The fifth edition of the Singapore Media Festival returns from 29 November to 9 December 2018 this year, with the Philippines chosen as the Country-of-Focus.

The SMF introduced its first Country-of-Focus in 2017 - Indonesia, as a way to showcase the quality and variety of creativity originating from that country, and to explore more collaborations between Indonesia, Singapore and the region. This year, the Philippines has been chosen as the Country-of-Focus, highlighting the country’s rich stories, talents and achievements across the SMF’s various constituent events.

SMF is excited to join the Philippines in the celebration of its special milestone as 2018 marks 100 years of Philippine Cinema.

In response to the selection of the Philippines, Liza Dino, Chairperson and CEO, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) shared in an SMF release sent to GNP, “We believe that the next big thing for our Cinema is to go global and SMF is certainly a great platform where we may be able to connect more of our Filipino filmmakers with partners and supporters in the further development of quality stories and content that we can share with the world.”


FDCP is hosting a Philippine booth at the ATF and bringing thirty (30) producers and filmmakers to develop, buy, and sell content and films. Moreover, Filipino executives like TV5 and Cignal TV will be participating in the ATF Leaders' Summit on a panel that puts spotlight on the Philippines and its landscape as it adapts to the digital revolution.


The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is also celebrating Filipino films as it brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legend. 
There are four (4) short films in competition, three (3) official selection and a world premiere  from the Philippines this year:
In competition - Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

  • Manila is Full of Men Named Boy by Andrew Stephen Lee
  • The Imminent Immanent by Carlo Francisco Manatad
  • Please Stop Talking by Josef Gacutan
  • Judgement by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Official Selection

  • The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931 by Christopher Gozum
  • Season of the Devil by Lav Diaz
  • Nervous Translation by Shireen Seno


ScreenSingapore is a marketplace for filmmakers, producers, distributors, financiers and film buyers to explore co-production opportunities, seek financing, make deals and learn about the changing film landscape. This year, it will host again the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market in partnership with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) and Ties That Bind: Asia/Europe Producers Workshop (TTB) to connect promising filmmakers and producers from Southeast Asia and Europe with international co-producing partners, festival programmers, distributors, commissioners, and financiers.

SAFF will feature five projects from the Philippines:

Science Fiction, Coming-of-age
Producer: Toni Zuniga
Director: Kristine Zuniga

Drama Thriller
Producer: Suzanne Richiardone / Jessel Monteverde
Director: Jessel Monteverde

Feminist Action Drama
Producer: Bianca Balbuena & Kriz Gazmen
Director: Gino M. Santos

Drama Thriller
Producer: Mel Allego

Drama, Social Satire
Producer: Sheron Dayoc & Sonny Calvento
Director: Arden Rod C

On the other hand, for TIES THAT BIND whose first workshop took place in the Udine Far East Film Festival, will be holding its second workshop during SAFF. Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet) Producer of the Year Awardee Bianca Balbuena is one of the mentors of the program. Among the ten (10) projects included in the slate is “Return of the Owl” by Martika Ramirez Escobar and Monster Jimenez.

2017 SAFF Project Market finalist, Mikhail Red’s Eerie will have its world premiere at the Festival’s Midnight Mayhem section.
Under SGIFF, there will be a Southeast Asian Film Lab will featuring Filipino director Raya Martin as one of the mentors, and two of the following Filipino filmmakers with their project in development:

Phyliss Grae Grande
Jean Cheryl Tagyamon
On the other hand, Director Shireen Seno of Nervous Translation is one of the Jury members of the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Jury this year and while John Torres, Producer of Nervous Translation is one of the participants in the Southeast Asian Producers Network.

The Asia Academy Creative Awards (AACA)

Launched last July, the AACA’s vision was to create an awards programme by the industry for the industry.  The AACA has set Wilson Tieng, President of the Motion Pictures Distributors’ Association of the Philippines (MPDAP), as its ambassador. A total of twenty five (25) FIlipino nominess have been nominated for various awards, including The Greatest Love (ABS CBN) for Best Series, Miss Maja Salvador (Wildflower) for Best Actress and Ikaw-6 Na Utos (GMA Network) for Best Telenovela / Soap.