Perhaps in an attempt to find a new water source, Singapore's Public Utilities Board (PUB), the agency in charge of national water supply, has put out a new heartwrenching film with the aim of fomenting fresh waterfalls of tears across the island nation.
The 10-minute film 'The Frog Prince', written by Tribal Worldwide Singapore, tells the story of a little boy growing up in the 1980s. This boy wants more material things than his family can provide but comes to understand that his father's words and deeds (including corporal punishment) mean more than new shiny toys. As the film states at the end: "The values our parents impart to us are as precious as water."
With the release timed to coincide with Qing Ming festival, the film extols the virtue of honouring parents, ancestors and the sacrifices they made. Recognising the emotional nature of the work, Tribal took the additional step of also filming the live reactions of four father and son pairs as they watched the film, involvoling footballer Fandi Ahmad and his son Ilhan, actor Adrian Pang and his son Zack, actor and producer Andie Chen and his father Tan Jwee Meng, and family counselor Gary Koh and his son Tobias Koh.
In a relatable moment at the start of the reaction film, it revealed how many men struggle to express their emotions—hence the need for brainwave monitors, eye trackers and facial recognition technology. But it turns out they weren't all necessary. The tears flowed and the men spoke.
'The Frog Prince' was launched on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on March 25.
“While Qing Ming often comes and goes without the usual high-spirited celebrations of other festivals, there is value in remembering and learning from previous generations,” said Tribal creative director Benson Toh. “We’re thankful for the chance to once again partner with PUB and create another memorable film.”
While there is some water imagery interwoven in the work, including the collection of rain water and the need to 'wash away' feelings of guilt and inadequacy, promoting water conservation was not the primary aim of this film.
“The ‘can-do’ attitudes of our forefathers in building a sustainable water supply for Singapore is something that we can all be proud of," said Cindy Keng, Director of 3P Network, PUB. "We hope that the film serves as a reminder to how far we have come, not just for our Singapore Water Story success, but also for everyone to take a step back from our busy lives to remember the precious life lessons imparted by our forefathers."
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