The Singapore Prize promotes thought leadership and encourages the exchange of ideas among cities. It is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, who was instrumental in transforming Singapore into a clean, green garden city.
It is supported by National Arts Council of Singapore, National Library Board and Singapore’s land-use planning agency, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. The prize recognises outstanding works of fiction written in any of the four official languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. There are 12 categories, each containing a total of $10,000 in prize money. For the first time, the prizes will be offered in four languages, with the top prize a commissioned trophy worth SGD3,000.
This year’s winners include Makbul Mubarak, who won the Best Asian Film award for his film “Autobiography” at the Singapore International Film Festival. His movie also won the Silver Screen Awards, QCity and Tokyo Filmex. In addition, he is also one of the recipients of the Golden Horse award.
Singapore’s medal haul included 47 golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes. It also topped the Commonwealth Games, earning 71 golds. During this competition, Singapore set five Games records.
To qualify for the prize, an athlete must have competed in an event in Singapore. The prize is a monetary bonus, which means the athlete will not forfeit his or her college swimming eligibility. However, they must return a portion of the prize to the national sports associations.
The top shooter will start his or her road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He or she is expected to compete in the prelims in Singapore. As such, the prize money can be taxed. But support from home is key in developing athletes.
Several other winners received prize money, including Bopha Oul, who won SGD1,250 for her performance in Polen Ly’s film “Further and Away”. Her film, which features an ensemble cast of non-professional actors, was described as a drama of great warmth and sensitivity. Also on the awards list were Le Lam Vien, who won the best director award for his film “Vania on Lima Street”; Ritu Sarin, who was awarded the David Dixon Award for her work; and Tan Wei Han, who won the other gold medal for her performance in the “Convenience Store” film.
“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Alvin Lee is one of the short films that will be eligible for the prize. His film is accompanied by an audio final mix and a DCP feature. Mocha Chai Laboratories will offer the winning film an online package valued at SGD45,000, while Shooting Gallery Asia will provide a production services package worth SGD15,000.
Other winners included “Gaga”, which received the most awards, including the Best Short Film, the Best Director and the Best Film for the Southeast Asian region. Described as a dramatic story that evokes great sensitivity, the film was directed by Laha Mebow and stars an ensemble of non-professional actors.
Another award was given to Indonesian film maker In-Docs. Their film, which is based on a story by Tamil writer Rma cureeeess, won the Best Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema award.