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New Opportunities for Singapore Content to go International; Plug into Digital Platforms

Partnerships will open up more opportunities for local media talent to upskill and create content for local and international audiences, as well as for digital platforms

SINGAPORE - 29 November 2017: Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Ministry of Health (MOH), Mr Chee Hong Tat, announced that the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) will strengthen its partnerships with key media players, at the opening of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, part of the annual Singapore Media Festival.

This includes international broadcasters and networks like HBO Asia and Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP), global content marketing company Brand New Media, local video entertainment platform, Viddsee, and leading tertiary institution in the arts, LASALLE. The partnerships will open up more opportunities for local media talent to upskill and create content for local and international audiences, as well as for digital platforms.

Following a successful two-year partnership with HBO Asia which saw the involvement of local talent and production studios on key regional HBO Asia original drama productions like Halfworlds 2 and SeNT, IMDA will be renewing the partnership with HBO Asia for another two and a half years: 

  • The first round of partnership saw the creation of quality original drama productions for HBO produced by Singaporean talent.

    - Halfworlds 2 was produced by Singapore-based Infinite Studios and directed by Singaporean PR Ekachai Uekrongtham. The show won 5 awards at the Apollo Awards 2017 for Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Music Composition, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. This series is now available to US audiences on its US streaming and VOD platforms.

    - HBO Asia’s first original comedy drama series SeNT was directed and co-produced in partnership with Very Tay Pte Ltd, helmed by Singaporean director, actor and producer, Alaric Tay. This marks Alaric Tay’s first time directing a TV series, and also marks lead actor Haresh Tilani’s (co-founder of YouTube comedy channel Ministry of Funny) first foray into TV.

  • The partnership will feature greater involvement of local talent, who will take on key production roles in HBO Asia’s upcoming pipeline of productions.
  • The partnership will also upskill local talent in areas such as directing, scriptwriting, show-running and VR production, through training programmes conducted by experts from HBO and their international partners.

IMDA established a partnership with Viddsee to produce original public service content for Viddsee’s platforms in collaboration with local filmmakers. This aims to make public service broadcast (PSB) content more accessible to a wider Singapore audience on different platforms.

  • Five new original series based on Viddsee’s popular content categories, namely Short Film Anthology, Documentary, Romantic Drama, Thriller, and Family Drama. The original series will be commissioned and produced over a period of one year as part of this Public Service Broadcast (PSB) initiative.
  • The original series aims to reach out to Singaporeans aged between 18 and 34, and will be distributed on Viddsee’s platforms. The first series is targeted to go live in February 2018.

Arising from a one-year partnership and Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP), a series of VR titles by Singapore companies will be commissioned for production. The first two titles to be commissioned are Abandoned by Hiverlab and Burning Bush Films, as well as Dangerous Jobs by Sora Media and VizioFly.

  • These titles will be the first VR films from Asia to premiere to a global audience on Discovery’s VR app, which has drawn over 4 million downloads and over 141 million global views to date.
  • They are slated for release on Discovery’s VR app in the first half of 2018. More information on the commissioned VR titles are in Annex A.

To nurture talent in branded content creation, IMDA has also partnered with Brand New Media (BNM) to conduct 10 content marketing workshops, with supporting partners Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA):

  • Called the Creator Collective, the first edition of the training programme held last year benefited over 160 digital content creators.
  • The upcoming workshops will enable participants to work on actual commercial briefs by 7 brands, including Mead Johnson Nutrition and Singapore Tourism Board.
  • Participants will also be guided by established content creators (e.g. Dee Kosh, Michael McKay of Active TV and Simon Yin of Mustard Films) and experienced marketers from media agencies such as Wavemaker, Publicis Media and brand owners such as Marriott International.
  • The winning team will receive a trophy and prize money of $7000 by SPH, to create a pilot for a content series they would like to pitch to a brand.

To nurture a pool of scriptwriters, IMDA partnered LASALLE on the first run of WritersLab, a scriptwriting programme under IMDA’s Story Lab initiative. Eight participants were selected to participate in the intensive 10-week scriptwriting workshop held from January to March 2017, guided by Emmy-nominated Project Director Shari Goodhartz. Scriptwriters were paired with a production house to submit a proposal and pitch their ideas. Three projects arising from the programme have been selected for production and will premiere on Toggle from January 2018:

  • The three selected projects are The Last Madame of Temple Street by Adeline Foo and Ochre Pictures, Senior Management by Mickey Lin and Sitting in Pictures, and No Catalogue by Wong Oi Shan and Onedash 22. More details on the projects are in Annex B.
  • IMDA is in discussions with LASALLE to run more editions of the programme, which could include a focus on scriptwriting for vernacular languages or immersive storytelling.

To train writers for games, IMDA also partnered with the Screenwriters Association (SAS) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) on a Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Game Writers. More details are in Annex C.

Related Resources
Annex A: Information on VR projects commissioned by Discovery and IMDA (77.14KB)
Annex B:Information on commissioned projects from WritersLab programme (74.46KB)
Annex C: Information on Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Game Writers (72.54KB)


About 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.

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For media clarifications, please contact:

Priscilla GAN (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
DID: (+65) 6202 4417


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