Last updated: 13 March 2023

Published on: 14 October 2016


Returning this November, the Singapore Media Festival will showcase dynamic stories across multiple formats. Expect immersive content by storytellers from Asia and other parts of the world.

By Annabelle Liang

The upcoming Singapore Media Festival (SMF) promises to be a unique blend of recollection and innovation.

Besides exploring new digital platforms and formats, the festival's theme is “Celebrating Asian Storytelling”. This recognises the region's creators, their accomplishments and the progress of the media sector.

The third edition of SMF, comprising multiple events running from 23 Nov to 9 Dec, is hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The festival will bring back established events, including the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asian Television Awards (ATA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), and ScreenSingapore (SS). This year, SMF will also welcome two new associate events, CASBAA Spotlight Series: Emerging Southeast Asian Markets, and ciNE65 by Nexus.

“This year's Singapore Media Festival celebrates the importance of good storytelling as the constant amidst a rapidly changing media environment,” said Ms Angeline Poh, IMDA’s Assistant Chief Executive for Content and Innovation. “A good story, well told and through the right platforms will engage any audience. As a result, IMDA will continue to invest in these fundamentals.”

One such initiative is SMF Ignite, a keystone digital event that will make its festival debut on 29 Nov. It is organised by the IMDA and industry partners, such as Maker Studios, StyleHaul and Dailymotion. SMF Ignite will bring together creators of digital content through workshops and conferences by industry thought leaders. These will focus on next-generation trends such as gaming. Fans of YouTube gaming personalities can also look forward to meet-and-greet sessions at the festival.

20161014 Rob picFestival-goers can also take some time off to wind down at SMF’s inaugural Festival Square at CHIJMES. Here, participants can interact, exchange ideas, enjoy exclusive discounts and catch outdoor screenings.

Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board Robert Gilby (pictured right) said: “The formation of the IMDA brings together two bodies – the Media Development Authority and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. It puts us in the position to bring together film, media, technology and telecommunications, providing opportunities for businesses and individuals alike.”

SMF saw attendance increase by 25% in the previous edition. Similarly, the value of deals made between buyers and sellers has risen, Robert added. “Beyond that, there are countless examples of collaboration between experienced talent and new talent, between global companies and local companies.”

For latest updates or to find out more about SMF, stay tuned to IMDA’s Facebook page or visit


SMF key events

Singapore International Film Festival

23 Nov – 4 Dec

Singapore's largest and longest-running film event is back! This edition casts a spotlight on three local filmmakers. They are K. Rajagopal, whose first feature film, A Yellow Bird, has been shortlisted at the Silver Screen Awards; the late Abdul Nizam, who played an instrumental role in cinema in the 1990s; and Gladys Ng, whose festival-commissioned short, The Pursuit of A Happy Human Life, is set to make its world premiere.


Asian Television Awards

1 & 2 Dec

The annual event attracts over 1,300 entries from as many as 17 countries. It will feature acclaimed hosts and performers Charli XCX and JJ Lin. Korean Broadcasting System, which aired popular series Descendants of the Sun, will pick up an award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television.


Asia TV Forum & Market 2016

6 - 9 Dec

 Virtual reality will have a special showcase at this edition, with one project being the award-winning Notes on Blindness by producer Arnaud Colinart. Through binaural audio and 3D animations, visitors can immerse themselves in the experiences of John Hull, a blind man. The event will also feature an ATF Formats pitch for international buyers and sellers, and a C-Level summit, “Managing the Business of Disruptors”.


ScreenSingapore 2016

7 – 9 Dec 

The event is a platform for producers, distributors, investors and buyers to explore opportunities for co-production. Southeast Asian and European producers can also attend a workshop, aimed at connecting them to partners and opportunities for collaboration.