Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 06 December 2017
12 MINS READ
A key platform in the region’s media industry, the fourth edition of the Festival assembled established and emerging players to create opportunities and possibilities for fresh and innovative content.
Singapore, 6 December 2017 – The Singapore Media Festival (SMF) 2017 celebrated the best of Asian storytelling with a gathering of over 20,000 media and creative professionals, industry thought-leaders and fans of television and film from around the world. A key platform in the region’s media industry, the fourth edition of the Festival assembled established and emerging players to create opportunities and possibilities for fresh and innovative content.
Hosted by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) from 23 November to 3 December, the festival brought together established events including the Asian Television Awards (ATA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore, Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), and SMF Ignite. This year’s Festival saw a strong emphasis on emerging technologies, new platforms and creative innovation, as well as a concerted spotlight on content and collaborations with Indonesia – SMF’s first Country-of-Focus.
An invigorated community at the heart of Asian storytelling
- The Singapore International Film Festival wrapped up a successful 28th edition on 3 December, with a record-breaking attendance of more than 14,000 festival-goers from Singapore and across the region. The festival showcased a total of 112 feature and short films from 42 countries, with 31 sold-out screenings of local and international films – the highest since the Festival returned in 2014.
SGIFF 2017 Silver Screen Award Winners. Image courtesy of Bonnie Yap, SGIFF.
The Festival also concluded its inaugural Southeast Asian Producers Network which brought together the movers and shakers of the regional producing industry, who shared their experiences and the art of their craft with eager audiences.
The 22nd Asian Television Awards concluded two evenings of glitz and glamour, celebrating Asian television’s best. A total of 47 awards were presented over 30 November and 1 December, recognising excellence in programming, production and performance. More than 1,350 entries from 250 channels and 66 broadcasters across Asia vied for the top prizes of Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year – which went to Singapore’s Mediacorp Pte Ltd – while the Cable and Satellite Network of the Year and the Cable and Satellite Channel of the Year awards went to Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.
Winners from the ATA Trade Gala evening on 30 November. Image courtesy of ATA.
- Prominent individuals from the region were honoured, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Asian media industry. Indonesian veteran filmmaker Garin Nugroho was conferred SGIFF’s Honorary Award, celebrating his works that capture his love for Indonesia, his people and the Javanese culture, while Japan’s leading actor, Koji Yakusho, was honoured with the Cinema Legend Award, recognising his talent and achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on the silver screen across his 39-year career. ATA’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television was presented to Pak Chairul Tanjung, Founder and Chairman of Trans Media, who played a key role in helping to revolutionise the Indonesian media industry.
- The Festival continues to nurture and raise a new generation of storytellers too. SGIFF’s Southeast Asian Film Lab, which guides emerging filmmakers on their first feature-length film, awarded the Most Promising Project to Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke from Thailand for his film, A Useful Ghost. Giving a nod to story development and film writing, this year’s Youth Critic Award was presented to Nanyang Technological University student Joshua Ng Jun Hao, for his originality of writing and contribution to cinematic discussions in the region.
- To support the growing community of media players in Singapore, IMDA announced the launch of the first industry-specific Tripartite Standard on the Procurement of Services from Media Freelancers, which sets out industry best practices to promote stronger working relationships between companies and media freelancers. Several companies have already pledged to adopt the Standard, including regional broadcaster HBO Asia, and local production houses like Weiyu Films and Beach House Pictures. Singapore’s national broadcaster Mediacorp, as well as the Association of Independent Producers (AIPRO) have also pledged to adopt the Standard.
- 2017’s Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore saw record-breaking performance over the active three-day market, from show attendance to sales transactions on the market floor. The market was attended by over 5,400 delegates from 54 countries, and US$289 million worth of deals and partnerships were estimated to have been facilitated during the market.
- Within the market, the Singapore Pavilion showcased over 800 hours of compelling Asian stories through 138 film, television, VR and game titles across various genres. New titles coming up in 2018 include:
Hit It – an award-winning gameshow format that pits two teams against each other in a series of comedic sports-linked challenges. Produced by Xtreme Media which had come out tops at last year’s inaugural ATF Formats Pitch, it will debut on Mediacorp’s Suria channel in February 2018.
Robot Playground Media’s The Violinist is a new feature-length animation that will bring audiences on a moving story of a legendary violinist, as she recounts her life and career spanning across 80 years of Malaya, Singapore and Southeast Asian history. It is being adapted from the well-received short film, The Violin, which took home the award for Best 2D Animated Programme at this year’s Asian Television Awards.
As part of a public service content partnership with IMDA, audiences can look forward to fresh programmes developed under Viddsee’s new original content creation arm, Viddsee Studios, which will be headed by local filmmaker, Kenny Tan. In partnership with IMDA, five new original series will be commissioned and distributed on Viddsee’s platforms, with the first series targeted to go live in February 2018.
Besides Viddsee, IMDA announced that it will also strengthen its partnerships with key media players, including international broadcasters and networks like HBO Asia and Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP); global content marketing company Brand New Media; and leading arts institution, LASALLE. These partnerships will open up more opportunities for local media talent to upskill and create content for local and international audiences, as well as for digital platforms.
- In search of the best ideas for original animation for children, the ATF introduced its inaugural ATF Animation Pitch this year and awarded the top prize to studio2 Animation Lab from Taiwan. The animation concept, titled The Western Journey of Pigsy, wowed the on-stage jury for its creativity and strong potential for it to be exported and extended to a series. The second edition of the ATF Formats Pitch received international entries from 13 countries this year, but it was Indonesia’s Gamaliel Paulus (Gammy) who won over the jury with his winning format for Ranking – a game and infotainment show where participants guess the correct order of a ranking in return for prizes.
(L-R) Spruce Leong; Amreet Chahal; Janine Stein; Stephen Lambert; Gamaliel Paulus; Rachel Glaister; Alan Hodges at the ATF Formats Pitch. Image courtesy of ATF.
- ScreenSingapore’s third Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market received submissions from 16 countries, with the top 15 finalists representing Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, The Philippines and Thailand. These were eventually matched with potential global investors who would help these emerging Asian filmmakers catapult their projects to fruition. The Hunted (Indonesia) and Mina-Anud (Philippines) were recognised as this year’s top projects – The Hunted received a S$20,000 co-production investment, a loan of a Professional Digital Cinema Camera, as well as a S$20,000 post-production prize; while Mina-Anud received a US$10,000 award for feature film colour grading.
- With an aim of driving investment opportunities into the region through collaborations, the SMF introduced its very first Country-of-Focus this year, highlighting the country’s rich stories, talents and achievements across the SMF’s various constituent events.
Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat; Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency I Gede Ngurah Swajaya; and Indonesian delegates at the ATF Indonesian Lounge. Photo courtesy of Singapore Media Festival.
- As part of the initiative, more than 120 Indonesian delegates and 50 Indonesian companies participated in the Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore. They included media and production houses, as well as independent producers and filmmakers under the Indonesian Film Board (BPI), the Association of Indonesian Film Producers (APROFI), and Indonesian documentary filmmakers collective, In-Docs.
- Key Indonesian media players and talents were in town to lend weight and participate in SMF. Founder and chairman of Indonesia’s MNC Group, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, delivered a presentation at the ATF Leaders’ Summit titled The Might of Indonesia, shedding light on how the country’s largest media group is shaping the media landscape in the year to come. Award-winning Indonesian actress Marsha Timothy, who attended the Singapore premiere of Cannes-acclaimed Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts at SGIFF, also sat on the jury for the Silver Screen Awards’ Southeast Asian Short Film Competition; while pop-singer and actor Afgansyah Reza delighted local and regional audiences with his performance during the ATA live show.
Chan Gin Kai, President, SAAVA, and Chand Parwez, Chairman, BPI at the MOU signing on 30 November. Image courtesy of SMF 2017.
One key partnership made between Indonesia and Singapore was a Memorandum of Understanding between BPI and the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association’s (SAAVA) to jointly promote the film entertainment, digital content and media production industries in Indonesia and around Southeast Asia. This took place at a dedicated Indonesian Lounge on the ATF Market Floor.
Mohen Leo, Director of Content and Platform Strategy, ILMxLAB, delivering the keynote address on storytelling for immersive entertainment. Photo courtesy of Singapore Media Festival.
- A one-day conference and exhibition, VR X SMF Ignite, was organised to bring together technologist, creators, developers and users to exchange insights on the VR ecosystem, and to discuss how this new paradigm can create opportunities for businesses in media. It saw a strong line-up of 14 local and international speakers and subject matter experts deliver keynotes on various topics, such as immersive entertainment and storytelling as well as VR in enterprise solutions. The inaugural conference was attended by over 300 guests.
Hands-on demos at the VR X SMF Ignite Exhibition.
- Conference-goers were also able to experience the region’s latest immersive media technologies at the VR Exhibition which featured experiential booths by global brands like Discovery, who showcased a shark-dive experience with MythBuster Adam Savage, as well as Singapore-based developers like Kaiju Den, who presented VR games and VR simulations for education and development.
- To encourage and groom a new wave of digital content creation, Creators X SMF Ignite was organised in partnership with Bloomr.SG (Mediacorp Creators Network) to equip participants with industry skills that revolve around storytelling, creativity, technology integration and market grade pitching. The two-day event, attended by creators from both Singapore and Indonesia, culminated in a grand challenge that saw teams collaborating, conceptualising and pitching their ideas to a panel of industry veterans.
- Also contributing to the spotlight on VR technology was SGIFF’s Future of Cinema Forum, organised with Canadian filmmaker and Creative Director of EyeSteelFilm, Sandra Rodriguez, and Australian filmmaker Aaron Wilson. The forum explored how VR technology has allowed for more innovative storytelling on a medium that transcends film, television and traditional media.
Winning teams making their pitches to industry veterans during the two-day Creators X SMF Ignite event.
Trevor Tham (@trevmonki), Keiji Umehara (@umeharakeiji), and Angela Tan (@lovevieruff) took home the award for Top Integration prize, for their idea on a social media-driven variety programme (pictured on left). Wang Xiaofan (@untamed_little_wolf), Lim Xin Hui Ynex (@ynezzzz_), Thomas Kopankiewicz (@blysk_tk) and Louis Tyler Sim (@louistylersim) won the awards for both the Top Innovation and Best Storytelling categories, for their localised marketing campaign for Korean blockbuster film, Train to Busan.
About the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
About the Singapore Media Festival
The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Info-communications Media Development Authority, is set to become one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for Film, TV and digital media. Taking place from 23 November to 3 December 2017, the Singapore Media Festival brings together established media events such as the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS) and Asian Television Awards (ATA), as well as a new digital event SMF Ignite.
For more information about the Singapore Media Festival, please visit www.sgmediafestival.com.
For media enquiries and interview opportunities, please contact:
Sarah-Marie TEO (Ms)
T: +65 6568 9154 / +65 9795 7110
Joannah ZHONG (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
T: +65 9817 2983
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