Dated: 4 December 2003

MediaCorp Studios' Raintree Pictures (Raintree Pictures), The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and Silicon Illusions (SI) are pleased to announce their collaboration on the animated feature - SING TO THE DAWN.​​

SING TO THE DAWN is the first film to be produced under the MDA-Raintree Pictures 10-Movie Memorandum Of Understanding. It also marks Raintree's first foray into the world of animation. Production has commenced, with the budget of the movie set at S$2.5 million and the target date for release being early 2005.

The movie is based on award-winning writer Minfong Ho's novel of the same title. SING TO THE DAWN is her most successful novel to date. It is a simple, yet touching story about the changing role of Asian women. Minfong Ho's other works are also very well received, winning awards and recognition from various notable institutions and publications from the United States and Southeast Asia.

The director working on this animated feature is Mr Frank Saperstein. He is an award-winning producer/director/writer with over 20 years experience in all facets of animation, live action and multi media production, working with top companies such as Universal Studios, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Nelvana, CBS and many more.

Bringing life to the story will be the creative team at Silicon Illusions (SI) who has already made much progress with the animation in terms of creativity and technological advancement. They have developed an efficient process called "motoons" which, together with their digital workflow systems, significantly reduces the time and costs needed in the animation production process. In short, the "motoons" process is a creative blend of the SI-developed "virtual cinematography" and action-capture systems;3D-layered key-framed animation;combined with, 3D &2D-painted backgrounds and composited elements.

Said the Executive Producer, Mr Daniel Yun, who is also Chief Executive Officer of MediaCorp Studios' Raintree Pictures, "It was just a matter of time before Raintree Pictures embarked on an animated feature. We took our time until we were at a stage where we had the confidence to take on this challenge. SING TO THE DAWN was initiated by MDA. We saw the potential to develop and produce it into a uniquely Singaporean animated feature with global appeal. Our partners, both MDA and Silicon Illusions have the commitment and the resources to help the project realise its potential. Together, we have brought Mr Frank Saperstein on board as the director.

The key strategy is to produce an animated feature at a budget that is economical, yet with the technical standards to tell a compelling and engaging story. The story has a timeless theme that will appeal to all ages. The wheels are in motion for Singapore to evolve its own brand of animation, one that reflects the cultures from this part of the world and the progress we have made in animation expertise."

Said the Executive Producer, Mr B K Ng, President &Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Illusions, "Silicon Illusions is most happy to be part of this animated feature film's production with Raintree Pictures and the MDA of Singapore. Apart from creative inputs, one of the unique key leverages shall be on our technological developments for a much more efficient long-form production process and for the film to achieve a higher productivity edge. We look forward to working closely with director Frank Saperstein and the producers to make this film a great success."

Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive Officer of the Media Development Authority said, "The MDA is happy to partner home-grown media companies Raintree Pictures and Silicon Illusions to produce this animation feature film based on the work of an award-winning Singaporean writer. SING TO THE DAWN is a meaningful project with an uniquely Asian flavour and yet showcases universal themes such as sibling rivalry, kinship and the indomitable spirit of a teenage girl, that audiences around the world can identify with. It is a good example of a 'Made-by-Singapore' film, which we hope will be enjoyed by both Singapore and overseas audiences. This project will be a positive boost to the efforts of Media 21 in transforming Singapore into a global media city."

Mr Frank Saperstein, the Director said, "From the moment I read Minfong Ho's book, SING TO THE DAWN, I began envisioning it as a heart warming and empowering animated film for children and families. I am pleased to be working with the talented team of artists at Silicon Illusions and look forward to helping establish Singapore as a new international hub for CGI Animation."


SING TO THE DAWN is about the struggle of a young village girl for her right to further her study against traditional perspectives of the role of women in society.

Dawn and her younger brother, Chet, both yearn to further their education and better their family and village by winning the right to go study in a city school, pitting the inseparable siblings against each other.

Dawn faces opposition at every turn making her more determined to overcome these obstacles and proof to herself and others that she is capable of not only handling the responsibility of the scholarship but possibly even changing world.


MediaCorp Studios' Raintree Pictures (Raintree Pictures)

Being the pioneer in Singapore movie industry, Raintree Pictures, the movie-making arm of MediaCorp Studios has achieved many exciting milestones. Working with both local and regional practitioners, it has released 11 movies of diverse genres. In the coming years, while maintaining an output of four movies a year, the company also aims to find the right mix of local and regional talents to create the breakout hit that will travel beyond Asia.

MediaCorp Studios is the production arm of MediaCorp, the largest and most established broadcaster in Singapore with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Production, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services.

Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

MDA was formed on 1 January 2003 to develop Singapore into a vibrant global media city, in effect fostering a creative economy and a connected society. The agency's Media 21 strategy aims to create a vibrant environment for the industry and public, via five key thrusts: to establish Singapore as a media exchange;to export 'Made-by-Singapore' content;to internationalise local media companies;to nurture local media talents;and to develop digital media.

Silicion Illusions (SI)

Silicon Illusions is a one of Singapore's largest full service digital media studio providing high quality computer graphics and animation and visual effects for film and TV. Our supporting production infrastructure and facilities include a state-of-the-art real time optical motion capture system, well-equipped post studio with on-line uncompressed editing suites, an advanced grid system for large scale rendering and effects composition into film, video and online-streaming solutions. Our R&D technology is also a core competence in providing workflow efficiency, digital asset management structure and cutting-edge to our creative teams.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023