Nation Builders (above) has been disqualified as an entry to the Singapore International Film Festival Short Film Competition as it has failed to meet its entry requirements.
Festival staff Yuni Hadi told me over the phone that since the film has been circulating on the net, it no longer qualifies as a World Premiere, as stated here in its rules and regulations.
4. Entries must be World premieres and must not have been howsoever broadcasted, screened or participated in any competition/festival in Singapore or abroad
(Silly me, but I swear I read it differently two months ago)
The 14 minute film was uploaded on the net on the eve of National Day and subsequently submitted as an entry to SIFF in December 2007. It has not been publicly screened to an audience here or abroad. The disqualification means that the film will not be submitted to the Board of Film Censors.
This is my 3rd submission to the SIFF. The first, Singapore Rebel, was banned in tandem with a 15 month-long police investigation. The second, Zahari's 17 Years, was inexplicably withdrawn by the SIFF and subsequently banned a year later when I personally submit it for an exhibition licence.
As required by law, I will be submitting Nation Builders to the censors shortly. It will join Speakers Cornered, whose status is still yet unknown. (Heard it through the grapevine that Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is taking over the helm at MICA at the first quarter. I should perhaps honour his appointment by submitting Nation Builders then.)
Meanwhile, SIFF is screening a Singaporean-made film about the homeless entitled Homeless FC. It is directed by Lynn and James, who made the East Timor redemption flick Passabe. Needless to say, Homeless FC isn't about the destitutes in Singapore, but in Hong Kong.