Dated: 11 March 2005

The search is on for Singapore’s next generation of hot new filmmakers, directors and scriptwriters.

Conducted by Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific (PSY) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) from today and taking the form of a comprehensive film and TV competition, the Panasonic-MDA Digital Film Fiesta aims to train the spotlights on the next generation of Singaporean film talent – the producers, directors and scriptwriters who possess the creativity, genius and oomph to make films and TV shows that will appeal to local as well as international audiences.

The Fiesta – the largest and most ambitious talent hunt of its kind ever to be initiated here – is a multi-million dollar initiative comprising four components: National Scriptwriting Competition, Digital Short Film Competition, High-Definition Productions (for television series and feature films) and Fringe Events. 

Contestants have four months to the deadline of July 25, 2005 to wow judges with their submissions and creative ideas. They can also look forward to a whole slew of exciting activities, including face-to-face interaction with the most prominent names in the Singapore media industry. Shortlisted candidates for the Digital Short Film Professional Category will be mentored by some of Singapore’s finest young filmmakers, including Royston Tan, Wee Li Lin, Tan Pin Pin, Sun Koh and Juan Foo. 

Winners also may just see their works developed into High-Definition (HD) feature-length films or television drama series. From script to screen, this is the only competition that provides the platform for the winning scripts to be turned into productions – a result of the joint collaboration and investment by Panasonic, the MDA and J Team Productions. Their works will be co-produced by J Team Productions, Panasonic, the MDA and MediaCorp Studios. The co-producers will jointly appoint distributors to market the productions internationally.

Said Mr. Seto Lok Yin, Director of Industry Development at the MDA, “Our objective is to develop a critical pool of media talent in Singapore. The Digital Film Fiesta serves twin roles of talent-spotting and providing the platform for gifted filmmakers and directors to showcase their capabilities. Singapore is steadily gaining stature as a destination that offers comprehensive pre and post-production facilities to filmmakers as well as a pool of talented media professionals. The commitment to this initiative is to throw the limelight on our capability in the whole value chain of filmmaking and TV production, from content creation, production to distribution.” 

Mr. Eugene Chan, Managing Director of PSY, said, “Panasonic has always believed in supporting and nurturing talent in the regional film landscape. In many ways, this Digital Film Fiesta is a revival of our video competitions in the 1980s, in which some of our most illustrious filmmakers of today, including Jack Neo and Royston Tan, were participants. With support from key industry players and notable independent filmmakers, we hope to launch more luminous film careers like theirs through the Digital Film Fiesta.”

Added Mr Jack Neo, who is also director and founder of J Team Productions, “Competitions like the Digital Film Fiesta are important for uncovering scriptwriting and filmmaking gems. Through the support of the industry, we hope to provide a starting platform and incubator for our next generation of filmmakers.” Other judges joining Mr Neo on the panel include prominent local filmmakers Eric Khoo, Kelvin Tong, Glen Goei, and Nickson Fong.

Mr. Chang Long Jong, Chief Executive Officer of MediaCorp Studios said, “MediaCorp Studios is proud to be associated with this initiative, which will play a key role in promoting creativity through our own local talents. We are confident that our partnership with J Team in producing a TV series from the scriptwriting competition will be another success, as we have worked together for a long time and have created many successful Movies and TV content.”

To enhance the skills of aspiring filmmakers, there will also be a fringe programme, running from May to July 2005, comprising a series of workshops, which provides tips on crafting of commercially viable stories, music in films, directing non-actors and more. Speakers include film directors Jack Neo and Royston Tan and independent film curator Yuni Hadi.

The Digital Film Fiesta is kindly supported by J Team Productions, MediaCorp Studios, Apple, Infinite Frameworks, Film Equipment Gallery and The Substation. 

Channel U is the official television channel for the Digital Film Fiesta.

For more information on the Digital Film Fiesta:​

T (65) 6339 3068​