Singapore

Singaporean producer wins a Bafta for animated short film

Singaporean producer Low Ser En has won a Bafta award for Best British Short Animation for her stop-motion short Poles Apart.

The 12-minute film, about a polar bear and a grizzly bear who are brought together by their changing habitats, is the graduation project of a multinational team of 10 students from Britain's National Film and Television School (NFTS).

The annual Bafta awards are widely seen as the British equivalent of the Oscars in Hollywood.

Poles Apart beat two other films: Have Heart, about a looping gif that has an existential crisis, and Mamoon, which tells the story of a mother forced to leave her home with her child using projected animation on polystyrene film sets.

Ms Low, 27, who returned to Singapore on Tuesday night after her triumph in London on Sunday, told The Straits Times that the team was "very surprised" by the win.

"It was incredible," she said. "We were very surprised and very happy about it. It was a huge moment for us, it came after a year of festival runs."

Her statuette, which she received alongside British director Paloma Baeza, now sits in her Housing Board flat in Kallang.

Ms Low had both a creative and a business role as producer, working with the director on the script, as well as coming up with the budget and schedule for the production and looking through the edits.

"We got the inspiration from an article we read online about a phenomenon where the polar bears are moving south and grizzly bears are moving north because of climate change," she said.

"It's a climate refugee story. "

The team took 15 months to complete the film as stop-motion is a painstaking process involving capturing each scene with animated figures. The bears are voiced by two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter and actor Joseph May.

The film is not yet available here, but there are plans to put it on video platform Vimeo.

Ms Low received a scholarship from local film company mm2 Entertainment and the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore to study at the NFTS.

She graduated in February last year with a Master of Arts degree and now works with mm2 Entertainment.

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