The second edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) will run from 26 November to 6 December 2015, with a stronger line-up of events featuring a new constituent event "Digital Matters". More than 17,000 are expected to attend the SMF, including members of the public and media professionals such as filmmakers, producers, programme buyers, digital content creators and celebrities.
SMF will bring together five constituent events this year: Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS), Asian Television Awards (ATA) as well as the latest addition to the festival- Branded Ltd.'s Digital Matters. These events firm establish the SMF as a key connector for global media players in Asia and beyond.
At the media briefing this morning hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), event partners and the Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board shared their vision and goals for the Festival.
New focus on digital content
The second edition of the SMF will have a stronger focus on digital content. Recognising that digital content is the way forward to reach out to a global audience, SMF has included Branded Ltd.'s Digital Matters as one of its new constituent events. With a combined reach of almost 10 million subscribers, YouTube stars Alfie Deyes and Marcus Butler will be heading the cast at Digital Matters. They will be joined by leaders in the online entertainment and brand marketing space including Bing Chen, Chief Creative Officer from Victorious, Josh Black, Chief Executive Officer of GroupM Entertainment and Susana Tsui, Chief Executive Officer of PHD Asia Pacific.
For SGIFF, the Festival will launch a new The Future of Cinema forum series, focusing this year on digital distribution. The forum will explore how independent filmmakers now have increased access to new platforms that allow them to premiere their works and reach wider audiences. Director of Audience Development and Content Operations at Vimeo, Peter Gerard (USA), heads the panel of speakers, along with filmmakers James Lee (Malaysia), Christian Lee and Jason Chan (Singapore). The forum is moderated by Singapore filmmaker and SGIFF Board Member Tan Pin Pin.
ATF's pre-market conference will also be helmed by notable business leaders who will shed valuable insights on the Asian content industry including digital content trends and evolving business models in content creation and consumption.
Greater opportunities for investment into the region
This year, the SMF will open up more avenues for strategic partnerships, creative collaborations and investment opportunities into the region. ATF will host several TV masterclasses for producers, including sessions by Melodie L. Shaw, from the Writers Guild of America, and Dave Winnan, Executive Producer, International Formats from ITV Studios. Those in the film business will also benefit from ScreenSingapore's new partnership with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) to run the Southeast Asian Film Financing Project Market, where 10 in-development fiction and non-fiction feature film projects will partake in the project market. They will be matched with commissioner, investors and co-production partners to bring their project to fruition.
Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board and Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company (SEA) said, "Our stronger focus on digital content at this year's SMF promotes greater collaboration and partnership across the Film, TV and digital sectors - a key differentiator from other traditional film and TV events". He added, "The new elements at this year's SMF will also strengthen investment opportunities for media players, establishing SMF's valued position as a key connector and platform for global media players venturing into Asia, and for Asian media professionals going global."
Celebrating and showcasing the best of regional talent and beyond
The SMF will continue to showcase quality works from Singapore and the region on an international stage. The SGIFF will pay tribute to acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf with an Honorary Award, and a special retrospective of five of his works. Makhmalbaf's films have featured regularly in the Festival over the years, each reflecting his unyielding perseverance and conviction to convey the stories of Iran and its people through film. In recognising his lifelong dedication and contribution to cinema, the Festival hopes that Makhmalbaf's efforts will inspire future filmmakers in Singapore and the region to continue telling the Asian story in profound ways.
The spirit of celebrating the best talent and content from the region also remains a key element of SMF. The ATA will unveil a series of "Firsts" for the prestigious awards. For the first time, ATA will be broadcasted "live", expanding the reach of the awards to more than 80 million households across Asia. The ATA will also award the achievement award this year to Mr Liu Changle, founder, Chairman and CEO of Phoenix Satellite Television, to honour and celebrate his contributions. Under his charge, the group has gone on to own six Satellite TV Channels and merged many business fronts, including new media, outdoor LED, weekly magazine, publishing, radio broadcasting and education, covering over 180 countries and regions. Mr. Liu is also the Chairman of the iEMMYs Festival, which is run by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and recipient of numerous titles including "Top 10 Most Innovative Media Entrepreneurs in Mainland China", "Leader of Global Mandarin TV Program Providers" and "Outstanding Figure in Media Branding".
SMF offers exciting line-up for the public
The public can expect to see an exciting showcase of the best talent and content from Singapore and the region at the SGIFF and ATA. As part of the SGIFF's key role in the discovery of independent cinema, members of the public can look forward to a quality line-up of screenings. The international premiere of Taiwanese indigenous film, Panay, is set to open the Festival on 26 November, while two iconic films of Singapore cinema - Eric Khoo's Mee Pok Man and Yonfan's Bugis Street Redux – have been included as part of the Classics segment, both marking their 20th anniversaries this year with special cast reunions. ATA's celebrity line-up will feature some of Asia's most outstanding acts and individuals. The star-studded show will include performances from Indonesia's very own gem Anggun, and see Allan Wu, Joey Mead King, Max Loong and Stephanie Carrington join as hosts for the evenings.
Digital Matters will showcase the future of online entertainment by mixing content industry professionals and leading social media influencers together with their followers in a conference setting. With an eye firmly on developing future talent, Digital Matters will also introduce a slew of teen-focussed creative workshops and meet-and-greet sessions with online stars.
"We achieved several milestones and successes in our inaugural year for the Singapore Media Festival, and we hope to continue building on these to make the festival a signature event not just for media professionals, but also everyone in Singapore," said Angeline Poh, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry) of Singapore's Media Development Authority. "The public can look forward to a host of exciting events and screenings, which makes the SMF a great platform for film buffs and digital media fans to appreciate regional content and meet local and regional talent," she added.
For its inaugural year, more than 15,000 people took part in the SMF. Its constituent events also celebrated success, with ATA and SS welcoming 4,800 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors and registering SGD 355.1 million in sales deals; while the Singapore International Film Festival returned with an impressive line-up of 147 films from 50 countries.
More information on SMF can be found at: http://www.sgmediafestival.com/
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About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (www.mci.gov.sg).
About Singapore Media Festival (SMF)
The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Media Development Authority is set to become one of Asiaʼs leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and contents in Asia for Film and TV. It brings together established media events – Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS), Asian Television Awards (ATA) and Digital Matters, which will take place from 26 November to 6 December 2015. For more information about the Singapore Media Festival, please visit www.sgmediafestival.com.