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Thu 01 Nov 2007

Remember Chek Jawa: Eric Lim shares good news from Toronto

Category : marine

Eric Lim sends us good news from Toronto, Canada where he is participating in the "“Planet in Focus" International Environmental Film & Video Festival."

Congratulations Eric!

"Hi Guys,

Just like to share a piece of good news with you all! "Remember Chek Jawa" won “The Mark Haslam Award” at

Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival. Congratulations to all who have helped to make this film possible.


About “The Mark Haslam Award” (quote): Selected from amongst many excellent films, the award is for the film that gives voice to individuals, communities or struggles that are under-represented in the media and made by a filmmaker who is a member/participant in that community, struggle or story. The selected work demonstrates the power to inspire reflection & positive action towards the social & ecological health of the planet.

I'm really pleased to report that the Canadian and international audiences I spoke to find the film an eye-opener. The wildlife in Chek Jawa is intriguing to many while the "peaceful protest" is a refreshing approach to them. As this is an environmental film festival, you can aspect that it's filled with films whereby activists are raising banners and shouting in the streets. The jury told me personally that the way the inexperienced but passionate individuals and community come together to make the survey happened made the deepest impression in them. And everyone loves the poster/postcard kindly designed by Jann Chong :)

I am looking forward at organising more screenings when i get back to Singapore.


See earlier posts about the film.

Posted at 12:03AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Mon 10 Sep 2007

Remember Chek Jawa - Asian Film Symposium, Monday 10 Sep 2007

Category : marine

Many efforts and factors eventually contributed to the deferment of reclamation at Chek Jawa and in the midst of it all, independent film maker Eric Lim found himself particularly drawn to one element that he witnessed - the efforts of the ordinary, urban Singaporean’s efforts to help out a tiring, muddy and incomprehensible biodiversity survey, at a time when all hope had been lost.

Shot between 2001 - 2004, Eric made "Remember Chek Jawa," to chronicle the volunteer survey and also provides a brief glimpse of some of the activities that led to deferment of reclamation at Chek Jawa.

He has just released this trailer below, and you can catch the movie on MONDAY, 10th September 2007: 7.30pm at Cathay's Picturehouse. It is the Closing Film at Asian Film Symposium.

Hop over to his webpage for the trailer, background and schedule!

Posted at 4:19AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Sun 22 Apr 2007

Earth Day celebrations at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Category : events

22 Apr 2007 - Blue Water Volunteers got the biodiversity community down for Earth Day at the Singapore Botanic Gardens today. There were talks, a film, a book launch, exhibitions and children's games, and it was a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Raffles Museum Toddycats were there and the specimens kept Lim Chen Kee and Airani busy once they appeared, even if it was only the dugong, horseshoe crab and knobbly sea star. I was chatting with friends throughout but after we dismantled the exhibits, finally did some explanations for a family waiting for their ride.

Not everyone could come of course, as it had been a night of very good low tides. For those who were there, it was nice to have a peaceful agenda for once!

Lim Cheng Puay has put up an album of photos online. Thanks to Blue Water Volunteers for the organising the event and to National Parks Board for the lovely venue!

At the core of the celebrations was story-telling!

Chua Ee Kiam weaved his magic in the flesh on his latest pride and joy,
"Singapore Splendour - Life on the edge",
and then donated proceeds the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

The screening of Remember Chek Jawa by Eric Lim was well enjoyed by the
audience that packed the Botany Room. Sometimes though,
they were laughing when they weren't supposed to!
We're still scratching our heads over that one!

Posted at 4:28PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Tue 13 Mar 2007

"Remember Chek Jawa" to be unveiled at Wildlife Asia 07

Category : marine

13 Mar 2007 - "Remember Chek Jawa," a film by Eric Lim (45min) will be screened at Wildlife Asia 07 at Suntec Rm 302 under Special Presentations: Children's Mobile Cinema.

In 2001, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS (RMBR), conducted Public Education Visits to Chek Jawa which was then thought to be doomed to reclamation. Thousands came in an unprecedented show of interest by the Singaporean public.

Feedback subsequently submitted to government by the Raffles Museum included Eric Lim's contribution, a 11-minute video hewn out of footage from the visits which included interviews with the public. I still find that striking to watch, more than five years later - this was perhaps the first time a short film was submitted as feedback for nature conservation! Rarely viewed subsequently, except by groups under guide training, it was only screened once at The Giving Tree @ North East in Dec 2005 - "Unveiled!".

Eric had also shot footage of Joseph Lai's Chek Jawa Transect 2001, interviewed volunteers and villagers, guide workshops and covered other post-deferment activity and even hunted for dugongs at night in the high tide - he has the most comprehensive footage of events surrounding Chek Jawa.

This special feature covers the wider events and was cut for Wildlife Asia 07. He completed the video just last night and sent me the synopsis:

"Chek Jawa, an inter-tidal area comprising six different sub-habitats within one square kilometer on Pulau Ubin, Singapore, was discovered by local conservationists only in January 2001. Since the discovery, the amazingly rich marine biodiversity there drew thousands of visitors, both young and old, to revel in the beauty of Chek Jawa’s shores.

Unfortunately, this magnificent shore had an expiration date. Singapore, with its small area, has always struggled with land scarcity issues. In 1992, the Singapore Government approved development plans to carry out land reclamation along the shoreline of Chek Jawa in order to create 'reserve land' for military training. Scheduled to be executed a decade later, that time had now come.

With land reclamation scheduled just months away, most Singaporeans were resigned to the thought that it was impossible to reverse the Government’s decision. Still, a band of passionate volunteers refused to give up on this precious slice of nature in Singapore’s urban jungle, and believed that something could be done. This film tells the story of how these individuals, who came from all walks of life, followed their hearts and made a difference against the odds."

Posted at 2:54AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news