Production companies, Oak3films (Singapore), FFP Media Gmb (Germany) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) today announced their collaboration on a two-part period drama mini-series for television.
"House of Harmony" - a two-part, romance-drama - is to be produced at a budget of S$7 million and features big-name Singaporean, Hong Kong and German TV stars in its international line-up.
Adapted from American writer Barbara Wood's novel of the same title, the story is set in the 1920s and 1950s in Singapore and Los Angeles and tells the tale of two generations of love lost and found.
Coming just a week after the announcement of a co-production agreement on film projects with New Zealand, "House of Harmony" is another milestone for Singapore's film and TV industry, who are working on this inaugural co-production project with their counterparts from Germany.
The TV two-parter will star Singapore's leading actress Fann Wong of "Shanghai Knights" fame, as well as Hong Kong's Maggie Q and Daniel Morgenroth and Philippe Brenninkmeyer from Germany.
The mini-series will be broadcast in the third quarter of 2005 during prime time on ZDF Television, one of Germany's main terrestrial public broadcaster and with an audience reach of over 15 million viewers in Germany.
Filming begins in Singapore on 25 July 2004 and is expected to wrap by September 2004, with almost all of the filming to be done in Singapore and on customised built sets. Part of the pre-production work will also be done here.
The project is a "perfect call for collaboration between FFP and Oak3films, set against the backdrop of Singapore and with an East-meets-West storyline," said Ms Zaihirat Banu, Director of Oak3films.
She said Oak3films had benefited much from this partnership as the vast experience and knowledge in drama productions of FFP makes them an excellent partner in this co-production. "The commitment from the German side is also very clear as we share the same vision in making 'House of Harmony' a success internationally."
Mr Michael Smeaton, Chief Executive Officer of FFP Media said, "FFP was fortunate to be put in contact with Oak3films by the Singapore Government through the Media Development Authority. We were looking for a reliable partner in Singapore to produce 'House of Harmony' with. From day one, the working relationship with Oak3films was exceptional because of their knowledge and skills. They are the perfect partner for a Singapore / German co production."
"The management and crew at Oak3films, its strategy and structure, as well as their financial contribution made the project possible in the first place. We believe that the project will be as successful as our collaboration. We are already looking forward to work with Oak3films again in the future should the occasion arise," added Mr Smeaton.
The MDA is throwing in its support for the project under the "TV Content Industry Development Scheme", which is an initiative under the Media 21 blueprint to develop the Singapore media industry. So far, the scheme has boosted the production of Made-by-Singapore content for the international market by co-investing in co-productions such as "Rouge" and "Love Misplaced".
Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA, said this Singapore-German co-production effort was another milestone in the growth of the country's media industry. Already, co-production agreements have been inked with New Zealand, Canada, Japan and others are on the way, while a dozen other film, TV and animation joint ventures are in the pipeline. These follow upon successes like recent internationally co-produced documentaries ("Samurai: Behind the Blade", "Quiet Minds") as well as Sino-Singapore drama efforts like "Love Misplaced".
"This collaboration between German and Singaporean film companies for "House of Harmony" is a breakthrough for both Singapore and Germany, because it is the first multi-million co-production between the two countries. The positive spin-offs will also be a boost to the industry as a whole.
"With close to 100 percent location filming and a sizeable portion of the pre-production work done in Singapore, we can expect to create close to 100 jobs from this partnership alone. And this is over and above the jobs generated indirectly through peripheral services and down the production value chain."
Added Dr Chia: '"he project exemplifies the capability of Singapore production companies. In partnering international production companies, our local players will not only be able to learn and draw on the strengths of such established international companies to produce quality Made-by-Singapore content, they should continue to build on such global exposures and expand the reach and visibility of our local media industry beyond Singapore."
For further information, please contact:
Mr Julian Chua
Tel: (65) 6226 2338
Fax: (65) 6226 2339
Media Development Authority of Singapore
Ms Yvonne Poh
Corporate &Marketing Communications
Fax: 6336 4142