Unveiled! Five short films on nature by Singapore videographers
Venue: The Giving Tree @ North East 2005 (white tents next to Tampines MRT) Nature/Environment Sector Sat 17 Dec 2005: 7.30pm
Chek Jawa Revisited (26 mins) "Chek Jawa - Last Chance to See." By Eric Lim, 2001. "Chek Jawa - A celebration of the Sea". By Lee Chuen Ling, 2002. "Chek Jawa, a celebration of marine life." By Eric Lim, 2003.
The Southern Shores exposed (10 mins) "Life on the edge - the promise of our southern shores." By Wildfilms, 2005.
A plea for a gentle giant - in aid of Whale Sharks (10 mins) "Goodwill Hunting." By Lee Chuen Ling/Wildaid, 2003.
Thanks to Vegetarian Society for the screen
I - Chek Jawa Revisited
1. "Public Education visit to Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin, 19th & 20th Oct 2001." Filmed by Eric Lim. Edited by Eric Lim, Ria Tan & N. Sivasothi (submitted to government as NUS Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Friends), 2001. 11 minutes.
The unseen graveyard of coral reefs at Pulau Seringat in 1997 was the motivation for the public education guided visits to Chek Jawa organised by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS between September and October 2001.
Thousands of Singaporeans would visit Chek Jawa in those last few months before reclamation. This clip captures the final public education visits carried out during the low spring tides of October 2001 which saw a thousand people throng the inter-tidal shore that last weekend, guided by some 20 volunteer marine guides.
The visit from the queue at the jetty, the van drive to Chek Jawa and first tentative steps to the beach, the exploration of marine life, the windy sand banks and finally, departure. The comments of visitors and volunteer guides pepper the film and the significance of Chek Jawa to children is revealed.
The event was conducted quietly, away from the glare of the media essentially as a last chance to see before reclamation began the following month. This footage, shot entirely by Eric Lim, has not been seen in public before. Edited ruthlessly and quickly in the late hours of the night with Ria Tan and N. Sivasothi, it was submitted as part of a public feedback document to the government on 31st October 2001. At the time, this desperate plea for Chek Jawa's survival was submitted without real hope.
The video ends abruptly with the comments of a sprightly elderly Chinese lady interviewed in the light of the portable fluorescent lights at the Chek Jawa well. Her eyes glisten as she speaks of her experience that day.
2. "Chek Jawa - A celebration of the Sea," 2002. A Merciless production, filmed and edited by Lee Chuen Ling. 5 minutes.
A decade earlier, Pulau Ubin's Chek Jawa had been slated for development. In 2001, news of a sudden discovery of a marine wonderland there attracted thousands to her shores for a last farewell.
Lee Chuen Ling, an amateur videographer and avid naturalist, combined footage from before and after news of the deferment of reclamation at Chek Jawa. It depicts the use of the shore as an outdoor classroom and the wistful music captures the regretful feeling many felt that their first visit to Chek Jawa would also be their last.
A special environmental award was created by OceanNEnvironment in order to acknowledge Ling's efforts. Her footage remembers Priscilla, the resident tame wild boar who greeted visitors at Chek Jawa until she sadly passed away on 27 May 2004.
3. "Chek Jawa, a celebration of marine life." Filmed and edited by Eric Lim, 2003. First played at the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium 2003. 10 minutes.
Eric Lim has documented Chek Jawa, the events surrounding the deferment and the volunteers active in her cause since 2001. He has the most comprehensive footage of Chek Jawa and intends to produce a documentary next year.
In this film, he carved out footage of the marine life there, in celebration of the deferment of reclamation for the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium in July 2003. This labour of love reflects his close affiliation with this special place he has visited in the late hours of the night, in the early hours of the day, in low tide, chest deep in the sea, in rain and sun, in pursuit of the memories and marine life that inhabit its shores.
The footage will give viewers a glimpse of why so many rallied so tirelessly to share Chek Jawa with fellow Singaporeans until today.
II - The Southern Shores exposed
4. "Life on The Edge - the promise of our southern shores", 2005 (tentative title). By the WildFilms team, 2005. 10 minutes.
The near loss of Chek Jawa from a lack of awareness about the area prompted a tireless team of volunteers called Wildfilms to visit and document the marine life of all our shores during the extreme low-water spring tides. For the past three years, this team has been conducting still and video photography during the unearthly hours dictated by the tide in order to capture the secrets of the exposed shores.
This daring team of volunteer marine photographers have cut out some very special footage of Singapore's own marine life to be shared in public for the very first time, specially for the Volunteer Fair. This footage will surprise you. It is a taste of their documentary to come in future, and its all good!
In fact you can come down to Tampines earlier and catch head honcho Ria Tan featuring some 600 slides from their inter-tidal forays at Tampines Regional Library from 3-5pm.
III - A plea for a gentle giant - in aid of Whale Sharks
5. "Goodwill Hunting", 2003. A Wildaid-Merciless Production. Edited by Lee Chuen Ling a.k.a Ling the Merciless. 10 minutes.
Based on breathtaking footage of a whaleshark filmed in the Anambas in "KISS" by Lee Chuen Ling, her collaboration with WildAid produced a impactful ten minute documentary in three parts: : 1. The big and the beautiful; 2. Appetite for destruction; 3. Gatekeepers for our Blue Planet.
A diver experiences a romantic encounter with a passing baby whaleshark under an abandoned oilrig. The little beauty has lost part of her dorsal fin, symbolic of the wholesale slaughter the species faces. Humans are the cause and will themselves have to speak out to ensure our seas do not become watery graves.
Santiago, Chile, 15 Nov 2002 - 'Parties voted in favor of uplisting the basking and whale shark to CITES Appendix II listing, enabling international trade of these highly migratory species to be monitored. Cheers and applause erupted from the convention hall when it was announced that both proposals had met the two-thirds vote required.' - IFAW, 15 Nov 2002