It may have been a second year school project but its quality as a film was clear. The film by aspiring student film-makers from the Digital Film & Television recently won top prizes at the recent NYC Indie Film Awards.
Titled “Happy Birthday”, the film won the Platinum Award for Best Student Film. The film’s actress Leianne Tan also won the Platinum Award for the Best Actor category for her compelling portrayal of a deranged mother.
With that, the young team of student film-makers have notched a significant win under their belts in no less a prestigious arena than the Big Apple itself – mecca for aspiring young film-makers everywhere.
“Happy Birthday” is a chilling depiction of maternal insanity and desperation. The film lasts all of 11 minutes, had a small cast of three actors and an even more modest budget. In fact, most of the action took place in a three-room flat. But despite the constraints, the short film succeeded in conveying a palpable sense of dread and tension, the hallmark of good psycho-thrillers everywhere.
The students first showed their film at a screening session at Noise Singapore last year. This year, they submitted it to the NYC Indie Film Awards for judging.
“I was actually looking through film fests and found the NYC Indie Awards quite fitting. So I asked my group if they were down for it and all of them were. So I submitted on the team’s behalf,” said the project’s sound recordist and editor Vinessa Jayaselan.
While they may not have expected to win, what is clear is that this bunch of young and talented students are set to go places someday. After all, why stop at NYC? As they say in showbiz, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!