Singapore’s growing success in the worldwide film industry attests to this, with homegrown films such as Apprentice, A Yellow Bird, Ilo Ilo, Tatsumi, Sandcastle, HERE and My Magic selected for, and receiving accolades, at acclaimed film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival.
Collaborative efforts between local and international film companies have been increasing. Co-produced films bring together resources from co-producing countries and help Singapore filmmakers participate in projects of international standing and with potential for global distribution. One recent co-production is Distance, a Chinese-Thai-Singaporean-Taiwanese anthology drama film executive produced by award-winning Singapore filmmaker Anthony Chen. International film production and service companies such as Lucasfilm have also set up in Singapore to harness our creative expertise, hiring local talent to work on international projects. In addition, Singapore’s breath-taking cityscape was showcased to the world in Hitman: Agent 47, a Hollywood blockbuster that was partially shot and produced in Singapore, featuring iconic places such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and the Changi Airport. Singapore was also featured in the futuristic film Equals, starring Kirsten Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.
Singapore also continues to have the highest number of cinema goers per year, with more than 20 million attendees at 218 cinema screens1 operated by major players such as Golden Village, Shaw Organisation, Cathay Organisation and Filmgarde, achieving one of the highest per capita attendance in the world.
Find out more on how the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of the a division under IMDA, nurtures, supports and promotes Singapore talent in filmmaking and the production of films under the section “Programmes and Grants”.
If you are interested to film in Singapore, please read “Filming in Singapore”. If you are intending to film within the one-north precinct, please read ‘Filming Friendly Zone @ one-north’.
1Source: Singapore Film Commission. Information is gathered from various sources including websites, local press, local distributors and producers, and is meant to serve as a guide only.
The SFC is a division under the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and is made up of an advisory committee comprising 15 members from the film, arts and cultural community. The SFC is supported by a Secretariat within the IMDA.
The SFC has, since 1998, supported more than 600 short films, scripts, feature films, as well as film-related events in Singapore that showcase homegrown talent and works. Some notable films by Singapore filmmakers include Apprentice (Boo Junfeng), A Yellow Bird (K. Rajagopal), Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen), the Ah Boys to Men series (Jack Neo), and 881 (Royston Tan).
Please click here for the full list of current SFC Advisory Committee members.
Brief History of SFC:
- In 1998, formed under the National Arts Council
- In 2003, merged with the Singapore Broadcasting Authority and Films & Publications Department to form the Media Development Authority of Singapore
- In 2012, converted the SFC Board of Directors to the SFC Advisory Committee
- In 2016, a division under the Infocomm Media Development Authority, formed by the merger of the Media Development Authority and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
The SFC nurtures, supports and promotes Singapore talent in filmmaking and the production of films. Besides funding projects through our grant schemes, the SFC works with various partners to develop capability development programmes, as well as initiatives for the appreciation of Singapore films.
|IMDA Grant Schemes
Application for Production Assistance (Film) is twice a year, via call-for-proposals. More information is available here: 2017 Call-for-Proposal
Application for the 2017 Call-for-Proposal (CFP) for Development Assistance (D-Assist) Scheme (Short Film) will be open in December. More information is available here: D-Assist (Short Film)
|New Talent Feature Grant (NTFG)
NTFG supports first and second-time filmmakers in developing feature films. Application is on an annual basis, via call-for-proposals. More information is available here: 2017 Call-for-Proposal
|Film Mentorship Initiative (FMI)
FMI helps filmmakers attend international film project labs overseas, so they can learn from experts and upskill themselves. Applications are open year-round.
|Film Capability Programmes
Through programmes such as those helping our filmmakers in story development and pitching, we hope to be able to help filmmakers build the ability to tell compelling stories and produce quality Singapore content. A recent film capability programme launched is the Masterclass and Workshops in Chinese scriptwriting, which is organised in partnership with mm2 Entertainment.
To deepen the appreciation of local films in Singapore, the Watch Local initiative was launched in 2012 to encourage access and appreciation of Singapore short and feature films. Partners of this initiative included Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, the National Museum of Singapore Cinematheque and the Asian Film Archive.
||Films from 1930s to 1980s
From Cathay-Keris to Shaw Brothers, Singapore’s early films were created when Singapore was part of the Straits Settlements. Directors such as P. Ramlee and Hussein Haniff made their mark on the Singapore cinema heritage through to the 1960s, with iconic films such as They Call Her Cleopatra Wong made in the 1970s.
||Films from 1990s to 2006
A revival of filmmaking took off in the early 1990s starting with Medium Rare and Mee Pok Man, followed by an average of five to eight films released every year. Major studios and production houses such as MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, J Team Productions and Zhaowei Films produced numerous films that were playing to international screens and also co-produced with regional partners.
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||Films from 2007 to 2008
A sprouting of new production houses and activity in feature filmmaking was proven by the release of 15 films in commercial theatres in 2007 and 17 in 2008. This does not include more than 20 films produced every year by independent filmmakers, ranging from documentaries to arthouse material, which continue to receive critical acclaim at international film festivals.
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||Short films supported by the SFC
Many filmmakers, including Royston Tan, Kelvin Tong and Tan Pin Pin, began their careers in filmmaking with short films. Over the past decade, many young Singapore talents have been making fascinating short films that enjoyed international success, winning awards at prestigious festivals such as Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.
With acknowledgement to “Latent Images – Film in Singapore” by Jan Uhde and Yvonne Ng Uhde (Second Edition, 2010), as well as producers, distributors and the Cinematograph Film Exhibitors Association.
Over the years, Singapore’s diverse and multicultural landscape have been captured on film. Most recently, our breath-taking cityscape was showcased to the world in Hitman: Agent 47, a Hollywood blockbuster that was partially shot and produced in Singapore, featuring iconic places such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and the Changi Airport. Singapore was also featured in the futuristic film Equals, starring Kirsten Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.
With a unique blend of Asian and Western cultural influences and the support of a world-class technical infrastructure, secure IP system and multilingual talent pool, Singapore is all set to support local and international filmmakers with the resources for a successful shoot.
Check out Singapore’s beautiful landscape in our Locations Brochure.
In general, a permit is not required for filming on general streets and walkways, as long as there are no obstructions to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. All approvals/permissions are subject to the owner of the property/location. Filming is a work-pass exempt activity in Singapore. For foreign cast and crew filming in Singapore, no work permits are required if they are here for less than 60 days. Upon arrival in Singapore, please go to https://services.mom.gov.sg/enot/frontend/newNotify.aspx to submit an e-notification. For more information on filming in Singapore, please see our Guide to Filming in Singapore.
For further enquiries, please write to SFC@imda.gov.sg
Comprising of clusters within Mediapolis, Fusionopolis and Biopolis, the Filming Friendly Zone @ one-north (FFZ@one-north) is a new initiative that aims to provide an environment for filmmakers intending to film within selected areas in the one-north development by streamlining the administrative application processes with property owners and tenants. Playing host to a wide array of biomedical, infocomm, engineering and media companies, the landscape of one-north juxtaposes tall, futuristic building complexes with the lush greenery of park connectors that offer a host of unique filming location options for filmmakers.
In general, the Filming Friendly Zone @ one-north (FFZ@one-north) is applicable to small or medium shoots wanting to film within the one-north precinct, that do not require complex set-up, or heavy equipment, and comprise up to 25 crew members.
For detailed information, please see the Filming Friendly Zone @ one-north (FFZ@one-north) guide
The FFZ@one-north Application Form can be found here
Singapore Film Commission Secretariat
Infocomm Media Development Authority
3 Fusionopolis Way
Tel: (65) 63773 800