Obstacles aplenty lay in the path of Ah Jin and Brian’s wedding day. First, there’s their decision to have a small intimate ceremony which causes raised eyebrows among her family members.
Their choice of bucking the Chinese custom for bridesmaids, or “sisters”, means that the family misses out on the traditional game of playfully impeding the groom’s progress as he arrives to fetch the bride. And that simply won’t do for Elder Auntie who decides to enforce the custom herself.
And then there’s Sam, Ah Jin’s brother.
A reluctant participant in the day’s activities, he glowers, burning with unbridled resentment at Brian. There’s a secret the two are hiding. And it’s perhaps the biggest obstacle of them all.
Director: Lincoln Chia
Screenplay: Michael Tay
Producer: Chen Yanyun
Director of Photography: Lim Teck Siang
Actors: Adele Wong (Ah Jin), Michael Tay (Sam), Eric Gwee (Brian), Molly Jan (Auntie), Kelly Lim (Mother).
‘Sisters’ was the most-watched, most-loved short film last month, and it’s our December 2015 Viddsee Shortee!
For filmmakers: Submit your film here to stand a chance being the next Viddsee Shortee and win a Nikon D7200 camera kit (with 18-105mm) worth over S$1700 sponsored by the official camera partner Nikon.
‘Sisters’ was the most-watched, most-loved short film last month, our December 2015 Viddsee Shortee! We spoke to the director Lincoln Chia about this cheeky production.
Q1 – We read your interview in Fridae about how you were inspired to pursue this story — based on what you witnessed at the Justice of Peace. Its fascinating how you combined that experience in this short film, combining conservative Asian values like marriage and family with taboos like homosexuality. Why a comedy?
I am aware of the awkward moments crafted in the story that could possibly come off as being comical even though I did not intentionally plan for it to be a comedy. Through rehearsals and actual takes, we managed to capture these comical moments and I was happy to keep them.
Q2 – Could you tell us a bit about the cast and your brief to them?
As Michael developed the idea of ‘Sisters’ with me, I decided to have Michael play the role of Sam. For the rest of the cast members, I explored a different strategy for the selection process. Apart from their acting abilities, I placed more emphasis on their facial features to ensure that visually they look convincing as members of a family.
During casting, we kept things casual, there was no casting script in the process and I wanted the session for me to know them better individually.
Upon confirming the casts, we had a line reading session, I told them to treat the given script as a guide and use their own words. Keeping it natural was key for me.
Q3 – Culturally and linguistically, the film title and concept is a great wordplay as a noun, for the Chinese wedding tradition, and also as an euphemism for gay men. Was the film’s intended audience Singaporeans (and maybe Malaysians)? Why do you think the film and story travelled so well?
I did not have an audience in mind when developing the short film. However, ‘Sisters’ was intended to be a story that allows everyone to experience a Chinese wedding in Singapore. I am a firm believe of authenticity and often keeping it real and honest to the subject that my film is exploring. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why the short film resonates with many.
Q4 – May we share with our readers what else you’re working on? Would be great for our readers to know what else we can expect! An interview from 2011 said a wedding was in the works! 😀
Haha, that was a joke! (no, I am still single) I am working on a community integration campaign which includes making a short film. This project is scheduled to be completed around the Lunar New Year period in 2016. Upon completing the campaign, I will develop my first feature length film and hopefully shoot it next year.
Good luck, Lincoln!