The National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) of Singapore officially launched HIGH, its 2020 media campaign on 19th March 2020. Amidst liberalising attitudes towards drug abuse, this campaign aims to spark conversations and spread awareness of the destructive reality of drug abuse among the public, particularly the youth.
This year’s campaign consists of Singapore’s first interactive short film and online activities to engage with the youth. Award-winning local director Royston Tan produced the short film, titled HIGH, in collaboration with NCADA. The film allows viewers to make choices on behalf of the protagonist to uncover the various endings and possibilities within the story line, and underscores the importance of making informed decisions. In light of the evolving global drug situation, this campaign hopes to explore the challenges and choices relating to drug abuse that youth may encounter.
Royston Tan is an award-winning Singaporean filmmaker with more than 30 short films in his repertoire, and HIGH is the latest addition to his filmography. It follows the story of Nick, a well-to-do young man who is invited into the world of drugs and hardcore partying by Sienna, a woman he meets on a dating app. Throughout the film, viewers may explore their curiosity with drugs, and discover the consequences of the choices they make.
The film is hosted on its own microsite and features a variety of opportunities to converse and engage the youth. These educational and thought-provoking activities, carried out in an interactive online platform, aims to kickstart conversations with the youth on drug issues. After watching and experiencing the highs and lows of drug abuse through the film’s characters, the youth can uncover for themselves the highs and lows of different drugs through the microsite’s chat-format FAQ session. The campaign was unveiled at a media preview on 18 March, and hopes to rally the youth and the public to talk about the drug issue in a more open and honest manner, while exploring the challenges that youth face in today’s liberal landscape.
Although, the film offers a grim setting, now that most of us are “working from home” due to the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps HIGH could be a great way to educate and entertain ourselves! HIGH can be PLAYed on the film’s official website: