A Junior College student must decide if he wants to exchange his most precious memory for As or else he will be a disappointment to his mother.
Genre : Drama // Fantasy
Target Audience: Youths & Parents
Theme: Education, Love, Family
*disclaimer: Pitch video may differ from the final story ; concept remains*
19 year old Jun Wei has a fear of failing his examinations not being able to catch up with his friends. However, he has been performing badly in school because of his laziness. Su Fang, like any other mother, wants him to score well for his A'levels in order to for him to have a bright future ahead. The pressure is on Jun Wei as the crucial A'levels is round the corner and he is not catching up with his friends. Everything seems to be spiralling out of control, until he bumps into Huan- a mysterious old man who runs a magical thrift shop. Huan convinces Jun Wei to exchange his precious items for good results. As Jun Wei's results triumph, he continues to laze around by exploiting this magical phenomenon. Su Fang is enraged by his attitude and her expectations gradually gets higher. She demands As from him. The only problem is that his grades never exceeded a B. Only then he discovers that exchanging all his precious memories is the price that he needs to pay to get As.
This story is based on a concept by Poppy Lin. It is inspired by a thrift shop that Poppy and I encountered during our school trip to Kanazawa, Japan. The shop was owned by a peculiar looking man. It was intriguing and mysterious. As we were looking through the items, we were theorising the backstory of each item. You may never know if these items belonged to an old granny living alone by the mountains \ or it could even belong to a person that needed some quick cash. It's an interesting thought to think about isn't it and that's the beauty of thrift shops.
However, the main inspiration for this story are our JC friends. We realised most of them had made sacrifices the moment they stepped into JC. Whether it be their social life or their mental health and so on. See, this doesn't just happen to only the JC students. Often, we see ourselves caught up in trying to achieve our desired goals that we ended up making sacrifices like wellbeing and our hobbies, often even the time spent with our loved ones is compromised. At the end of the day we ask ourselves, is it really worth it?
With the rising popularity of fantasy/sci-fi films like Black Mirror and On Children touching on social issues, we want to use this genre to explore these problems that people of our age group are facing. We often theorise fantasy elements in film either as a form of coping mechanism or some sort of escapism for the characters in the film. For this film, it’s no exception. Jun Wei, our main protagonist, uses the Thrift Shop and its magic as a shortcut to achieve his goals and to meet his mother’s expectation in order to gain her love back. In the end, he pays the price causing him to learn a valuable lesson- there is no shortcut to success.
We're not bashing the education system, we're exploring the possibilities of what might be causing the stress that teens our age are facing. We hope to allow audiences to think, especially parents, about the expectations that they are giving themselves or their children.
- Lee Si Min, Director
Why do we make this film?
Through this film and Jun Wei’s journey, we hope to be able to spark conversations. We hope the audiences realises that amidst living in such a demanding society and coping with their busy working life, it’s very important to set aside time for not just others but also to themselves while they are trying to achieve their goals.