Last updated: 13 March 2023

Published on: 01 January 2016



The second edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) wrapped up with a record number of 20,000 attendees. From 26 November to 6 December 2015, media and creative professionals as well as members of the public gathered to network with fellow industry players and thought leaders at the Festival. They attended programmes as part of SMF’s five partner events over a span of 11 days. The five events include Asia TV Forum and ScreenSingapore, Asian Television Awards, Singapore International Film Festival and the newest addition to SMF, Digital Matters.

Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) – 26 Nov to 6 Dec 2015 
More than 12,000 audience members attended the longest-running international film platform in Southeast Asia, which had 146 feature and short films from 51 countries this year. SGIFF’s opening film,Panay, kickstarted SMF on 26 November at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. The star-studded event saw local and international filmmakers and celebrities such as Lee Chung, Sonia Sui and Yeo Yann Yann walk the red carpet. This year also marked the 20th anniversary of two iconic local films, Yonfan’s Bugis Street and Eric Khoo’s Mee Pok Man, which saw director and cast reunions in the Classics segment of SGIFF. More than 10 awards were given out at the Silver Screen Awards on 5 December, which saw The Fourth Direction emerging as the Best Film in the Asian Feature Film Competition. Internationally acclaimed actress and producer, Michelle Yeoh, also received the Cinema Legend Award, which recognises Asian actors and their outstanding achievements. In this year’s inaugural Audience Choice Awards, Sailing A Sinking Sea by Olivia Wyatt won the hearts of festival-goers and took home the title of favourite feature film.

Asia TV Forum (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS) – 1 to 4 Dec 2015
Minister of Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, together with Ms Debbie Evans, President of Reed Exhibitions Southeast Asia and Australia, Mr Robert Gilby, Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company and Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, and Mr Gabriel Lim, CEO of MDA, officially opened ATF and SS, which included a pre-market conference on 1 December. The three-day market featured over 4,800 international and Asian content buys and sellers saw a record-breaking performance with an indicative value of US$263 million in transactions charted. Conference highlights included in-depth sharing sessions on the latest industry trends and opportunities with industry leaders such as Mr D. J Lee from CJ E&M, Mr René Rechtman, Head of Maker Studios and Ms Qiu Yuan Yuan, President of JSBCI.

SS launched the inaugural Southeast Asian Film Financing Project Market, created in partnership with Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association and Europe’s Ties that Bind programme. More than 140 project submissions from 22 countries were received and the top 10 projects were matched with potential investors and partners.

At the Singapore Pavilion, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, witnessed the symbolic check-in of the Creators’ Space by Mr Gabriel Lim, CEO of MDA, and the seven Creators’ Space partners. Dr Yaacob highlighted that the Creators’ Space will offer programmes and resources for online content capability and digital services, technology and platforms. The space will be launched in the 2nd half of 2016 and will be located at PIXEL, a building jointly developed by MDA and JTC at One-North.

More than 1,000 hours of TV, animation and film content from over 60 exhibitors were showcased at the Singapore Pavilion. Here are some of the announcements made over three days:

  • mm2 Entertainment and Jack Neo announced that the fourth instalment of popular blockbuster, Ah Boys to Men, will be released in 2017.
  • mm2 Entertainment also shared that the Movie Makers Short Film Competition will see regional expansion in 2016.
  • Scout Pictures and FLY Entertainment introduced its upcoming period romance film, My Love, Sinema, starring Tosh Zhang and Cheryl Wee.
  • Singapore-owned MyChinaChannel (MCC) and China Business Network (CBN) announced two new co-developed infotainment and documentary series along with 100 hours of financial business content in English.
  • Sparky Animation will co-produce a new fantasy comedy series, Rhythm Warriors, with UK company, Presto Digital Limited.
  • Beach House Pictures revealed that they will be developing Wild City into a new concept - Wild Cities, adapting the well-received documentary internationally.

Asian Television Awards (ATA) – 2 to 3 Dec 2015
The region’s most prestigious industry award ceremony was held over two consecutive nights at Suntec City, Singapore and saw over 40 awards being given out. The star-studded awards show was hosted by Allan Wu, Max Loong, Munah Bagharib and Joey Mead King, and attended by a 3,000-strong crowd. For the first time in its 20-year history, the show was broadcast live on channels including Astro Ria, LeTV and Toggle, bringing the glitz and glamour to over 300 million online viewers. Local wins include Lim Kay Tong receiving the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award and Channel News Asia and Mediacorp bagging the Terrestrial Channel of the Year and Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year awards respectively.

Digital Matters – 3 to 5 Dec 2015
SMF’s newest constituent event, Digital Matters, received over 400 digital media, brand and marketing professionals during its 2-day B2B2Fan conference held at Suntec City. Brand leaders include Ms Emily Ketchen, Regional Head of Marketing Services for HP Inc, and Mr Josh Black, CEO of GroupM, who spearheaded conference topics such as working with online content creators and how brands can benefit from this collaboration. Storytelling in the digital space was also discussed as Mr Luke Hyams, Head of International Content for MCN Maker Studio, shared his experiences in that area.

Digital Matters also organised SuperFan Friday, where 400 lucky fans got to attend an exclusive Meet & Greet session with YouTube superstars, Alfie Deyes and Marcus Butler. The online creators also met budding creators at the inaugural Digital Matters University which is an initiative to grow and develop the local creator community.

For more pictures of the Festival, visit MDA’s Facebook photo albums.