Last updated: 13 March 2023

Published on: 25 September 2016


Eight Singapore media firms recently showcased 140 hours of film and television content at the Chinese International Film & TV Programme Exhibition (CIFTPE).

20160928_CIFTPE sg pavilion

The Singapore Pavilion housed eight local media firms at the CIFTPE 2016. Image credit: WaWa Pictures

By Sanjay Surana

The Chinese box office is on the rise with the expectation of beating the North American market in 2020 as the world’s biggest film market. By 2019, China’s total film entertainment revenue is expected to hit US$9.96 billion, almost double the revenue of US$5.07 billion in 2014.

So what are the chances of Singapore media companies capturing a slice of this market? Pretty good, it seems.

Eight Singapore media firms – led by the Media Development Authority – recently showcased 140 hours of film and television content at the Chinese International Film & TV Programme Exhibition (CIFTPE) held from 25-27 August at the Beijing Exhibition Centre. The original, multi-format, multi-genre, and multi-language film and television content—including web series, family comedies, and psychological thrillers—represented a 30% increase from the Singapore material showcased at the 2015 exhibition.

WaWa Pictures, a local producer of Chinese-language visual entertainment, managed to strike lucky at the event. “The Chinese buyers were receptive to Singapore-produced Chinese content since we share the same language, cultural norms and positive social values. In fact, we have identified some potential partners whom we can work with in areas such as distribution, movie production and TV co-production,” says Molby Low (pictured left), Founder of WaWa Pictures.


The company – which specialises in Chinese productions such as the food-themed drama Fire Up starring Singapore actors Huang Biren and Thomas Ong – believes that the CIFTPE is a must-go event for Chinese content producers as it brings together industry heavyweights.

Even Singapore companies that do not produce Chinese content are trying to establish a foothold in the Middle Kingdom through CIFTPE. Shortman Films, which produces dramas, children’s programmes, and variety specials in English and Malay, attended the exhibition for the first time this year.

“As we are embarking on producing films targeted towards the international market, the CIFTPE offers us a platform to find partners that can help in the distribution of our feature films in the China market,” says Shafie Mustafa, Executive Director of Shortman Films.

Shafie believes that overall, the exhibition provided a good networking experience and exposure to various media companies in China. “The Chinese buyers seemed keen on our proposed feature film, The Chinese American, due to its storyline, which features a strong portrayal of a Chinese protagonist in America.”

Other companies attend CIFTPE to educate themselves about the film and TV industries in the world’s most populous country – and possibly even land a deal. “We go to understand everything about China, the world’s biggest market,” explains Tay Bee Pin, Owner of Wormwood Films, a boutique production house that makes commercial videos and independent films. “In fact, our Chinese film project called Changfeng Town was developed during my trips to CIFTPE in the last two years.”

To find out more about opportunities to be part of the Singapore delegation at international infocomm and media trade events, click here.

Image credit:

Picture of Molby Low - WaWa Pictures 


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