In addition to the Singapore Prize, the awards also include a Youth Critics Award that recognises young film critics and a special mention. A further four films were awarded the Silver Screen award for their outstanding performances and cinematic vision. Zukhara Sansyzbay won best performance for her role in “Convenience Store.” Sorayos Prapapan’s “Arnold Is a Model Student” garnered the Youth Critics Award, while Benjamin Yap Kee Siang won the Jury Special Mention for his work. In a first for the Singapore International Film Festival, the inaugural =Dreams Asia Breakthrough Prize was presented at the awards ceremony. The prize offered $500,000 for innovative solutions to eradicate poverty in Singapore. The competition opened in May 2022 with 63 teams submitting concepts for the problem. Eight teams were shortlisted and given seed funding of $25,000 for proof-of-concept development over six months, along with mentoring sessions, access to potential funders, and dialogues with policymakers.
The prize was mooted by Professor Kishore Mahbubani in a 2014 column for The Straits Times. A philanthropist subsequently responded by offering to donate S$500,000, which has been put into an endowment to support the prize in perpetuity. Prof Mahbubani was part of a panel of judges that picked this year’s winner, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea: 1300-1800 by archaeologist John Miksic.
To be eligible for the Singapore Prize, a book must have a significant Singapore element in its narrative and be written by a Singaporean or permanent resident. It must be published in English and made available for sale or distribution. Self-published works are not accepted. The prize will be presented annually and consists of a cash prize and a plaque. In future, the prize will be augmented by an exhibition component.
Christopher Bathurst KC (1934-2009), who was the founder of this prize, was an influential member of the commercial bar in London and developed a substantial practice in Southeast Asia. He was an esteemed colleague and a popular cross-bench member of the House of Lords, where he became Viscount Bledisloe in 2009.
A renowned international law expert who had a distinguished career, Christopher was known for his dedication to the cause of law reform. In particular, he was a pioneer in the field of international arbitration. His legacy is reflected in the Singapore Prize, which seeks to honour those who continue his efforts in the field of law and justice.