Winning international recognition and approval is Singapore Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) short film on brotherhood and family ties entitled “Kinship” which left many Singaporeans emotional and weepy.

The only Singaporean film that earned the much coveted “Highly Commended” award in the international category of the 24th Canberra Short Film Festival this year, the 6-minute film was written and produced by Tribal Worldwide Singapore, and directed by Roslee Yusof of Freeflow Productions.

In a statement, officials from the national water agency said that Kinship was screened twice at the Australia-based festival and was lauded by the film festival’s judges for its storytelling and production quality.


The film narrates the story of two brothers, Din and Zul, who grew up in an orphanage in the 1960s. The two brothers were separated when the elder brother, Din, is adopted and Zul was left behind.

As an adult, Din returns with his son to the reservoir where he played with Zul and finds a message of forgiveness from his brother carved years ago into a wooden shed by the water.

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The central message of the film is that of mending relationships and valuing family ties, central to the spirit of Hari Raya, which left its mark on many netizens, with many asking for a second part of the film to bring closure to Din and Zul’s story.

The agency said the film highlights the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood by drawing parallels of water and kinship.

Shared on PUB’s Facebook and YouTube channels in May, Kinship has garnered more than 1.5 million views.

In July, PUB released an ending to the brothers’ story in the form of a five-minute audio story titled Dear Din, From Zul. The audio story was crafted by the creative team in collaboration with members of the public.

“We are extremely grateful and delighted to receive this international recognition. It is a testament to the creativity and hard work by the teams that created the film, and also the immense support from the public,” Director of PUB’s 3P Network, Ms Cindy Keng, said and believes that the international recognition will spur PUB to produce better materials in communicating with the public in future.

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“The theme of kinship and the preciousness of water is truly universal and cuts across language and cultures,” she added.

Canberra Film Festival

The locally run Canberra Film Festival screened short films from Australia and around the globe across six locations in the Canberra region. The festival has nine award categories, including the Canberra, national and international categories. This year’s festival had more than 380 entries globally across various categories.

The international category is for films made outside Australia that run under 20 minutes and have been produced in the last 18 months.