Dated: 18 February 2004

Local TV history of sorts will be made this Friday night, when locally-produced high-definition movies deput on MediaCorp TV Channel 5.

1st Cut, a series of four 90-minute English language movies (Singapore's first ever to be shot using Sony's high-definition (HD) CineAlta system) will be broadcast weekly thereafter over a one-month period at the Friday 11.00pm timeslot.

And with each movie focusing on drama, comedy, horror as well as romantic comedy, there's something for everyone. The first - Sweet Dreams and Turtle Soup, and starring veteran MediaCorp actress Xiang Yun and Stephanie Loh, is a heartwarming, coming of age movie set in Singapore.

Love Poetry, starring Christian Lee, Janice Koh and Keagan Kang, is a touching love story using poems as the thread. Dirty Laundry, which stars MediaCorp actress Priscelia Chan and William Tsung, explores the innermost secrets of a man, interlaced with office politics, friendship, love, betrayal and incontinence. The New Home, starring Lim Yu Beng and Tan Kheng Hua, is a horror film that centres on unconditional love.

1st Cut is the result of a collaborative effort between the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), the Media Development Authority (MDA) and MediaCorp Raintree Pictures Pte Ltd. The three parties invested up to $150,000 for each production, which saw local television and film production companies and independent filmmakers invited to submit proposals.

Of the 69 submissions received, 29 were for scripts while another 40 were for storylines or treatments. The SFC, MDA and MediaCorp Raintree Pictures then selected four entries to be produced. They were assessed primarily on the originality and quality of their screenplays. The track record and potential of the director, producer and scriptwriter were also considered.

Post-production for the four made-for-TV movies was done by Infinite Frameworks. Although the United States and Japan are leaders in using HD, it is a new format that is slowly taking off. HD production is expected to become more popular in Asia, including Singapore.

Mr Seto Lok Yin, Director of Industry Development in the MDA, said "We started "1st Cut" as an experiment to nurture local film-making talents as well as in film-making using High Definition technology. All in all it turned out very well. We had good response from the industry. The standard of the entries was high, the scripts were well written, and people have stories to tell. This shows that there are scriptwriting talents out there ready to be tapped and further nurtured. At the end, we chose four scripts that stood out for their creativity and original screenplays. The MDA is glad to have been in this partnership to facilitate the development of the film and TV industry, as well as to nurture our local talent. These are clearly the goals of Media 21."

Mr Daniel Yun, Chief Executive Officer of MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, said "TV programmes and feature films are from distinct yet related industries. This telemovie project is a 'fusion', providing a very visible platform to showcase both the similarities and the differences of the two media, while encouraging local talents to experiment. The local movie industry desperately needs the volume of output to expand its pool of talents and establish the required infrastructure for production and post-production. This project demonstrates the art of good story-telling without the need for big budgets or expensive special effects. Without the burden of box office success and with an environment closer to feature filmmaking than producing short films on 16mm or 35mm, we hope to uncover the next generation of Singapore filmmakers."

The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Sweet Dreams &Turtle Soup 20 February, 11.00pm Love Poetry 27 February, 11.00pm Dirty Laundry 5 March, 11.00pm The New Home 12 March, 11.00pm

For more information, please contact:

Media Development Authority
Wang Chee Yann Senior Manager Corporate and Marketing Communications Email:

MediaCorp Raintree Pictures
Mr Benny Low

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023