feel the need to complicate love and the aspects surrounding it, but what we fail to recognise is that love can be conveyed through many aspects – and in this short film, it was through food. Food gives us sustenance, and with that, love does too.

What’s a piece of advice you would give to aspiring filmmakers like yourself who’s hoping to pursue a career in the film industry?

Failure doesn’t mean life is against you. Every hurdle you face is to teach you that what you want is attainable. The world is not out to get you down, but to help you. Never hold back on your ideas, and allow your creativity to take control! A senior lecturer of mine always used to say “Be bold, never rude” and that sentiment has echoed with me through many situations.

Watch Sappudu, Makan, Chifan below:

More related stories: Behind The Lens Of A 22-Year-Old Filmmaker With A Cause8 Classic Singaporean Films Every True Blue Local Should Watch

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

For those with a penchant for design, particularly in the field of jewellery, you’ll be glad to know that there’s now a whole range of jewellery design courses for you to take up at Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

A collaboration between MDIS and the Jewellery Design and Management International School (JDMIS), this joint venture introduces a new set of diploma and advanced diploma programmes which range from fine jewellery design to precious metal arts, gem trade practices to jewellery entrepreneurship. 


Situated at the MDIS campus, the freshly renovated jewellery school is fully equipped with state-of-the-art learning facilities including four dedicated classrooms, two specialised jewellery manufacturing workshops and even a computer-aided design lab that hosts 3D jewellery software. In between classes, students can take a break at the Designer’s Lounge, which serves as a co-working space where you can practice your craft and mingle with likeminded peers.


What’s also worth looking forward to is the exquisite collection of more than 1,500 gemstones collected over 38 years by award-winning designer and founder of JDMIS, Tania Sadow. As one of the largest educational collections in Singapore, it’s truly a stunning sight to behold.

You can choose to enrol in an intensive two-month diploma programme, or take up individual certificates over a longer period of time.

To find out more about the JDMIS courses, head over to for more information.

Fancy picking up a new skill during the Poly holidays? From coffee-making to pop-locking, make the most of your break with these quirky workshops.

Lose Your Marbles


Feeling artsy? Head down to The Bare Collective’s Marbling Workshop ($65) hosted at Naiise, which lets you get crafty with designs and patterns. Under the mentorship of art mavens Zoey Wong and Joan Quek, you’ll be exposed to different marbling mixtures and learn how to apply it in colours, forms and textures. Not only will you get to pick up marbling skills, you’ll also go home with your very own customised masterpiece at the end of the two-hour session!

The Cathay #B1-08, Singapore 229233

Let’s Dance

O School

If you’re interested in dancing but not sure where to get started, we’ve got you covered. Gather your squad and sign up for O School’s Open Classes (from $14) at *SCAPE! This dance studio cum performing arts centre offers lessons on different genres of dance such as hip-hop, lyrical jazz and even K-pop. Each class will be split into four bite-sized sections: warm- up, technique drills, dance routine and performance. Just come ready to dance, and let the O School instructors do the rest!

O School
*SCAPE #04-04, Singapore 237978

Drop The Beat


Calling all aspiring DJs: Zouk Singapore is offering one-on-one introductory courses for those keen on working behind the decks. An individual lesson ($130) will pair you with one of Zouk Academy’s very own resident DJs, who will then teach you the ropes of music production. Trust us – you’ll be spinning tunes and making sick beats like a seasoned pro in no time.

Zouk Academy

3C River Valley Road, Singapore 179022

Coffee Fix


Fancy whipping up a cup of coffee as skilfully as a barista? Sign up for Common Man Coffee Roasters Academy’s Fundamental Barista Skills class ($190), which covers everything from basic coffee knowledge to espresso preparation techniques – all within a three-hour session. Whether you’re simply a caffeine enthusiast or an experienced connoisseur, the CMCR maestros will equip you with all you need to know to brew that perfect cuppa.

Common Man Coffee Roasters Academy
22 Martin Road, Singapore 239058

Green Fingers

The Plant Story

For those who have a green thumb, why not get your hands dirty at The Plant Story’s Miniature Garden Workshop ($88)? Perfect for the time-starved gardening enthusiast, you’ll learn how to build a personalised terrarium within an hour. You’re allowed to choose your desired terrarium design, be it an exotic oasis of succulents or an air garden filled with avant-garde plants. After the workshop, don’t forget to grab a bite at their garden sanctuary – food and drinks are available at $15 for all participants.

The Plant Story
PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay, Singapore 427440

Fight Club

The Saber Authority

Embrace your inner Star Wars geek at The Saber Authority’s Combat Saber Experience ($25). Held at The Deck on Wednesdays and Sports Hub on Sundays, master the art of sparring at this adrenaline-fuelled class. Armed with your very own saber, you’ll go through drills for footwork, striking and defending like a true Jedi. You can even challenge someone to a duel if you’re up for it!

The Saber Authority
The Deck, Singapore 187937

100Plus Promenade @ Sports Hub, Singapore 397629

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 3, out on newsstands now!

Not all heroes wear capes. Meet the unsung heroes of our millennial generation who remain in the shadows, but are making a difference in their own unique ways – whether it’s defying gender roles in traditional trades, starting an eco-friendly movement, or contributing to a cause they deeply care about. These are their stories.

Lyn Ng, 26

Lyn Ng

“Woodworking is a tough skill to learn and many people may think that it’s a trade mostly for males. But throughout my time in the industry, I’ve come across many female customers who enjoy the hands-on experience of woodworking just as much. It’s like breathing new life into pieces of wood that people don’t want anymore, and that to me is the beauty of upcycling.

There are bound to be disadvantages being in a male-dominated field where machines and furniture may be deemed too heavy for us to handle. As a female carpenter, we just have to approach woodworking from a different angle and explore ways to ease the process of doing things. Taking on woodworking is definitely something I will never regret doing.”

Gary Lau, 27

Gary Lau

“Growing up in a single-parent and low-income family was tough. My mum had to work two jobs, thus she lacked the time to supervise me. All my predicaments led me astray and I ended up being part of a gang. Seeing people with tattoos feared me, so I felt that having them would make me stronger. It wasn’t until I was sent to Boys’ Town that I gradually turned over a new leaf.

However, I don’t wish to hide my tattoos. They have taught me many valuable lessons and gave me a meaning to live. They have shown me the ugly and positive sides of the world; how people would see what’s on the outside than what’s on the inside. People tend to discriminate those with tattoos, but I feel that every youth has the right to make their own choices and we should respect that.

I, too, want to be a role model who can connect with people who come from similar backgrounds. Rather than being rooted by the expectations of others, I hope that they can grow as mature individuals and lead more fulfilling lives. In the future, I aim to run my own organisation to better engage youths at risk and create a more gracious, discrimination-free society.”

Melissa Lam, 26

Melissa Lam

“The Bamboo Straw Girl… is what people call me nowadays. My real name is Mel and I sell reusable bamboo straws under the alias @bamboostrawgirl. I was inspired to start cutting waste after meeting people working on organic farms, where they have to be conscious about their usage of everyday essentials like shampoo and detergent as these would directly affect the land they farm on. It made me think: what about us in the city? Don’t our actions somehow affect our land too?

My intention of producing bamboo straws is to get people talking. It’s an amazing conversation starter that gets them thinking about so much more than just straws. When I first started out, there was barely any interest. But gradually, people are getting more aware of environmental issues and I hope they will keep the conversation going.”

Seow Shi Jie, 19

Seow Shi Jie

“Being a volunteer at SPCA has been extremely rewarding for me in so many ways, as I have grown to understand animals so much more. I am also very grateful for the bond and companionship I have with them. When I first started volunteering, it was quite a challenge for me as I had little knowledge of animals and was actually afraid of big dogs. But over time, they showed me how loving and trusting they can be. I have found volunteering my time at the animal shelter very fulfilling and I hope more people will step forward to be part of a team that gives these shelter animals a second chance in life.”

Tan Ming Jie, 25

Tan Ming Jie

“I have always aspired to be involved with music professionally. Prior to this, I spent my teenage years writing and performing with my former bandmates. However, I soon came to the realisation that I am more comfortable writing and producing music for artistes behind the scenes than playing a show in front of a crowd. The downside to braving a road less travelled is that it can be a very lonely one; I often think about my peers socialising with their fellow colleagues while I sit in the studio alone.

Despite that, it never felt like I was sacrificing anything. I was fortunate enough to have found my calling at a young age which allowed me to begin paving my own journey towards a career in music. My family expressed their concerns initially, but with time, I was able to convince them that I’ve created a profitable avenue whilst doing something I love.”

Joshuah Lim, 22

Joshuah Lim

“I loved the whole idea of storytelling ever since I was a kid, which got me into filmmaking. I’ve also had my personal battles with cancer, and as a young man knowing that I might die soon, it really humbled me. Not allowing myself to fall into despair, I’ve come to accept my condition and learned to fight alongside it.

I started working on my first short film Chiak shortly after having my bone marrow transplant, so the concept of not letting a disease define your identity really struck a chord with me. It’s about dementia and how we should accept our loved ones for who they are even in difficult times. The inspiration behind it was a mixture of my own experiences surviving cancer and my grandmother’s battle with dementia.

If I could create another production, I would love to do one that portrays the struggles of a primary school kid. In our society, I find that there are huge pressures placed on the next generation so it would be great to delve into the thoughts of a young mind.”

Amanda Tan, 33

Amanda Tan

“It has always been a natural thing for me to create. It started with doodles as a child, then photography and writings… and I never looked back. As an artist, exploring the idea of self, emotions and mentalism is something that comes naturally to me. “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” – these are fundamental questions we as human beings ask.

I have my own battles with anxiety and OCD. But here’s what I can tell you: it’s a double-edged sword. My conditions make me feel crappy and trapped, but it also makes me detail-oriented, hypersensitive to nuances of human communication at work, and helps me power through all kinds of ways of problem-solving. It’s my superpower. Through my exhibition The Deepest Blue as part of Breaking Waves, I hope to spark a conversation about the states in which life puts you in. We love to live in our own safety bubble; life is hard, but sometimes we just need to converse. Let’s discuss.”

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 3, out on newsstands now!

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

No idea what to do after graduation? Don’t worry, we’ve been there. These inspirational page-turners will help to guide you towards the right direction in life.

By Gemma Cairney

OPEN A Toolkit for How Magic And Messed Up Life Can Be 

A colourful guide that paints a relatable picture of growing up, you’ll find plenty of personal stories and practical advice in this comprehensive ‘toolkit’. Filled with expert advice spanning a wide range of topics from mental health to matters of the heart, this “wise best friend in a book” has you covered for every aspect of your life. It may seem like a heavy read, but we like that it’s peppered with vibrant illustrations and speech bubbles to spice things up. Trust us, you wouldn’t be able to put it down!

By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Designing Your Life

Let design innovators Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show you how to design your life, one page at a time. Embracing the notion that most of us have yet to figure out our career paths, Designing Your Life seeks to help others find fulfilment in their lives the way a designer would – from experimentation to way-finding to prototyping. Chockfull of fact-finding exercises and sensible advice, it’s an improvisational guide that unlocks one’s imagination and allows you to make better decisions in the future. For those hoping to kickstart your career, this is the book to turn to.

By Patricia Wooster

Ignite Your Spark

Unlike the typical self-help books that tend to sound overly formulaic, Ignite Your Spark is anything but. Packed with thought-provoking quizzes, interactive activities and even role-play scenarios to keep you thoroughly entertained, each chapter discusses relevant topics such as relationships, self-image and goals in a fun yet insightful manner. It also includes interviews with millennials and professionals where they share their success stories and personal experiences, inspiring you to truly ignite your spark within.

By Chris Bailey

The Productivity Project

If you’re prone to procrastination and often find yourself unable to cope because of poor time management, The Productivity Project is here to help. This book is the result of a year-long series of experiments Chris Bailey conducted on himself – whether it’s cutting out caffeine, going on a digital detox, or even living in isolation for days, he’s done it all – in order to find the most effective ways to increase one’s productivity. Besides sharing his top tips, he also gathered advice from experts in the field so you can’t go wrong with these tactics.

By Juno Dawson

Mind Your Head

When it comes to the topic of mental health, people tend to shun it instead of openly talking about it. Mind Your Head, however, does a clever job of sparking conversation about all things mental health. Not only does it help to school teenagers on various conditions like anxiety and personality disorders, Juno Dawson also delves into ways to confront your own issues and offers suggestions to cope with these complex emotions. Although this book deals with mainly serious topics, it still manages to be lighthearted enough to ease you through.

By Nicola Morgan

The Teenage Guide To Stress

There are plenty of tips out there to help you handle stress, but what made us pick up The Teenage Guide to Stress was its ability to truly resonate with the readers on a personal level. Nicola Morgan tackles everything from the pressures of exams to body image to cyberbullying, sharing her personal experiences while providing practical strategies to manage them effectively. It comes complete with a list of useful resources to assist anyone who may be struggling with mental health issues.

By Paul Harrington

The Secret To Teen Power

Don’t be too quick in dismissing The Secret to Teen Power as another cheesy novel. Despite the somewhat questionable title, it’s an absolute pleasure to read. At the core of it, this book teaches you the concept of using the law of attraction to draw positive things into your life. It isn’t entirely about philosophy either – Paul Harrington also incorporates a good mix of real-life stories, inspirational quotes and even pop culture elements to make it more engaging. Bonus points for the Star Wars references!

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 2.

More related stories: 9 Books Every Millennial Should Read9 Tertiary Graduates Share Their Biggest Regrets From School

Get the Juicy Bits Delivered Fresh To Your Inbox