Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening for the opening of Media Fiesta 2010. Held for the second consecutive year, I am delighted to learn that over 60 industry and community partners have come together to participate in this Festival.
A New Media Landscape
2 The media landscape has evolved much since the invention of the printing press by William Bullock in the 19th century. Then, the advent of newspapers, books and magazines meant one person could communicate with many, thus giving birth to mass media.
3 Today, we live in a digital world. The media has become an integral part of our everyday lives where everybody can communicate with any one, at any time, and any where. Information and images flow around the world faster and more freely than ever and there has been a major cultural shift in the way people use media for entertainment, news and information. Social networking sites, online digital content, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of our culture. These forms of new media have changed how we as a society socialise and learn.In turn, this raises new sets of issues that we need to consider and be aware of.
Encouraging Responsible Media Consumption
4 The media has enormous potential to positively influence its audience, young and old. For example, technological advances bring the promise of new skills and greater youth participation in society. Online spaces enable every interested individual to connect with peers, access information in new ways and learn through experimentation and social exploration.
5 With the proliferation of media channels, the range of avenues for youths to access or to stumble upon undesirable content has also increased. This gives rise to an important challenge to both educate and empower our youth to engage with media in a positive and responsible manner.
6 Therefore, one of the key objectives of Media Fiesta is to educate Singaporeans on the need for responsible media consumption and cyber wellness, whilst promoting awareness of new media trends.
7 Cyber wellness workshops and activities are organised in collaboration with several community partners such as Fei Yue and Touch Community Services, to reach out to youths, parents and educators. Apart from youth, parents too are encouraged to participate in these workshops. Much of our youth’s new media engagement occurs in the context of home and family life. Therefore, it is vital for parents to be aware of and to supervise their children’s media habits as well as to arm themselves with the knowledge to encourage explorative learning whilst providing the necessary guidance to safeguard against the dangers online.
8 The media can also be a tool for families to come together and share knowledge. Many parents feel insecure about their children's use of the media. However, by familiarising themselves with the services commonly used by the young, they can see media as an area that has enlarged their family space rather than let it be the cause of anxiety and tension. For example, playing games, watching movies and even sharing of online activities can be a time of family bonding. The Festival will showcase content such as popular games and online educational tools that parents can add to their repertoire of activities to do together with their children.
Celebrating the vibrancy of the local media scene
9 Media Fiesta is also a time to celebrate the vibrancy of our local media industry. According to the Global Entertainment & Media Outlook study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and Asia Pacific would remain one of the fast growing regions increasing at an annual compound rate of 4.5 per cent, reaching $413 billion in 2013.
10 Companies worldwide are harnessing the opportunities arising from convergence, translating them into value creation and revenue. The sweeping wave of digitisation has given birth to new jobs and opportunities which were not available 10 years ago, for example, jobs involving computer-generated imagery (CGI), web development, digital post-production and game development. The performance of Singapore’s media sector reflects our potential to benefit from this worldwide movement and our local players have done well, showing great foresight and tapping into new opportunities as pioneers or early adopters of new media technologies.
11 The game industry is one sector where Singapore firms have shown promise to do well globally. From serious games to casual games, 3G mobile gaming and social networking games, many firms have ventured into these niche areas and are establishing themselves as innovation leaders. Riding on the success of Singapore-MIT Game Lab’s first game project, Carneyvale: Showtime, which became the first Singapore game to seal a distribution contract with Microsoft’s Games for Windows – LIVE, yet another Singapore game from the same lab, Snap Escape, has been nominated for "Best Social Game" at the 2010 Mochis Flash Awards, to be held in San Francisco on 8th March. The game was selected from among 900 international entries and will be competing against the world's biggest game publishers such as Playfish’s "Crazy Planets" and Popcap’s "Bejeweled Blitz". Snap Escape is also in the running for the “People’s Choice Awards”. I understand that CarneyVale: Showtime has enjoyed widespread industry acclaim and was one of the pioneer titles on the Xbox LIVE Indie Games Channel. The game was among the top ten downloads in December 2008 following its official launch, and was named the No. 1 XNA Community Game of 2008 by Gamasutra.
12 Singapore has also fared well in the animation sector with our companies contributing their ideas and talents to projects and programmes that are seen around the world. For example, the collaboration between The Jim Henson Company and Singapore’s Sparky Entertainment on the children’s animated series Dinosaur Train, has been a runaway success. Dinosaur Train was the highest-rated kids' programme on America’s PBS TV network in December 2009 and has been named by People Magazine as one of the Best New Kids' Shows for 2009.
13 In film and video, Singapore television producers continue to gain traction through winning partnerships with international broadcasters, distributors and studios to develop life-style, factual programmes with Asian-themed content. One such collaboration is the partnership between Singapore's MyChinaChannel and Shanghai Media Group to co-produce two television series - China Trend and Foreigners in China.
14 Singapore is also actively championing the field of Stereoscopic 3D. In November 2008, we had set up a S$10 million Stereoscopic 3D Development Fund to develop 3D capabilities and seed the production of Stereoscopic 3D content in Singapore. Today, Singapore is one of the first territories in the world with one-stop, end-to-end production and post-production capabilities in theatrical Stereoscopic 3D. Local companies have upgraded their equipment and facilities, extended technical services and invested in specialised manpower for the filming of 3D projects. Singapore’s first 3D project involves local company Widescreen Media in the recently completed Amphibious, an action-adventure tale by world-renowned filmmaker Brian Yuzna. Also in the pipeline is BAIT, the first Stereoscopic 3D action-thriller co-produced by Singapore and Australia which is scheduled for release in 2011. Besides movies and film, Singapore is also venturing into 3D gaming to deliver a more realistic and immersive gaming experience. You can try out this dynamic form of gaming here at Media Fiesta with TQ Motor, a prototype of a 3D racing game that brings the player across 4 different worlds.
15 There are many exciting developments in the world of media. Media Fiesta 2010 will provide an excellent public engagement platform for Singaporeans to explore Singapore’s evolving media landscape, through participating in the various activities and events that have been lined up for the entire month.
16 With this, it now gives me great pleasure to declare Media Fiesta 2010 officially open. Thank you.