I had the anguish to choose between attending an ex-lecturer/inspiring writer’s book launch, and a film screening by my adored ex-schoolmates at my alma matter. Trying to have the best of both worlds, I thought maybe I could rush down after the films, in time to show support for the launch of his latest compilation.
I didn’t have a chance to attempt the act however, as the screening kicked into overtime with a very spontaneous post-screening Q&A. And why not? Alumni Boo Junfeng and Sharon Loh were returning to the Film and Media School of Ngee Ann Polytechnic for an exclusive screening of their earlier collaborations. Even with the modest crowd, the deceptively quiet Film students unleashed a horde of questions to the two Guest Professionals after they got acquainted with the Presenters. Of course, they were just students; but an enthusiastic lot indeed. Although ‘instigated’ by Chee Meng (now known as ‘Mr Lau’ to the juveniles) to pop personal questions to the duo, their enquires ranged from basic to hidden concerns, but all very practical, hinting doubts and hopes about taking the road as an arts practitioner here in an over-pragmatic metropolitan country.
“Yes”, I thought. FMS students are known to be a curious lot when they are all-warmed up. For a good reason of course. To those familiar with the screening room (which, in reality, was the biggest lecture hall for us Film students here), the freezing air-condition here did not stop the students from seeking more as they crowded around the guests even after Chee Meng declared that the session had officially ended. But this was a familiar sight. Walking out through the corridor as the youths encircled Sharon and Junfeng along the way, something nostalgic came back for a while. It felt great. But I had to leave it there, as I bid my dear old friends goodbye, for now.