The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has unveiled a film titled "Onward Singapore", to celebrate the resilience and resolve of Singaporeans in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Done in collaboration with creative agency BLKJ, the film is anchored on a rendition of the national anthem, Majulah Singapura. It also depicts sights of emptier schools, offices and streets as people stayed home during the Circuit Breaker.
The film featured innovative ways which Singaporeans found to learn, work, look out for and support each other during this period. Through the film, MCI hopes to bring the message across that "times may change, but the spirit of our people never will". The film was launched on the social media platforms of Gov.sg, and will also be aired on television. Since its launch on the Gov.sg Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels, the video has garnered over 200,000 views organically.
The film also featured Singaporeans who helped support the community during the Circuit Breaker period. Amongst those featured were ground-up community initiatives such as "Mask Sewn With Love" where volunteers such as Christine Chen and family made reusable cloth masks for the community. It also featured the "Beng Who Cares Foundation" by young hawkers Jason Chua and Zhen Long, which prepared free meals for those in need. Government organisations such as Singapore Airlines and Singapore Armed Forces were also featured for stepping up as care ambassadors in healthcare facilities, as well as packing masks to be distributed nationwide and helping out at Community Care Facilities@EXPO. National athletes Yip Ping Xiu and Stephanie Chen were also featured for their efforts in raising funds for The Food Bank Singapore.
Soffy Hariyanti, director of campaigns and production department, MCI, said the use of a rendition of the national anthem is a timeless unifier. She added it hopes to uplift spirits and provide encouragement for Singaporeans to continue marching forward in solidarity to overcome COVID-19. "This video is a timely tribute to the resilience and contributions of everyday Singaporeans who are doing their part, in big and small ways," she said.
Rowena Bhagchandani, chief executive officer, BLKJ, said: “On the surface, it may seem like life in our usually bustling city is at a standstill, but we wanted to show that there are people who are still pushing onward. Holding close to their hearts the words of our anthem, we were inspired by the actions of some of these Singaporeans featured in the video, but we know all of us have played a part in the fight against COVID-19.”
MCI has been using films to reach out to Singaporeans. Just two days ago, it launched a collection of short films titled “Stronger Together”, that it says showcases real stories of Singaporeans demonstrating resilience, adaptability and support for one another, even as COVID-19 upended their jobs and livelihoods. The four short films tell the stories of a young graduate who struggles to find a job, a private hire driver who takes on a different type of commute to provide for his family, an air stewardess as flights remain grounded, and an elderly couple who keeps their business afloat online. The series is helmed by homegrown filmmaker and director Royston Tan and his team of local directors, and are available in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.
Earlier in February, MCI also collaborated with a group of student filmmakers to produce five short films. Through the lenses of students, the films look to tell stories of how Singaporeans, through their day-to-day lives, benefit from government schemes, regardless of their circumstances and background. According to MCI, the students were tasked to develop thought-provoking films that would inspire conversations about the topics they have chosen. The students were also encouraged to be honest and reflective in the way they approached their films. The short films were to be published on Gov.sg platforms including Gov.sg website, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
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