Ladies and Gentlemen, and MDA Colleagues
1.Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here to attend today’s Scholarships Award Ceremony.
2.I would like to congratulate the seven outstanding young individuals for being awarded the Media Education Scholarship. They will be joining a growing fraternity of more than 190 scholars who have established themselves as film and TV directors, music producers, game developers and visual effects artists making waves in Singapore and on the global stage. This year, we have awarded three more scholarships than in 2014. This is a testament to the high calibre of candidates who applied for the scholarship this year.
3.Those who have benefited from this award include Anthony Chen, who has bagged more than 30 awards with his debut feature film Ilo Ilo. Kirsten Tan has also made Singapore proud – her film, Popeye, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious 11th Cinefondation’s L’Atelier and won the top prize at Torino Film Lab in 2014. We also supported Wong Hock Hian, a layout artist at Dreamworks who worked on How To Train Your Dragon, and Adeline Foo, author of popular children’s book series The Diary of Amos Lee. It is very satisfying to see our MES scholars make a mark for themselves, and for Singapore.
4.We are pleased to have the seven newest talents who will join this group of passionate and talented individuals. In time to come, we hope that our scholars of today will become future industry leaders and inspiring content creators who will, through their passion and talent, bring quality local content into regional markets and beyond.
5.We had 130 applicants this year each of whom went through several rounds of assessment. We were looking for the best and brightest based not just on grades, but also in terms of leadership quality and an outstanding portfolio of creative works. The seven of you who are receiving the scholarships today stood out for your passion, aptitude and creativity.
6.We are confident that you possess the right qualities to succeed in your studies. But to succeed in the media industry, you must be able to keep pace with the changes and challenges of the market, learn to understand the latest developments in technologies and platforms, as well as the evolving trends, and then adapt to these new realities quickly. You also need to look to winning support for the Singapore brand from domestic and international audiences. MDA has been facilitating more opportunities to enable our industry to so do through initiatives such as Fox Formats Lab and Makers Bootcamp. We are also pleased that there is a growing recognition of Singapore being a valued partner to global players, which translates to better career development opportunities as well as more platforms to hone the skills of our local industry.
7.MDA will continue to do its part to support the growth of the sector. But MDA alone will not be able to help the media industry succeed. Hence, I am very happy that partners such as mm2 Entertainment, Singapore Press Holdings, and Times Publishing have come forward to co-sponsor our scholars. Together, we are better able to enrich their educational and professional journey.
8.In conclusion, I would like to also offer my heartiest congratulations to you, our scholars, and your families. I wish you the very best as you embark on your studies. All of us at MDA look forward to welcoming you home and into our media industry when you graduate.