'Slingshot' hits SIFF target

Fest's top prize to Filipino slum tale

"Slingshot," Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's gritty tale of poverty and desperation in a Manila squatter slum, dominated the 21st annual Singapore International Film Festival's Silver Screen Awards on Sunday, walking away with the top prize in the Asian Feature Film category, best director and the Netpac (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award.

Boo Junfeng, a film student at the Puttman School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts, also took home three awards in the Singapore short film category for "Keluar Baris" (Malay for "fall out"). The 16-minute film about an 18-year-old Singaporean who enlists in the army just days after returning from his studies in Europe, won best film, director and cinematography for Sharon Loh.

Other SIFF winners in the Asian feature film category included Syrian director Abdellatif Abdelhamid's comedy "Out of Coverage," which received the special jury award, and actress Inessa Kislova for her performance in Kazak director Abai Kublai's coming-of-age film "Swift."

In the Singapore short film category, Michael Tay won the special jury prize for his "Wet Seasons," Muhammad Eysham Ali earned a special achievement award for "My Home, My Heaven" and Magdalene Tan took best performance for her work in "Silent Girls."