Meet the cast of Singapore’s latest gay short film – 27-year old Singaporean Alfred Sng and 17-year old Cambodian David Eung.
Summerdaze may have only been published less than a week ago. But the gay short film is already a viral hit, drawing over 400,000 views on Facebook alone. The film has become so popular that it has even earned features on foreign media outlets!
Set against the beautifully scenic Jeju Island, the 3 -minute long short film follows the journey of 2 best friends who embark on a life changing holiday together. A collaboration between The Authority, Telescope Productions and director Martin Hong, the film deals with the age old cliché of falling for your straight best friend.
We catch up with the film’s two rising stars to find out more about their experience acting in their first gay short film.
1. How and why did you get involved in ‘Summerdaze’?
Alfred:I first heard of the project through Minhua (the creative director of the film) and I thought it was really interesting, especially because Martin approached me in mid 2017 asking if i would be interested if he were to do a self-initiated LGBT project.
Since I have worked with both Martin (for a Macdonalds TVC) and Jasper (for previous Authority Shoots) prior to Summerdaze, I was very comfortable to be cast in it.
David:I have always admired the style of The Authority’s clothes and I was in the running of a competition held by The Authority when they told me about the project.
I thought it would be a great and eye-opening experience, especially being able to be part of a film that has a greater cause intended, so I went for casting.
2. What were some of the challenges that you faced acting in this project?
Alfred: The toughest challenge for me was that David and I had to become close really quickly and I usually take awhile to open up to people.
I remember Martin looking very stressed, saying that it wasn’t convincing that David and I were ‘best friends’, since the first time we met was during the screen test and the next time we met was at the airport, en-route to Jeju.
In order to convince audiences that we are ‘best friends’, we had to really force ourselves to talk to each other, sit together in the plane, share the same room, find out every tiny detail about each other (kinda like when you are on a speed dating hahaha), just so we can be physically comfortable with each other and have enough conversations going on and things to laugh about during the shoot.
David:It was quite a challenge to play the character in Summerdaze because the character required a lot of initiation and I am not usually good with words.
It was also pretty awkward having to tease Alfred all the time when we weren’t that close initially. But I am glad that our chemistry came through right away when we started shooting.
3. How has the reception to your performance been like so far?
Alfred: I am humbled that the reception of the film has been so great.
I guess David and I were both a little worried about how people would receive the film, and especially worried about how people would look at us after this film was released. However, most of the comments that we have gotten were very heart-warming and encouraging.
David:Reading comments from followers and knowing that it motivated many struggling individuals or that it has made someone’s day felt really rewarding.
4. Would you be interested to act in other queer projects?
Alfred:Knowing how much this film has inspired others through hope, courage and love, I would be open to act in other queer projects as long as I can resonate to it.
David:I don’t have plans to actively partake in other queer projects but if there is a suitable one that aims to send out a positive message like ‘Summerdaze’, we’ll see!
5. What do you hope people watching the film take away from it?
Alfred:To me, the key message of this film is ‘Love’.
Love is a universal language that everyone, at any point in life, can always relate to and understand. I hope people will be inspired to be courageous, to be less afraid, and most importantly to start having conversations on topics that might be hard to confront.
David:Self acceptance is a journey and something that I am learning as well. But my belief is that self-acceptance is something you make a choice about.
From time to time, we will be tested by life situations that will reveal just how much self-acceptance we really have for ourselves. I hope the film encourages people to love themselves for who they are.