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Singapore's Cathay Motion Picture Awards Announces Finalists

The winners of the second edition of the short film competition will be screened for four weeks in local cineplexes.

Singapore's Cathay Motion Picture Awards has narrowed down its contenders from 109 entries to 15 finalists. The top three winners and a viewer's choice award will be announced at a ceremony in the Southeast Asian citystate on July 18. 

The inaugural short film competition was launched in 2012 by Cathay Organisation, the Singapore-based film production company, distributor and exhibitor. The winning shorts are compiled into a mini-omnibus, which is given a four-week run in Cathay cinemas in Singapore. 

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This year's theme for all of the short film submissions was "Tomorrow," and in celebration of sponsor Cathay's 78th year in business, all of the shorts were required to be 78 seconds in length and produced in 78 hours or less. 

The selection committee that choose the finalists included a number of key figures from the Singaporean film community, such as Anthony Chen -- whose debut feature Ilo Ilo won the Camera d’Or prize at Cannes in May; the first time a Singaporean film has won a major prize at the prestigious festival -- Zaihirat Banu, CEO of Oak3Films and Isnor Dzulkarnain Jafaar, founder of Singapore Malay Film Society. The shortlisting process was based on three criteria – originality, production quality and entertainment value -- according to Cathay.

Local filmmaker Chai Yee-Wei, who was also part of the shortlisting committee, said, “Some of the short films made me laugh, some made me cry. But all of them made me proud of the fact that Singaporeans can be a creative lot.”

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Asian film fans can now visit the competition website to watch and vote on their favorite short of the 15 finalists. The film that receives the most votes before June 23 will be awarded the Viewers' Choice Award. 

The other top three winners will be selected by a six-person panel of judges, including Jack Neo, director of Ah Boys to Men (2012), Singapore's highest grossing film of all time, and several local critics and industry pros. 

The winner of the best short will take home a $12,000 prize (15,000 Singaporean dollars), while the first and second runners-up will win $6,350 (8,000 Singaporean dollars) and $4,000 ($5,000 Singaporean dollars), respectively.