Whoever came up with the idea of manufacturing erasers bearing flags of countries on them is a genius.
Growing up, these erasers were a big thing in school as they were used heavily in the game of kuti-kuti - a game where two opposing players would take turns to flip one's own eraser on top of the other. And I was genuinely surprised that this tradition has continued somewhat in today's schools, or at least in Ash's primary school where he had amassed a decent collection all thanks to his grandparents.
I fondly remember that the one eraser that most of us would be fighting tooth and nail to obtain was the one with the Singapore flag. It was limited edition in our eyes. Although looking back now, I would have hoarded erasers with the likes of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia flags as they do not exist anymore. Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Visual director Kenny Tan, 30, has also looked back on his eraser-playing childhood days but gone a step further - he made an award-winning short film about it.
His Priceless film submission to the biennial ciNE65 Short Film Competition snagged him the Overall Best Film and Best Screenplay prizes in the Open Category at the Awards Ceremony last week. You can view the rest of the Award winners in my previous blog post.
And if you still haven't viewed this 3-minute short film, what are you waiting for?
This ranks as one of my - and the boys - personal fave out of all 166 entries for this year's competition, which carried the theme of “I’ll Be There For You, Singapore". Taking just half a day to shoot, Priceless shares the tale of a boy called to the principal's office for getting into a fight over something. The film then ends by revealing that something which the boy had been fiercely guarding, which was an eraser emblazoned with the flag of Singapore.
When interviewed, Kenny mentioned he was inspired by how Singaporeans may all be different but share common memories. "The eraser conveys the message that you would want to defend what is yours, even in the early days of childhood innocence when one is hardly aware of such constructed identities," he said.
A similar emotive, albeit sadder, short film is 忘不了 Unforgettable which tells the story of Ah Ma who goes on her usual visits to visit her granddaughter. Little does she know, this particular trip will lead her on an adventure through memory lane. She finally reaches her destination and rings the doorbell. An unfamiliar face greets her. Ah Ma is thrown into a state of confusion as she wanders back out onto the streets, trying to recapture her lost memories.
忘不了 Unforgettable won three awards - Best Direction and Best Sound Design in the Open Category, as well as Favourite Actress nod for Choo Ai Keow who portrayed as Ah Ma in the Audience Choice Awards.
Want more? You can take your pick from all 166 short film entries by visiting https://cine65.sg/film-listing.php.
And if watching short films has whet your appetite for even more films, how does watching a free movie at Golden Village sound? ciNE65 has kindly passed us 5 PAIRS of Golden Village movie tickets for 5 lucky winners!
All you have to do is simply the following:
1. LIKE ciNE65's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ciNE65 and/or Follow ciNE65 on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ciNE65sg.
2. Leave your COMMENT in the Facebook Post of this article with this EXACT phrase - "I’ll Be There For You, Singapore!"
3. SHARE the Facebook post on your Facebook with the hashtag #ciNE65. IMPORTANT: Do ensure that the privacy of the shared post is set to 'Public' so that your entry is valid.
Five lucky winners will be picked by the people at ciNE65. This giveaway is open to residents in Singapore only and ends on 25th July 2013 (Thurs) at 2359 hours. Good Luck!