In time for 'Qing Ming', PUB tells the story of poverty, tragedy and resilience

After tugging at the public's heartstrings with its previous Hari Raya short film, PUB is back with another tear-jerking short film. This time the ad is just in time for the Chinese festival Qing Ming, also known as the tomb-sweeping festival. During this festival, Chinese families would gather to pay respects to their late family members and ancestors. Titled "The Frog Prince", the 10-minute film aims to bring the highlight the virtue of honouring one's parents, and reflect the spirit of remembrance- which is the essence of the Qing Ming festival.

Written by Tribal Worldwide Singapore, the film tells the story of a poor family with a kim zua (joss sticks and paper offerings) business in the 1980s. Their son yearns for new toys and clothes – luxuries his parents cannot afford - so he can be more like his friends . As he grapples with temptation and jealousy, the boy uncovers the life lessons behind his father’s words and deeds. The film ends with a Chinese proverb "木有本, 水有源” which translates to "Every tree has its roots, every river has its source", adding that the values our parents impart to us are as precious as water.

The short film was launched on PUB's Facebook, Instagram and YouTube page. At the time of writing, it has garnered 33,702 views on YouTube and 970 positive reactions on Facebook. Since the film’s release last week, many have commented on Facebook that they were reminded of their relationship with their parents, while some wrote that they were moved to tears as it was something close to home.

In addition to the film, PUB roped in four pairs of fathers and sons for a special screening of the film. Their responses were also measured with a non-invasive neuro measuring kits, which showed how their emotions changed in real-time as they watched the film. Football player Fandi Ahmad and his son Ilhan, veteran actor Adrian Pang and his son Zack, actor and producer Andie Chen and his father Tan Jwee Meng, and family counselor Gary Koh and his son Tobias Koh participated in the screening.

Watch their reactions here:

The Frog Prince is the latest installment in PUB’s 2020 water conservation campaign. Titled "We have come a long way", the initiative launched in early March with a nostalgic brand film which showed Singapore’s water challenges and shortages decades ago. 

According to a press release, The Frog Prince reflected PUB’s ongoing message of fostering a water-conscious culture across Singapore, and aims to touch on how the older generation of Singaporeans came up with creative ways to save and reuse water as part of their everyday routine. In the film, this practice is reflected by the father using pots and vases to collect rainwater that is reused around the house. In another scene, the father scoops water from a classic dragon urn instead of a running shower. The film also serves as a reminder that the values passed on from parents are as precious as water.

Cindy Keng, director of 3P Network, PUB said: “The ‘can-do’ attitudes of our forefathers in building a sustainable water supply for Singapore is something that we can all be proud of. We must cherish what we have built up over the years. We hope that the film serves as a reminder to how far we have come, not just for our Singapore Water Story success, but also for everyone to take a step back from our busy lives to remember the precious life lessons imparted by our forefathers."

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