IMDA launches new initiatives and collaborations to support local media companies and talents as they adapt and reimagine storytelling amid a rapidly-changing landscape
Singapore, 1 December 2020 - The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) today announced new initiatives and capability development programmes to develop innovative content, nurture local media talent, and cultivate fresh opportunities for international collaborations.
The programmes, which will further strengthen the competitiveness of Singapore’s media ecosystem, were announced by Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran at the opening ceremony of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, held as part of the annual Singapore Media Festival (SMF).
- New partnerships with established global media companies under the Capability Partnership Programme to grow local talent and bring “Made-with-Singapore” content to an international stage.
- 78 new commissions under the S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund and six new feature-length projects awarded under the Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant, promising a continued line-up of quality stories for audiences in Singapore and the region, even in this challenging climate.
- Introducing Singapore Games Market Bootcamp, SuperGamerFest and VidCon Now Asia at this year’s Singapore Media Festival to celebrate online creators and spotlight the vibrant esports and gaming sector in Singapore.
“I am heartened to see our companies and talent forging ahead to find new ways to share our Asian stories. Thank you for bringing us respite with these amazing stories, reimagined for an unprecedented time. The resilience and ingenuity demonstrated by the media industry throughout this period is a story waiting to be told, to inspire future generations of storytellers,” said Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore.
Private-public collaborations to nurture local talent and bring “Made-with-Singapore” content to a global stage
IMDA has unveiled two new partnerships with Audible and KC Global Media Singapore, and will be rolling out a series of initiatives with these new and existing global media partners e.g. CJ ENM HK, WarnerMedia in the coming months. Launched under the umbrella of the Capability Partnership Programme (CPP), this series of collaborations with our partners are expected to benefit nearly 90 local media companies and over 700 media professionals in 2021 through job creation and opportunities for upskilling. Local companies and talent will be able to grow their capabilities, innovate with new formats and platforms, and showcase their works internationally.
The two new partnerships are:
- The development of original audio content will be given a boost through a new content-collaboration with Audible (an Amazon Company), one of the world’s largest producers and sellers of original spoken-word entertainment and audio titles. The first-of-its-kind “Audible Accelerator” will provide training in audio development and production, and identify original stories for distribution on Audible’s services around the world. Over 70 media professionals and at least 10 Singapore media companies are expected to benefit from the programme, with up to ten scripts developed by “Audible Accelerator” participants will be selected to be produced into an up-to 30-minute audio pilot which will be tested on Audible’s services to an international audience.
- KC Global Media Singapore, which has a strong presence in markets such as Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan will be collaborating with local media companies to conceptualise and co-develop original scripts with a regional appeal.
IMDA is also working with its existing CPP partners to expand their initiatives and introduce new ones. These include:
- ViacomCBS will partner home-grown production studios to tap on new market opportunities for animation productions. Under the mentorship of media veterans at ViacomCBS, Singapore companies and talent have the chance to develop an original animation series for each of ViacomCBS’ flagship brands, MTV Asia and Nickelodeon Asia. The collaboration is expected to benefit 19 creative media professionals in roles including writers, producers, and animation artists.
Working with the industry overcome COVID-19’s challenges
Over the past few months, the IMDA has introduced a series of measures to support the local media sector.
The S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund, launched earlier this year in partnership with Mediacorp, Singapore Press Holdings and Viddsee, aims to catalyse production projects through commissions of short-form content for their digital platforms. Following a call for proposals, the fund was awarded to 78 new commissions, benefitting 67 local media companies such as August Pictures, Verite Productions and Butterworks. 22 new titles were released on www.meWATCH.sg, www.viddsee.com and SPH’s digital platforms in November. Viewers can look forward to titles such as ‘Love Unbound’, ‘Singapore Sonnets’ and ‘Dim Sum’, with more titles to be released progressively by September 2021.
Ongoing projects have also made positive developments amidst this challenging climate. Three out of the eight feature films awarded at the inaugural Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant (SCPG) in 2019 are now in post-production, with the rest scheduled to start filming early next year. To continue supporting these “Made-with-Singapore” projects, a second call for proposals was launched in August 2020.
- Six feature-length film projects from Southeast Asia were awarded - three from Vietnam and one each from Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. In line with the grant’s focus on creative cross-border collaborations, two of the Vietnamese films (Cu Li Never Cries and Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell) will see first-time feature directors - Pham Ngoc Lan and Pham Thien An - working alongside experienced Singapore and Vietnamese producers such as Jeremy Chua, Lai Weijie, Teh Su Ching, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, and Tran Van Thi. Each feature length film project will receive up to S$250,000 in funding for the co-productions.
New partner events to spur on creation of local online content, e-sports and gaming
The seventh edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) is underway and runs until 6 December. As one of Asia’s tentpole media events, its partner line-up has always reflected the changing media industry where screens, genres, formats for storytelling, entertainment and technology are converging and creating new possibilities.
Two new events have recently been announced as part of this year’s line-up – gamescom asia’s inaugural Singapore Games Market Bootcamp, which took place yesterday, and SuperGamerFest launching on 5 December. More information on SuperGamerFest can be found at Asian Storytelling, Reimagined: New Genres And Fresh Opportunities For Asian Creators At The Singapore Media Festival 2020.
Singapore Games Market Bootcamp is part of a Digital Miniseries of events produced by the organisers of gamescom asia, the first satellite event of the world’s largest computer and videogames festival: gamescom. Yesterday saw the broadcast of its inaugural hybrid event to viewers across the globe, while 150 Singapore-based audiences attended the hybrid event live at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre and were able to experience the excitement first-hand.
VidCon, the digital evolution of the world’s largest celebration of online video and digital creators will be launching its first Vidcon Now Asia series in Singapore on 3 December, anchoring around the present and future of the region’s online and community-led media. Speakers include leading creators and media players like Patrick Starrr, Mr Kate, and Wengie, as well as a special live appearance from kuki.bot, the world’s first synthetic AI transhuman and her creators.
More details of the Singapore Media Festival calendar of events can be found at www.imda.gov.sg/sgmediafest.
Quotes from two new CPP Partners
“We are thrilled to work with IMDA and to tap into Singapore’s rich talent pool. We want nothing less than to find unique individuals to tell groundbreaking stories that could only be expressed through the power of human voice and create the next great audio series,” said Karen Appathurai Wiggins, Vice President Content, APAC, Audible Inc. “It is a nation ripe with artistic talent but the audio and spoken-word category is still emerging. We hope to develop the capabilities of the artistic talent who have faced challenges as a result of the pandemic, and lay a foundation to new creative pathways and opportunities in the audio content field.”
KC Global Media Singapore
“Technology advancement evolves the way consumers digest content and sets new market trends. Despite the challenging times amidst the recent climate, our brand thrives on pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation," said George Chien, President & CEO of KC Global Media Asia. He continues, "We are thrilled to partner with IMDA in rolling out initiatives targeting local talents to develop new formats, produce original content and making it available on all platforms.
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Capability Partnership Programme
Audible Partners with IMDA under the Capability Partnership Programme to Bring Singapore’s Top Talents to the Audio Medium
KC Global Media Singapore to train local talent through partnership with IMDA under the Capability Partnership Programme
ViacomCBS partners with home-grown production studios to tap on new market opportunities for animation under IMDA’s Capability Partnership Programme
IMDA partners WarnerMedia to rollout a series of initiatives in 2021, to develop capabilities of Singapore companies and talent
CJ ENM HK and IMDA collaborate to create Premium Scripted Series
78 new projects commissioned as part of S$8 million Public Service Content Fund
Six new projects awarded at the second Southeast Asia Co-Production Grantby Singapore Film Commission
Games Market Bootcamp joins Singapore Media Festival 2020
VidCon Now Asia to launch at Singapore Media Festival 2020
ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
About the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook and Twitter @IMDAsg.
About the Singapore Media Festival (SMF)
The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, is one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for film, TV and digital media. Taking place from 26 November to 6 December 2020, the Singapore Media Festival brings together the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). Singapore Games Market Bootcamp, SuperGamerFest, and VidCon Now Asia will also be held in conjunction with SMF. For more information about the Singapore Media Festival, please visit www.imda.gov.sg/sgmediafest.
For media clarifications, please contact:
LEE Wai Leng (Ms)
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Infocomm Media Development Authority
DID: (65) 6202 4930
Ho Xiu Xian
Tel: (65) 9732 3205