“I’d love for more Singaporean stories to be told,” says one homegrown filmmaker Tan Wei Ting, who made her directorial debut with CA$H in 2018. It tells the story of four cashier aunties who stage a revolt on the eve of the implementation of a cashless payment system.

The highly successful short film went on to win several accolades in the 2018 National Youth Film Awards (NYFA), and even found its way to the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival – the biggest international festival dedicated to short films.

We speak to the young NYFA alumni on pursuing her passion in the film industry and why it’s an exciting time to be telling stories in local cinema.

Hi Wei Ting! How did you first come to discover your passion for filmmaking?

It’s hard to place when the storytelling bug began, but it started quite early in my life. Before I even encountered the medium of film, I was trained in the theatre scene as part of ARTivate, the youth wing of a local mandarin theatre company. When I first enrolled in NTU to study digital filmmaking, I was very fixated on the fact that what I wanted to do was actually theatre – but all that changed after I was exposed to the other world of storytelling. Right now, I think it doesn’t matter what roles I take on or which medium I’m in, as long as it conveys the story.

What was the motivational factor in spurring you to join NYFA back in 2018?

It’s a great platform for young filmmakers to gain recognition for their talents and kickstart their filmmaking career. When I knew about the new open category, I didn’t hesitate to submit my entry as I feel that it gives a voice to aspiring filmmakers, especially those who left school but have never once gave up on their dreams.

Tell us more about the idea behind your award-winning short film CA$H.

It’s a story inspired by my mother, who used to be a stay-home mum before she began work as a cashier. It has been more than 10 years since she started working at the supermarket, and I saw how returning to the workforce gave her so much more purpose in life. She would come home feeling proud that she could memorise barcode numbers of certain products, or that her colleagues had just praised her for making breads look puffier for better sales.

NYFA

Having done ample research on the issue of work replacement, I started thinking how her job could be very well be taken away from her one day and she might not have the courage to start over again like how she did a decade ago, simply because of her age. The same probably goes for her friends and colleagues. As I went through the brutal statistics, it suddenly dawned on me how soon this was all going to come.

Through CA$H, I wanted to depict the chemistry between the characters; the subconscious co-dependence and their unsaid love for each other. The future has never been about robots, technology or artificial intelligence to me, but how our human experiences and relationships are being shaped in an increasingly isolated society. And I think it’s important to be aware of what we might be losing in pursuit of these progresses.

What’s the most rewarding and most challenging part about making CA$H?

The most rewarding part is definitely seeing a team of people working so hard to help build your vision and create the world that you imagine. But the most challenging part would probably be my insecurity as a first-time director. There were many times when I would doubt myself and the choices that I made. Having a team that trusted me as a director helped me a lot; many of them are also friends that I have came to know on my filmmaking journey since school days, hence I felt extra safe with this story in their hands.

What are your thoughts on the local film industry today and what do you hope to see more of in the future?

I think that this generation of filmmakers are lucky in the sense that we live in a day and age where the film medium is very much appreciated. Moving forward, I hope for a more trusting environment for us to let diverse voices grow and allow a vibrant nation to be born out of that.

NYFA

Have you ever thought about venturing out into the overseas film markets?

I think that human are cultural creatures. We react to characters according to our cultural backgrounds; we hear accents and look at skin tones when we digest a story; we make assumptions of a character’s background based on details that the storyteller deliberately inject. But there are times that we break these judgements when we see a good story unfold before our eyes.

I want to stay in Singapore to make local works for this reason. I sometimes envy an American because when they step into the cinema or turn on Netflix, there are tonnes of stories told about their culture. The average American gets to see their world in different light every other day. Their everyday struggles are being portrayed on screen, which I believe helps them to cope with whatever they are going through – sometimes via resonance, sometimes via a shift of perception.

I’d love for more Singaporean stories to be told.

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

Your peers make a big difference to your learning journey. You don’t have to do all this by yourself; find the right people to work with, pick a team whom you trust and would also trust you back.

Watch CA$H below:

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Who says studying has to be boring? Liven up your workstation with these aesthetically-pleasing DIY projects that will take your study situation from drab to fab!

It’s lit

DIY Candles

Brighten up your desk with these scene-stealing candles! To make, you’ll need polymer clay in a variety of colours and a thick candle. Take a chunk of the base colour and roll it out to about 1cm thick. Measure the height of the candle, score the clay and cut it so it’s large enough to wrap around the candle. With the other coloured clay, roll a small amount of each into a ball and flatten with a rolling pin. Using a penknife, cut into small geometric shapes and press them onto the base clay to form a terrazzo-like pattern. Wrap the clay around the candle to get its shape. Remove candle and bake clay in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled, replace candle into the clay holder.

Magnetic field

DIY Magnets

Here’s something that will jazz up your workspace. To make these terrazzo-patterned magnets, roll out the base polymer clay in your desired colour to 1cm thick pieces. Roll out the other coloured clay and cut them into irregular shapes for the terrazzo effect. Arrange the smaller pieces over the base clay. Cover with wax paper and roll over with a rolling pin to incorporate the smaller pieces into the base clay. Cut out the clay to your desired shape and bake for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, glue on the magnets and you’re done!

Let’s hang out

DIY Macrame Planter

These cute mini macramé planters will let you grow your plant collection without cluttering up your tabletop. To make, cut out eight pieces of rope or string to your desired lengths then knot them over a loop for hanging. Move down the length of two strings and tie a knot. Move down one to three inches and connect the string to another and make a knot to form a diamond. Create enough diamond shapes so the strings can comfortably support your planter. Knot all the strings together to form the base.

Wrap it up

DIY Mirror

This easy DIY lets you upgrade your existing mirror in an instant. Cut three pieces of rope into three-metre lengths, and attach to a wooden ring by making a loop. Braid each section of the rope until you get at least 10cm of braids and tie a knot at the end of each braid. Wrap the braids around the mirror to create your desired pattern. Once the mirror is wrapped up, attach some wooden beads at the bottom end of the braids.

In stitches

DIY Cushion

Have a favourite word or quote? Bring out your sewing kit and start stitching on your pillows for a quick update! First, outline the front of a pillowcase with pencil. Then turn the case inside out and start stitching according to the outline. Once the outline is filled, satin stitch to fill in the word.

Bowl of joy

DIY Bowl

These kaleidoscopic bowls are perfect for containing your jewellery all while prettying up your vanity. Divide your selection of coloured polymer clay into portions and roll them up into small ropes, then loosely twist them together. Once combined, roll the clay rope into a coil and flatten into a disc. Mould the flattened disc using a small bowl to get its shape. Remove from bowl and bake clay as instructed. Once cooled, spray-paint the rim with metallic paint.

To dye for

DIY Planter

Take your succulent collection to the next level with these chic little planters. To make, mix the concrete with water in a bucket. Take out a small portion of concrete and place it in a small plastic bucket to dye it with your desired colour. Pour the white concrete into the dyed mix and stir to create a marbled effect. When the mix is still wet, push a copper cap onto the top and leave to dry. Once dried, turn the bucket over to pop out the plastic bucket.

This article was adapted from SquareRooms Magazine.

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Enter the class of 2019, where blackboards, crayons, and textbooks are replaced by social media, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and all things smart. With technology changing the way classrooms work in today’s digital era, it’s become more imperative than ever to embrace the learning models of tomorrow. Which is why it’s no surprise all the cool kids are getting into coding, and it’s only a matter of time before schools start implementing it. But for now, here’s a more fun and accessible way to boost your tech chops.

Cue Coding Lab, a premiere educational institution that prides itself on a MIT-inspired curriculum that helps to develop your computational thinking and problem-solving skills, all while sparking your inner creativity and keeping things relevant to the real world. Think writing your own code, creating your own apps… Always wondered how the Instagram algorithm works? Or how social media advertisements always seem to be tailored to your latest interests? It’s no magic trick; just python applications!

While it may seem like a labyrinth of gibberish at first, coding will be an absolute breeze once you’ve gotten the hang of it, much like picking up a foreign language. The best part about Coding Lab is that they offer a wide range of specialised programmes tailored to your age and skill sets, so whether you’re a tech geek or a complete newbie, it’s a great place to get started.

Don’t just hear it from us; we’ve enlisted three young but super-savvy students to share with us more on their coding journey thus far.

Unlocking His Potential To Success (Elijah, 13)

Elijah

Meet Elijah, the youngest medallist for the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) 2019, one of the most prestigious coding competitions organised annually by the National University of Singapore. The 13-year old ACS(I) boy has grown from the then inquisitive Primary Fiver into one of Coding Lab’s most stellar teenage talents, as he flourishes through their exclusive NOI C++ training programme. So if you’re an aspiring coder like Elijah, don’t be afraid to venture into the world of code – think of all the amazing opportunities waiting for you!

Coding A Better World (Ian, 14) 

Ian

If you’re someone who just wants to create for leisure, why not take it a step further by giving back to society? Utilising his coding skills for the greater good, Ian is proud to have conceived a meaningful app for the elderly all by himself. At just 14 years old, the Hwa Chong Institution student has launched his very own app, Silver Plus, which fosters engagement within the elderly community. Elaborating on the concept behind his idea, the passionate student shares, “I came up with the idea as the suggested theme for school projects this year was on giving back to the community. I wanted to match this theme with my love for technology.”

An Unexpected Calling (Sarah, 17)

Sarah

So you think programming, tech and all that jazz are way out of your league? Well, think again – Sarah discovered her calling in code after her first baby steps into the realms of Python. Like most of us, the Hwa Chong International student started out using the laptop for a mere Google search, YouTube videos or simply a routine scroll through Facebook. Little did she expect to get hooked onto coding. “My interest surprised even myself,” she exclaims.

With just six months of training, the budding talent then went on to participate in NOI 2018 and clinched an Honourable Mention. We’re talking someone who started from ground zero right here! And to all the other newbies considering about starting their coding journey, the avid girl programmer advises to not be afraid and give it a shot. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the troves of information online, but don’t let this get the better of you. Just take things step by step. Coding is a lifelong journey.” 

This post is brought to you by Coding Lab.

Code your way to success at Coding Lab! For those aged 13 to 18 who are interested in finding out more about what Coding Lab has to offer, head over here to check out the Secondary & JC classes available. Fees range from $445 to $745.

Learning a new skill or simply taking the time to unwind after the hectic school semester is a great way to recharge for the term ahead. Now that the June school holidays are in full swing, gather your friends and set out on an enriching yet fun adventure with these unique activities in Singapore!

#1 Go wild like hulk at The Fragment Room

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Done with your exams but still feeling a little strung out from the stress? Get some stress relief at The Fragment Room, the first-ever rage room to set up shop here in Singapore. Good for both individuals and groups, this unconventional venue provides you a safe space to let loose and cause as much destruction without any worry. Once you’re decked in the full-body protective gear, get ready to spend up to an hour smashing all kinds of breakable items such as plates, glasses, vases and electronic appliances alongside your own ragin’ playlist.

#2 Drift away at the Palm Ave Float Club

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When your brain has been on overdrive, nothing sounds better than an hour free from distraction. At the Palm Ave Float Club, get set up in a private room with a float pod filled with Epsom salt water and let your sensory deprivation experience begin. This one-on-one personal time is not only beneficial for your mind, body and overall wellbeing, but it’s also a rapid stress reliever that promotes muscle repair, speeds up healing, and lowers your cortisol levels and blood pressure.

#3 Spend a day amidst nature with Kayak Asia

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Take a break from city life and enjoy a quiet day with like-minded people on a kayak adventure. Instead of exploring other islands around Singapore, follow a friendly, professional guide from Kayak Asia as they lead you to lesser-known rivers and seas through waterways, lagoons and tunnels, all quietly hidden away from sight by the concrete jungle we live in.

#4 Engage in a galactic workout at SaberFit

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If you’re a Star Wars fan, here’s your opportunity to get in a good workout all while unleashing your inner Jedi. SaberFit combines physical combat with saber striking techniques and fitness exercise to bring you a sweat-inducing mix of cardio, calisthenics and conditioning routines. The result: a full-body toning experience that’s also perfect for those who are looking to explore a fun way to exercise.

#5 Try your hand at pottery at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

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Discover beauty in its simplest state at one of the oldest surviving brick-built kilns in Singapore. Built in the 1940s, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is a dragon kiln known for wood-firing their pottery wares. During this process, the items are engulfed in a river of fire where its remaining ashes will react with the glaze to produce unique colours and textures. Through their two-hour pottery workshops, you’ll be able to challenge your craft skills while cultivating a deeper appreciation for this disappearing art form. 

#6 Defy gravity at Starz Aerial Dance School

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Unlike your usual style of dance, Starz Aerial Dance School is home to instructors well-versed in Aerial Arts – a dance form that uses silks, hoops, static trapeze and hammock in the practice of flying with strength, endurance and grace. Besides being able to remain above ground, you’ll also learn to build a strong foundation in upper body and core strength as well as challenge your fears and develop your creativity.

#7 Put your F1 skills to the test at The Karting Arena

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Though you may or may not have your driving license yet, it’s not too early to start practicing. Featuring a combination of hairpins, long sweepers, tight corners, a chicane and ninety-degree turns, The Karting Arena presents you with an opportunity to conquer the driving track like a race car driver. Designed with important safety pre-cautions, this fun go-karting track is Singapore’s first electric go-kart track that enables better handling of the electric-powered karts. You’re in for an exhilarating ride!

#8 Experience Polynesian culture with ‘Ori Tahiti Singapore Dance School

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Immerse in the tradition and passion of Polynesian culture through dance. More than just any ordinary hula dance, ‘Ori Tahiti Singapore Dance School is all about embodying the Polynesian spirit through beautiful dance moves that seem to move in sync with the energetic drumbeats and toe-tapping songs. If you’re unsure but interested in checking it out, you could sign up for a free trial to experience the wonders of Tahitian dance.

#9 Learn the art of modern calligraphy at The Workroom SG

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With bullet journaling being all the rage now, the art of typography has been something that many have tried to master in an effort to create aesthetically-pleasing pages. One popular technique is modern calligraphy, which is not just great for journals but also for penning messages on cards, invitations and notes. The Workroom SG will introduce you to the tools as you systematically learn how to artistically compose your favourite quote as your ‘graduating piece’.

What are your plans for the June holidays? Tell us in the comments below!

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First-year diploma student Wu Zi Liang may be young, but the aspiring business mogul’s certainly got the entrepreneurial drive to succeed.

Building a successful business is what this young enterprising guru set out to do – all he needed was a push in the right direction. And that’s where East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) comes into play, which provides students with resources that can bring their ideas to life and prepare them for a myriad of careers after graduation.

Wu Zi Liang

A first-year student who’s currently pursuing a Diploma in Business Management, Wu Zi Liang is one of the many business-minded individuals who are hoping to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality at EASB. “I hope to take over the family business with my brother in the future when I graduate,” said Zi Liang, whose family runs a company that specialises in audio products and sound systems.

Zi Liang credits his time at EASB for helping to sharpen his business and computing skills across all spectrums, from learning how to analyse statistical data to understanding the concepts of digital marketing. And while the folks here take academics very seriously, it doesn’t have to be a boring affair.

Wu Zi Liang

At EASB, classes aren’t restricted to just numbers and stats – students get to take up interesting modules such as artificial intelligence which equips them with relevant AI knowledge; and management information systems which teaches them how to utilise current FinTech applications in a real-world setting. Zi Liang’s favourite class? International Business Environment, which seeks to provide him with a solid foundation in all aspects of international business.

Although there’s still some time left till his graduation, Zi Liang plans to make the most out of his years at EASB by further honing his craft while being involved in extracurricular activities, such as joining the basketball club. Upon graduation, he has also expressed his desire to expand his family business by introducing new headphone technologies into their product range. One thing’s for sure: he has a bright future ahead!

This post is brought to you by East Asia Institute of Management.

More related stories: How This SIM-UOL Student Met Donald Trump At The Trump-Kim Summit During Her InternshipHow One Student Sailed Around The World On A Year-Long Internship

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