2SSFA - 'Scot Free' by Chia Peizhen


Scot Free has travelled widely, screening to Film Festival audiences in Singapore, Vancouver and Bangkok. This 16-minute French short garnered a triple nomination at the Singapore Short Film Awards, an easily well-deserved feat given its tight-pacing and novel means of telling a relatively clichéd story. The director’s bio explains all—Chia, who recently graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, majored in directing and has a penchant of featuring female empowerment in her films.


Two female French tourists find themselves utterly bored in the stoic urban jungle that is Singapore. Well, what would they expect—romanticism à la Paris all over the world? They complain endlessly about the heat and humidity, whine about the lack of cultural elements and the need to report to their relatives back home with lies of what they have been up to, and cringe their noses at Indian food.

Yet one night an uninvited guest suddenly appears at their hotel room door—a drunkard who stereotypically has to be a German to add to the European mix. Violence ensues, and they somehow murder him. But what matters more, however, is the secondary plot that lies beneath this façade, a subdued lesbian story that is told through exchanged words, gazes, and actions.

“Simple things can be hard to explain at times,” muses one of the protagonists. How true.

This film was nominated for Best Director, Best Fiction and Best Script at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards.

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