With Asian media in the spotlight, this year’s Singapore Media Festival (SMF) continues to deliver the best and brightest of Asian storytelling. At this year’s Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore which is part of the annual SMF, Singapore made a particularly strong showing with more than 800 hours of Asian content presented. We take a look back at the various exciting events and announcements that SMF has been proud to play host to.
“Take every opportunity to meet with folks from across the industry as we explore new creative and commercial opportunities - let’s make amazing, amazing productions,” said Robert Gilby, Chairman of SMF Advisory Board at the 2018 SMF Party.
Held at the ArtScience Museum, the SMF Party brought together industry players from the region, including Senior Minister of State Sim Ann and Philippine Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap. Other guests included IMDA Chairman Chan Yeng Kit, IMDA Chief Industry Development Officer Howie Lau, and SMF Advisory Board members such as Albert Lee, Shanty Harmayn, Clara Cheo, Irene Ang, Ryan Lim and Jonathan Spink.
The Singapore Pavilion over at ATF hosted over 70 media companies like Weiyu Films, Oak3 Films, One Animation and Robot Playground Media, who showcased their work - genres running the gamut from comedy to documentaries.
Country of Focus: Philippines
Several events and activities were held to commemorate the Festival’s second Country-of-Focus. A series of talks about the Filipino media landscape were held at ATF—including a panel session titled ‘Philippines at the Crossroads’. Featuring President and CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation Carlo Katigbak, Chief Marketing Officer of Cignal TV Guido Xavier R. Zaballero and CEO of TV5 Vincent Reyes, with HOOQ’s CEO Peter Bithos as moderator, the panel provided insights into Filipino media culture.
Two of the notable collaborations between Singapore and Philippines at SMF this year were the signing of MOUs between Star Cinema (PH) and Cre8 Productions (SG), and Ursa Pictures (PH) with Cre8 Productions. The two co-production deals will see new projects and films being made in the upcoming years.
2018 and Beyond
At the ATF and ScreenSingapore opening ceremony, Senior Minister of State Sim Ann announced the launch of the Media Industry Digital Plan (IDP). Created to offer bite-sized solutions for SMEs to improve their basic business capabilities, the initiative will aid SMEs in their digital upskilling and transformation, and help them in areas such as media production, contract management and customer relationship management.
During Singapore Hour at the Singapore Pavilion, a series of new digital and media initiatives were also unveiled. Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran announced the Skills Framework for Media, jointly developed by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). With the framework, media companies and professionals will receive guidance in identifying career progression pathways and the relevant skills needed in the industry. Minister also announced plans to boost the creation of more “Made-with-Singapore” content, through new partnership with Facebook and Disney to launch the Facebook Creator Lab initiative and Disney Content Studio, as well as the new Public Service Media (PSM) Digital Partnership Fund and Southeast Asia (S.E.A) Co-production Grant to help Singapore talent secure regional and international co-production deals. Minister said. “It is not just about what we do here in Singapore, but what we do together in collaborations and partnerships in order for us to reach a wider market with higher quality of products.”
Also announced at ATF and ScreenSingapore was the release date of Singapore’s very first ghost-zombie romance comedy, When Ghost Meets Zombie, produced by WaWa Pictures, Shining Entertainment Investment, Clover Films, Artistes Marketing Asia and AC Music Entertainment. Set to release on Valentine’s Day next year, 14 February 2019, the production features local artistes such as Nathan Hartono, Fann Wong and Gurmit Singh.
Last but not least, local media conglomerate Mediacorp is collaborating with Taiwanese production house Eightgeman and the Taiwan Television Enterprise on a new suspense-drama series titled All Is Well.
With so many exciting new productions and initiatives ahead, the Singapore market is filled with countless opportunities for both local and global players to succeed in telling their stories to a worldwide audience.