by Bertha Henson
Who says Singapore has no talent? We’re making waves. Here are a few people we should celebrate from a reading of today’s MSM:
a) Film-maker Anthony Chen
Just 29, he’s the first South-east Asian to win the Camera d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in Singapore during the 1997 financial crisis, Ilo Ilo is about the Lim family and Teresa, their new domestic maid, a Filipina. It traces how their already problematic family ties evolve; and how cultures crash. Ilo Ilo is the name of the province in the Philippines.
If the G needs a poster boy on what a diploma holder can achieve, Mr Chen is it. He graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies. So unassuming was this Singaporean that he was actually leaving Cannes when he was told to stay for the closing ceremony to receive the award. His cast had already left for home. We’ll be able to catch the movie at the end of August at Golden Village cinemas, reported ST.
Now the question which aspiring filmmakers would probably like to know is what sort of help did Mr Chen get to make it to Cannes? Did the Singapore system kick in – whether in the form of financial, infrastructural or other aid – to help him onto the red carpet? Or did he have to do it all alone with just family and friends for support? He can’t not have been in the official gunsights given that an earlier film he produced earned a special mention in 2007.
Breakfast Network congratulates Mr Chen and his cast and crew. Thank you for putting Singapore on the filmmaking map!
b) Bishop Raphael Samuel of the Anglican Church
The 56-year old is the head of the church in the South American country of Bolivia. Yes, Bolivia. Go locate it on a map. He’s the first Asian to be consecrated Bishop in the Spanish-speaking Anglican world. What’s amazing was that this former Anglo-Chinese School boy, his wife and son, then just three, had relocated there in 1993. The couple spent six months learning Spanish and what followed was two decades of church work. They are the longest-serving foreign missionaries in Bolivia. His congregation is small, just 900 compared to the 30,000 or so Anglicans in Singapore. But his geographical span is three times bigger than Malaysia.
Breakfast Network congratulates the Bishop on his appointment and wishes him and his family well.
c) Daryl Neo, 28 and Charles Poon, 37
Former Singapore Exchange Regulators, they developed Handshakes, a system that can tell you all about the links, among other things, people in listed companies have with other people and entities. According to Business Times, they describe it as Disclosure 2.0. The duo collected data from 60,000 documents filed by Singapore companies since 1997 and made everything searchable. So it means that you can see which big shot is related to another big shot in the same company, or in a subsidiary and even whether they shared the same banker or auditor. That beats a lot of file work and research, which the duo had to do when they were working in the exchange.
Now if the productivity people wanted poster boy(s), the two men would be it. They’ve taken a massive load of people who want to know more about what they are investing in – and made everything simpler. Of course, it will cost – from $500 to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the data sought.
For support, they had $50,000 in seed money from Spring Singapore. That’s good to know. With 10 employees here and another 10 doing data entry abroad, it will probably qualified for productivity incentives as well. Let’s hope the duo gets the support it needs.
Breakfast Network would like to shake hands with you. Congratulations and good luck.