Over 23,000 attendees. 49 award categories at the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA). US$313 million of deals and partnerships inked at Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore. 103 films from 44 countries screened at Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). 15 finalists, 3 winners at the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. 5 exciting keynote speakers at SMF Ignite. And countless collaborations and connections formed, over the 12 days of the fifth edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF).
As the curtains close on another exciting year, we recount the numerous awards presented during the Festival. Congratulations once again to all winners!
First Wins First...
This year’s Festival played host to several new events and ceremonies as a reflection of the ever-growing media scene. Here are the first-timers of this year’s festivities:
The first-ever Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) featured 49 categories in its celebration of Asian content. Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong had a particularly strong showing, as each clinched 5 Golden Goddesses—the Awards’ signature trophy—apiece. Among the highlights of the awards included Mediacorp’s win of 5 awards, Indian director Anurag Kashyap for Best Direction (Fiction) for Netflix’s Sacred Games Season One, and cinematographer Yunus Pasolang’s win of Best Cinematography for his work on Indonesian filmmaker Mouly Surya’s Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts for HOOQ.
The AAA also delivered on some nail-biting drama during its Best Actress for a Leading Role segment—the category ended in a 3-way tie and required an additional round of judging in order to determine the winner. Finally, it was announced that the winner was Indonesia’s Adinia Wirasti for her role in HOOQ’s Critical Eleven, narrowly beating out the other contestants.
2 Philippine entries were also chosen for their exemplary content at the AAAs: Tilda Appleseed by August Media for Best Preschool Programme, and Maalaala Mo Kaya by ABS-CBN for Best Single Drama or Telemovie.
Meanwhile, the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) held the inaugural ATF Chinese Pitch. A panel of esteemed judges chose 3 entries for the online movie pitch: Please Do Something For This Land by Liang Shengfa, One Night In Geylang by Tang Jia Jie and Mulan, the Robot Girl by The Big Shots LLP.
At SMF Ignite, 3 contest winners were granted the opportunity to take their digital content creation skills to the next level. Eunice, Eugene and Zat received personal mentorship by Nuseir Yassin, better known as the man behind Nas Daily, for the task of creating their own 1-minute video.
Same Scene, Different Stories
These long-running Awards have featured plenty of excellent content and creators, and this year was no exception.
The ATF Formats Pitch winner was Malaysian company phoSumpro!, which clinched the award for its Shakespeare-meets-lip-sync game show-style format Serenade. Over at the ATF Animation Pitch, PT Kumata Indonesia won over the judges for their original concept titled Galli Leo Lei.
At the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), a total of 14 awards were bestowed onto its finalists. Among the winners were Cambodian first-time director Danech San, who took home Best Southeast Asian Short Film for A Million Years and Vietnamese filmmaker Dao Thi Minh Trang, who won Most Promising Project of the Southeast Asian Film Lab for Never Been Kissed.
Local director Yeo Siew Hua was the unanimous choice for Best Film in the Asian Feature Film Competition for A Land Imagined– the first-ever Singaporean film to win in this category.
The Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market also concluded with a Prize Ceremony. Among the 3 winners, including The Women by Youngjeong Oh and The Maw Naing and The Carjacker by Omas Has, the entry Filipino by Mel Allego took home the prestigious Cre8 Co-Production Award.
Venerating the Veterans
Last but not least, the media world owes much of its current state to storytellers who have constantly pushed boundaries and expectations. Here’s a shout-out to the longstanding talents of Asian media.
Year after year, SGIFF continues its celebration of Asia’s finest filmmakers. This year’s Honorary Award, the festival’s highest honour, was presented to Rithy Panh for his contributions to furthering both Cambodian and Asian cinematic works.
SGIFF also presented its Cinema Legend Award to luminary Asian actress Joan Chen, for her outstanding dedication to the film craft and inspiring cinematic legacy.
And thus concludes another edition of SMF. With this year’s Festival having featured even more talents and events than before, the future of media is only about to get bigger and better.
Here’s to Singapore Media Festival 2019!