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The Believers

The Believers is a wry, quietly observant film that captures secular and non-secular rituals practiced by the average Singaporean. In juxtaposing the ceremonial and the everyday, the work gently teases out commonalities across different practices, establishing a sense of kinship and alluding to a common humanity.

  • Dave Lim
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Observational Documentary
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 12, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, English, Malay
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Objectifs Documentary Award Showcase
    March 12, 2020
  • Painting with Light 2020
    October 3, 2020
Director Biography - Dave Lim

Dave Lim (b. 1994) is a visual artist and filmmaker and has exhibited internationally. He graduated from Yale-NUS with BA (Hons) in Urban Studies. His work has won multiple awards such as the NTU Global Digital Art Prize and the Objectifs Documentary Award. Coming from a documentary and research background, most of the work reflects greater conceptual concerns ranging from religion to society at large.

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Director Statement

This project started through a process of witnessing, of which I had inculcated while documenting Taoist and Hindu trance-based rituals since 2018. This act of witnessing changed my attitude towards religion to one that was propelled by the truth of others. These different truths embellished themselves in the emotions of others. Scenes of ecstacy, pain, mundanity, adrenaline all formed a plethora of emotions underlying human existence. These different emotions I witnessed, and also felt through the process of documentary served as the blueprint for this film. These emotions extended out of the religious realm, and further into the realm of the everyday; as humans drone on day by day. In the religious realm that I was foreign to (that I simultaneously observed and occupied), it mirrored an underlying existential understanding of everyday life. I started to see the rituals of religion and the secular as mirrors to one another. The Believers is a film on this underlying humanity, by crashing spheres of human existence into an observation of fervor.