A graduate of Temasek Polytechnic, Matthias Lim is a budding filmmaker who believes in the international growth of Singapore’s film industry via more serious and introspective films.
In a team with 8 other girls, Matthias created ‘Debt’, a short film that sat very closely to their hearts. The team worked together closely to bring to life an emotional and realistic film despite resources, logistics and language barriers.
We speak to Matthias about his Viddsee Juree finalist film.
Q1 – What is the inspiration behind this short film?
The film was inspired by Rachelle’s childhood –– how she had to interact with loansharks and witness their different activities. She always admired her mother for being a strong lady. Hence the film reflected that admiration through the journey of a mother and daughter’s relationship growing stronger and closer during the trials and tribulations related to loansharks. We wanted to portray how the mother has always been strong for her daughter.
Q2 – Could you share with us what your main challenges were in putting this together, and how did you overcome them?
One of the main challenges faced was finding locations to vandalise for the film. Filming in Singapore is hard itself. It was tougher to get approval for location shoots when you include vandalism and loanshark activities to the mix. We had to find close friends and relatives house who were willing to go the extra mile for us which we are forever grateful for.
Another problem we faced was that the director and assistant director aren’t fluent in mandarin. We managed to get our producers, Rachelle and Sook Chin, to translate the script. And on set, we assigned group members to be script supervisor and translator for the director and assistant director, so that there would not be any problems conversing or scripting with the cast!
‘Debt’ is one of the ten finalists of the Viddsee Juree Awards for the Singapore competition, a filmmaker community initiative to celebrate and support filmmakers and film communities in Asia. Check out the rest here.