Singapore

Sin Ming resident shares details of short film on estate chickens

After failing to find a place to screen his short film in his Sin Ming neighbourhood, a film-maker is going door to door to tell residents in the estate that he is streaming it online.

Mr Jun Chong was stirred to make the short film after the culling of free-ranging chickens in 2017 in Sin Ming Court.

The 28-year-old, who grew up and still lives in the estate, told The Straits Times yesterday that he is arming himself with postcards with details of the film for distribution to the estimated 1,200 households in Sin Ming Court.

He wrote the script for New Resident, a 16-minute film, right after the culling.

Said Mr Chong: "Back in 2017, I was very angry that the authorities decided to cull the chickens after receiving only 20 complaints from an estate with nearly 1,200 households.

"I had an image of an auntie running around the estate, capturing the chickens to save them. So I immediately wrote the script."

The film, starring veteran theatre actress Goh Guat Kian, is about a woman who provides refuge to the free-ranging chickens in her Housing Board flat, after she spots enforcement officers catching the birds to arrest their growing numbers. The story was formed by the public outcry against the then Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore for its culling of 24 free-roaming chickens after it got 20 complaints about noise and concerns about bird flu.

Mr Chong said that after the film was completed last October, he faced difficulties in finding a convenient place to screen it for his fellow residents.

SPARK CONVERSATION

He hopes his film will spark a conversation between those who want the free-roaming chickens to be left alone and those who want them relocated.

"This film was made in conjunction with Sin Ming residents, so I want them to be able to see it."

Last June, more than 90 per cent of Sin Ming Court residents voted against removing the chickens from the estate, in a poll done by the Thomson Sin Ming Court residents' committee.

COMMUNITY ISSUES