5 December 2012 - Eight Singapore directors have emerged as successful awardees of the first Call-for-Proposals under the New Talent Feature Grant (NTFG)... Read more
New Talent Feature Grant recipients
Eight Singapore directors have emerged as successful awardees of the first Call-for-Proposals under the New Talent Feature Grant (NTFG), a new initiative by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) to launch the careers of filmmakers and encourage more to try their hand at producing Singapore content, including arthouse films, documentaries, commercial films and telemovies.
In all, the inaugural Call-for-Proposals under the NTFG attracted 25 proposals during the period 7 May to 31 August.
Each project receives up to S$250,000 in assistance to cover the cost of producing the feature film, which should be no less than 70 minutes in duration.
The eight films awarded range from documentaries and thrillers, to romantic comedies and art-house films, in various languages - English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and Bengali.
Of the eight winning directors, most are first-time feature directors with one second-time feature director.
The first-time feature film directors are Ric Aw (Building Waves), Abbas Akbar (Singapooru), M Raihan Halim (Banting), Jason Lai (Ms J Contemplates Her Choice), Kesavadas S/O Rajagopal (A Yellow Bird), Tan Ai Leng (Sinema Paradiso) and Tan Pin Pin (Hinterland). Teo Eng Tiong (The Confinement Nanny) is a second-time feature director.
There is also M Raihan Halim, among the eight new directors whose work transcends cultural boundaries. His award-winning dramas and telemovies include Yazid Wears Diapers and Big Time in Little Street. When completed, his feature film, Banting - about a young Muslim girl who secretly takes up professional wrestling - will be the first feature-length Malay film to be made in Singapore since the 1990s.
These eight directors stood out for their directing vision and promising scripts which were pitched to a panel of four assessors headed by Mr Man Shu Sam, formerly from MediaCorp Raintree Pictures. The other assessors are Ms Yvonne Tham (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council), Mr Freddie Yeo (Chief Operating Officer, Infinite Studios) and Mr Paolo Bertolin (Programmer, Venice International Film Festival). The eight successful projects have to be produced within a year.
In line with the NTFG’s intent to allow filmmakers to have space to experiment with different genres, it is noteworthy that the eight awardees include young, emerging film directors who bring with them interesting backgrounds in theatre, film and television. They include arts aficionado Ric Aw, whose television directorial debut Stage to Screen –Ang Tau Mui, was adapted from a theatre play for Arts Central, and whose short films have won awards and travelled the festival circuit overseas and Kesavadas S/O Rajagopal, a 15-year theatre veteran whose works have been commissioned by TheatreWorks and National Museum of Singapore.
About the NTFG
The NTFG is an initiative by the SFC to support film directors to produce their first feature films in a variety of genres, including those of artistic and cultural value, such as documentaries, festival-oriented works, and films in non-English languages (i.e. Chinese, Malay and Tamil). The NTFG supports films across various platforms including theatrical release, festivals and feature-length telemovies for broadcast.
The NTFG is in line with SFC’s role to encourage diversity in the film sector, groom a pipeline of talented filmmakers, and give them the space to experiment and produce good Singapore stories.
The quantum for NTFG is up to S$250,000 or 100% of the production budget(whichever is lower)for each feature film with at least 40% of the grant to be used on Singapore spend1. Under the NTFG, directors will own the intellectual property of their films as it is a grant and not based on co-investment. This is in line with MDA’s efforts to streamline its schemes.
More details on the eight projects and recipients supported under the New Talent Feature Grant can be found in Annex A (344.54KB).
1Singapore Spend refers to a project's expenditure on the cost items incurred in Singapore or on Singaporeans (regardless of residence/location) or Permanent Residents (based in Singapore). This includes third-party costs incurred and paid directly to a Singapore business entity or Singaporeans overseas. Any goods and/or services supplied by a Singapore business entity must be substantially supplied, performed or value-added in Singapore.
About Singapore Film Commission
The SFC was formed in 1998 and is part of the Media Development Authority (MDA) since 2003. It is spearheaded by a panel of members from the film, arts and cultural community and is supported by a Secretariat within the MDA. The SFC has, over the years, supported more than 500 short films, scripts, feature films, as well as film-related events in Singapore that showcase homegrown talent and works. Some notable films by new and upcoming filmmakers include 4:30 (Royston Tan), Sandcastle (Boo Junfeng), and Where the Road Meets the Sun (Yong Mun Chee).