Unveiling Valour: ‘Flying Tigers’—A Compelling Short Film Chronicles the WWII Exploits of Captain Ho Weng Toh, a Distinguished Pilot

The 3-minute short film “Flying Tigers,” directed by Gilbert Chan and starring Mediacorp Artiste Richie Koh as Captain Ho Weng Toh, is now available exclusively on Mediacorp’s digital streaming platform, mewatch, and the Mediacorp Drama YouTube channel since December 7, 2023. The film, produced over a period of three months, showcases an authentic replica of a B25 Cockpit constructed in a cutting-edge studio that directly filmed content into a gaming engine.

Drawing inspiration from shared values between Singapore and Finland, the protagonist, Captain Ho, is a remarkable 103-year-old, the last surviving member of the Flying Tigers, a unit within the China-America Composite Wing (CACW). Captain Ho, who completed eight missions with the 1st Bomber Squadron flying B25 Mitchell Bombers during World War II, chose neutrality in the post-war Chinese civil conflict and returned to Malaya. He later assumed the role of Chief Pilot at the inception of Singapore Airlines, where he not only trained 300 pilots with exceptional flying skills but also instilled qualities of humility and kindness in his leadership. Captain Ho attributes his success to “Ngaai” or “捱,” signifying tenacity in the face of adversity.

This short film is part of the 2023 Virtual Production Innovation Call initiated by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The call encourages local media enterprises to explore emerging technologies like Virtual Production to tap into new realms of creativity in storytelling.

The soundtrack was written by Jeliah, one of Finland’s top singer-songwriter. 

Jeliah shares “I am excited to write the sound track for this film once I got to understand who Captain Ho was. In Finland, Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. It is held by Finns to express their national character. When it was explained to me that Captain Ho often referred to Ngaai as a value that saw him through his tough battles in World War 2 and the foundation of Singapore Airlines in the early years of 2023, it became clear that Finland and Singapore, as small countries, can and should celebrate this grit as the key to our success to punch above our weight in global issues.”

The sponsors of the short film, Decode Global and the Family Office Alliance, will be organising discussions on resilience based on it. Decode Global CEO Ivan Lew says his company is committed to giving back to Asia by recognising honourable people so that a. new generation can rediscover the values that paved the way for our success and prosperity. Family Office Alliance founder Mr Claude Finckenberg says his company seeks to rally private families and wealth in Europe and Asia to look at addressing common global challenges and how European and Asian families can learn from each other to preserve the values of resilience and purpose across generations.

Grid Synergy aims to secure an extra S$20,000 in business contributions to offset the expenses associated with producing the short film. The overall project goal is to accumulate S$120,000, and thus far, it has garnered S$90,000 with the generous backing of both the public and corporate sponsors. Additionally, Singapore Airlines has contributed by providing a pair of return business class tickets to Sydney to further support the fundraising efforts.

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Middle aged curious individual trying to find a balance in keeping healthy and finding joy keeping fit. Because trying new food and drink is part of the work.

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