Talking Pictures Festival – on the road there…

I’m honoured that The Talking Picures Festival co-director Ines Sommer invited me to join her programming team yesterday to review some of the hundreds of entries received from all over the world. And many thanks to Tim for putting the idea in my head in the first place. Sitting in a theatre with other very experienced filmmakers and film enthusiasts discussing each short we viewed was a great learning experience, and tremendous fun.

We saw everything from music videos to animations to experimental shorts from places like Australia, Spain and even Estonia. It’s amazing how being a part of a festival programming committee will bring you the chance to watch thousands of films. And it’s up to us to make sure that what makes it to the big screen is top notch quality.

Definitely not an experience you get from going to film school. Loved having my eyes opened to what goes on behind the scenes when I submit my work to festivals. What a great way to spend 3 hours on a Saturday! Look forward to bringing you more updates on how things are going. If you’re in and around Evanston/Chicago, do swing by! :)

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Playing for Change

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If there’s one thing I can turn to for warmth and comfort for the soul, especially with the plummeting temperatures here in Chicago, Playing for Change is it. This is a wonderful organization i came across a year ago that brings the world together through the universal language of music. To record a guitarist in 1 country, a drummer in another, and a trumpeter, a saxophonist, a choir in many more and then put them together into 1 music piece… that’s both brilliant and beautiful.

So what started out as a cool music project 4 years ago is now helping to raise funds to promote music education through the Playing for Change Foundation. Just in spring, they opened the doors to their first completed music school in South Africa! Now that’s music to my ears!

See and hear the magic for yourself!

It’s inspired me to try a mini-version of my own when i return home to Singapore too… how awesome would it be to bring together the musicians and street buskers of Singapore? From little drummer Ethan Ong to the uncle who’s been playing the keyboards in the Orchard Road tunnel for decades… oh, the possibilities! How exciting!