The three winners (seated), with the three juries

The three winners (seated), with the three juries

It was showtime for the filmmakers who made a final bid for the top prize in Yahoo Fast Flicks, at the grand finale on 14 November. The awards night, held at the Great World City’s Golden Village, was the culmination of Yahoo Singapore’s inaugural made-for-web video competition, which opened a month ago. Closing at 127 entries, this was an intensely fought competition, which pitted amateur filmmakers against professionals, levelling the platform with the theme YOLO (You Only Live Once, in non-millennial speak).

The jury for the awards included award-winning filmmaker and chief executive officer of Zhao Wei Films / Gorylah Pictures Eric Khoo, Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) director Zhang Wenjie, and CEO of Infinite Studios & SGIFF Chairman Mike Wiluan. They had a tough decision to make at the event, choosing the top five films from a shortlist of 11. The final five filmmakers were then invited on stage where they pitched their ideas to the judges and fielded questions from them.

The winning team with Jeffrey Oon (blue shirt) from Yahoo

The winning team with Jeffrey Oon (blue shirt) from Yahoo

At the end of the evening, “Forbidden Love”, a film by Terence Lee, a Trailer Producer, emerged as the winning Fast Flick, taking the first prize in the competition. This standout video captured the theme YOLO with a story about forbidden love, told through the burning time of one cigarette:

Reliving his Fast Flicks journey, Terence said, “It’s been a dream come true. I want to thank the jury for loving our film and Yahoo, for providing young, aspiring filmmakers this platform to showcase their work.” He walked away with a grand prize of S$15,000, a Nikon DSLR D810 camera and a AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens worth over S$5,000 from Nikon.

“Rain”, by Tiffany Zhang was the First Runner-Up. This animation film was about embracing the littlest things in life.

The Second Runner-Up position went to Vicki Yang and Chris Yeo for “Your Order is Nearly Complete”, a film about making some unexpected choices. The runners-up were awarded S$5,000 and S$3,000 in cash prizes respectively & a Nikon COOLPIX P600 camera each.

“The response to Yahoo Fast Flicks has been very encouraging and an eye opener on how much young audiences love the short film format. These outstanding films with their unique interpretations of YOLO have also showcased the incredible raw talent we have in Singapore. Every day at Yahoo we bring the best video experiences to our users, and Fast Flicks has just raised the bar,” said Jeffrey Oon, Yahoo’s Head of Audience for Singapore and Malaysia.

Yahoo Fast Flicks was open for entries from October 7 to 28, asked participants to submit a high-definition, two-minute original video in a genre of their choice ‒ opening up the competition to anyone with an idea and imagination.

I think this is a great move by Yahoo Singapore to support local filmmaking talents and I hope they can keep it going, making it an annual event. I used to make short films too and understand how hard it is in a small market like Singapore. Support like this goes a long way on the first step of getting discovered.

Besides their awards, each winner also received one ticket to attend SGIFF’s Opening Gala, Silver Screen Awards and Closing Gala held in December and a one Gallon Tin Popcorn from Garrett Popcorn. Their videos will be hosted on SGIFF’s online properties, and showcased at The Substation 2015’s First Take event.

How do you like the top three Fast Flicks after viewing them? Personally, I prefer the 2nd and 3rd placed entries compared to the winner; but that’s just me. Maybe you might even prefer another of the top 11 outside of the top three? View the top 11 Fast Flicks here: http://fastflicks.yahoo.com/tagged/finalists