Dated: 16 January 2007

This strategic partnership will help safeguard our film heritage for generations to come​

National Library Board (NLB) and the Asian Film Archive (AFA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to set up a public reference library collection of films made by Singaporean and Asian filmmakers. A tripartite collaborative agreement between NLB, AFA and the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) was also established to preserve and promote Singapore's film heritage.

Under the NLB-AFA MOU, NLB will facilitate access to the public and film researchers with reference copies of the AFA Collection. AFA will undertake to collect, evaluate, document and catalogue films for research or viewing by library users. It will be housed at the Asian Film Archive Collection section of the library@esplanade, and will consist of culturally important films from the region. NLB and AFA will host a series of film literacy seminars, film screenings and workshops on the film heritage of Singapore and Asia to encourage the community to access the collection.

Further to the MOU, a tripartite collaborative agreement between NLB, AFA and SFC will ensure that SFC’s existing and future collection of short and feature films will be documented, catalogued, preserved and promoted. The National Archives of Singapore (NAS), one of AFA's earliest partners, will also provide the expertise in film and video preservation and climate controlled vaults to archive the original and master copies of the films and its related materials.

Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Deputy Chief Executive of NLB and Director of the National Library said, “As Singapore aims to be an arts hub, media literacy of local and Asian cinema would no doubt play an important role in equipping our community with critical viewing skills. With the MOU in place, NLB will continue in its vision to bolster our audio-visual collection for our patrons while preserving local film heritage with our strategic partners. The collaboration will also ensure that unpublished local films as well as rare and significant Asian-centric films can now be archived, preserved and shared among the community where it was not available commercially before.”

The Singapore filmmaking community and in particular the young filmmakers of today will benefit greatly from this initiative as it streamlines efforts to preserve and promote local films. It will also ensure that local film heritage, both published and unpublished films, which is an integral part of Singapore’s cultural history and identity, will be protected and made available for present and future generations.

Chair of AFA, Assistant Professor Kenneth Paul Tan said, "We look forward to a wonderfully synergistic partnership with the Singapore Film Commission and the National Library Board. This partnership will bring great benefit to the film community and the public. The work of filmmakers will be properly preserved, catalogued, and maintained for years to come;and members of the public will be able to access these films in a reference library. We at the Asian Film Archive aim to be a living archive that not only preserves films but pro-actively makes them widely available as a lively part of our cultural landscape."

This partnership will bolster the role of the SFC in nurturing the development of high-quality Singapore films for both local and international consumption. It recognises that there is an increasing awareness of Singapore-made productions and will help preserve Singapore’s unique storytelling for the film fraternity and for Singaporeans.

Commenting on this collaboration Mr Man Shu Sum, Director of SFC said, “Our partnership with the National Library Board and the Asian Film Archive complements the Singapore Film Commission’s objective to promote Singapore filmmakers and films. It is crucial for the development of our nascent film industry as young filmmakers can draw on the influence of our own culture and cinematic style captured and shared through the archives;to be inspired and develop our own voice. The archival of SFC’s extensive collection of local films will allow for these films to be shared and made available for education, research, inspiration and recognition.”

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About National Library Board
National Library Board (NLB) was established on 1 September 1995 with the mission to provide a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service so as to promote a knowledgeable and engaged society. NLB oversees the management of the National Library including the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, three regional libraries, 20 community libraries, 15 community children's libraries, as well as over 30 libraries belonging to government agencies, schools and private institutions. Through its innovative use of technology and collaboration with strategic partners, NLB ensures that library users have access to a rich array of information services and resources that are convenient, accessible and useful.

More information on NLB can be found on

About Asian Film Archive
The Asian Film Archive (AFA) is a global non-governmental organisation, founded to preserve the rich film heritage of Singapore and Asian Cinema, to encourage scholarly research on film, and to promote a wider critical appreciation of this art form. As an important nexus, it brings together the various segments of the Asian film community in order to open and enrich new intellectual, educational and creative spaces. The Archive is a registered charity based in Singapore and an Institution of Public Character through its membership with the National Heritage Fund-Central Fund.

More information on Asian Film Archive can be found at

About Singapore Film Commission
The Singapore Film Commission (SFC) is an agency under the Media Development Authority (MDA) that facilitates and assists film development for Singapore. The SFC’s key areas of focus are: Funding, Facilitation and Promotion. Its mission is to nurture, support, and promote Singapore talent in film-making, the production of Singapore films, and a film industry in Singapore.

More information on Singapore Film Commission can be found at

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023