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Singapore Media Celebrates International Accolades

Dated: 29 November 2005

Singapore-made television programmes, films and animation are receiving positive nods internationally. Several have won awards in the past months while others have been acquired by world-leading distributors. A testament to the increasing global recognition of such Singapore-made content, some of our film-makers are also making the rounds at the international film festival circuit.

These achievements by the Singapore media fraternity are a timely prelude to the opening of the Asia Media Festival’s (AMF) anchor trade events –Asia Television Forum, Asia Film Market &Conference and Asia Animation, from 30 November to 2 December at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. The programming market will be officially opened by Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts on 30 November 2005. This AMF platform has established itself as the leading market for the international buyers to source for Asian content and for Asian content to go global.

Registering the biggest contingent ever from Singapore, 20 companies will be participating at this year’s Asia Television Forum. As a sign of the growing strength of the Singapore media industry, some of these award-winning content and new projects will be up for regional and international acquisition.

As part of the Media Development Authority of Singapore’s strategic move to internationalise the local media industry, Singapore will ink several Memoranda of Understanding with international partners and announce new projects. Estimated at a total value of close to S$40million, these new collaborations, with both regional and international reach, will not only raise the awareness of Singapore’s media industry, it will also accentuate Singapore’s strengths as the choice partner for such international collaborations, with its strategic location in Asia, unique multi-cultural and multi-ethnic mix and cosmopolitan society with global perspective.

In television, two-part telemovie, House of Harmony, the first Germany-Singapore co-production which premiered to close to 7 million viewers in Germany recently, won a Silver Award in the 2005 Queensland Awards for Cinematography, by the Australian Cinematographers Society. The prestigious awards are given to cinematographers, who are voted by fellow cinematographers, for their work. The House of Harmony scored an impressive ratings of close to 7 million viewers in Germany with its recent premiere on ZDF, one of Germany's main terrestrial public broadcasters.

Headlining the film sector is Eric Khoo’s Be With Me. At the 32nd Belgian Film Festival, Be With Me also saw the Singapore director, Eric Khoo, winning the award for Best Direction. Be With Me had opened the Directors' Fortnight at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year, and has been nominated for European Film Awards (results to be announced on 3 Dec). The film has been selected for screening/competitions at over 20 international film festivals and had picked up another Best Director award at the recent Torino Film Festival in Italy.

PERTH, a feature film directed by Djinn, won four awards at the 11th Lyon Asian Film Festival, held in France in November. The awards include: Public Award for Best Film (New Asian Cinema), Press Award for Best Film, 3rd in Public Award for Best Film, and 3rd in Junior Jury Award. G-23, a short film directed by Anthony Chen took the Public Award for Best Short Film at the same festival.

Anthony Chen also received the Tomorrow’s Cinema award, given to “an innovative director showing a will to renew cinematographic themes or language” at the 32nd Belgian Film Festival, held in November. Earlier, Anthony also picked up the New Filmmaker Award at the 3rd Asiana International Short Film Festival held in Korea.

Made-by Singapore films have also achieved distribution successes in 2005. Eric Khoo’s Be With Me is internationally represented by German-based sales agent, Bavaria Film which has sold it to over 10 overseas territories, including the USA. After achieving local box office success, Kelvin Tong’s new film The Maid was picked up by international sales agent, Fortissimo Films, which closed distribution deals for territories such as Korea, Brazil, Greece and Philippines during the recent American Film Market held in November, while Singapore’s first animated feature film, Zodiac, The Race Begins… by Cubix International, has been sold to over 22 countries including China, France, Thailand, Eastern Europe and Russia.

“Though a relatively nascent industry, we are indeed very heartened with the recent achievements of the Singapore media industry. The accolades and the regional and international commercial acquisition of Singapore-made content are not only a testament of the passion and the determination of the local media industry to develop Singapore into a creative and media hub, it is also a positive endorsement by the international market of the exportability of our content. We are confident that Singapore will do well at this year’s AMF trade events and believe our content as well as talent can travel far and beyond, ” said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Office, MDA

For more information, please contact:

Casey Chang (Ms)
Assistant Director
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (65) 6837 9344
Mobile : (65) 9767 9110

Yvonne Poh (Ms)
Assistant Manager
Corporate &Marketing Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (65) 6837 9894
Fax: (65) 6336 4142