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Your Excellencies,

Mr Paul Beh, President of Reed Exhibitions Asia-Pacific,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,​

        Good morning and a very warm welcome to Asia Television Forum and ScreenSingapore 2013.

2.      It was just last year when Asia Television Forum or “ATF” was co-located with ScreenSingapore for the first time. The pairing of Asia’s two pre-eminent film and television markets resulted in a larger, seamless market that brought synergies and greater business opportunities to participants. We had over 4,000 trade participants from more than 900 companies in 52 countries. At the close of the event, some 204 million in US dollars in sales were sealed – a 8.5 per cent jump over 2011. These are positive and encouraging results and we are hopeful of doing even better this year.

3.      The prospects for the global filmed entertainment sector continue to be bright1. Asia is at the centre of this growth story, where spending on entertainment is fuelled by a rising middle class with high disposable incomes. Indeed, China is becoming the fastest-growing filmed entertainment market in the world, with an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2012 to 2017, followed by Thailand at 10.5% and India at 9.9%. The North American and European markets are expected to register a growth of 1% to 3% over the same period.

A New Phase of Expansion

4.      To capitalise on emerging opportunities from Asia’s rise into a major media and entertainment market, the Singapore International Film Festival and Asian Television Awards will be co-located with ATF and ScreenSingapore to form a larger-scale and multi-faceted event that will provide more benefits to regional and international trade participants. The week-long event, featuring local and international content, will be launched in end 2014. We expect it to firmly establish itself as one of the top film and television markets in Asia.

5.      On top of the present format of a trade market, conferences, screenings and world premieres, we will introduce a new festival component, including film awards for trade professionals and public film screenings for Singaporeans.

Through Singapore International Film Festival, this week of international content will also become a window to Southeast Asian films for the world. With their distinctive cultural backdrops, Southeast Asian films are undiscovered gems that will excite regional and international buyers.

6.      The strategic clustering of four key film and television events will create a single event that will effectively address the value chain of what the international media industry is seeking – TV Awards coupled with Silver Screen Awards to celebrate the best of Asian film and TV talent; a powerful merger of film festival and market for the film trade; a strengthening of an already very established TV market; and for Singapore audiences, a chance to catch public screenings of first rate films with a distinctive Southeast Asian flair.

Singapore International​​ Film Festival

7.      The Singapore International Film Festival is a familiar brand name to Singaporeans. For more than 20 years, it has been bringing international films to local film buffs. Following its two-year hiatus, we are working with its organisers to bring it back as “SGIFF”. We are also reviving a home favourite, the Silver Screen Awards, which has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of Singapore’s most notable filmmakers such as Royston Tan, Eric Khoo, Kelvin Tong and Boo Jun Feng. We will also bring the Asian film competition of the Silver Screen Awards back, to recognise outstanding films and filmmakers from the region.

8.      Local film audiences will not be forgotten too. SGIFF will bring a diverse collection of some 50 to 80 films of various genres, with specific focus on Southeast Asia, for public screenings at Singapore cinemas, online, outdoor and at exhibitions.

9.      The combination of ScreenSingapore and SGIFF will give Asian filmmakers a chance to be recognised through the Silver Screen Awards; and for businesses, a large, seamless film and television market from which to cut deals and negotiate co-productions. Local filmmakers will also have a stage to showcase their best works to the world; and this, we hope, will spur more great works from Singapore filmmakers.

Asian Television​​ Awards

10.     The 18-year old Asian Television Awards or “ATA” is the other key partner that will become part of this week-long event. ATA, which puts the spotlight on Asia’s best TV programmes and talent, will complement the market and conference-centric ATF, and offer a compelling proposition to broadcasters, producers and channel providers from around the world.

11.     This year, the ATA will reach 28 million households as the event will be telecast on MediaCorp, and Fox International Channels’ StarWorld and Channel [V], to households around Asia. We can expect the same level of reach under this mega event, making it one of the most widely-watched TV events in Asia.

12.     The co-location of ATF, ScreenSingapore, SGIFF and ATA is a government-private sector collaboration that is made possible only with the strong support of our private sector partners; namely, Reed Exhibitions, Contineo Media and Singapore International Film Festival Ltd. I hope you, our international trade participants, will continue to give your support and make next year’s inaugural launch a success. Marketing will begin shortly after this event ends. I am personally looking forward to the unveiling of the finalised name and programmes for this exciting milestone event.

ASEAN Film Festi​val

13.     This year, at the market, you will find the ASEAN Film Festival running alongside ATF and Singapore. This festival specially organised by the MDA’s Singapore Film Commission, aims to create greater awareness and appreciation of ASEAN film and cultures. Trade participants and the public will be able to enjoy free screenings of eight ASEAN films, as well as appearances by filmmakers who will speak about their work. I hope you will make time to catch the screenings, and gain an insight into the beauty and cultural uniqueness of our ASEAN neighbours.

Rise of Singapore Film and Televis​​​ion

14.     With Asia driving media sector growth, there is much happening here, in Singapore, too. 2013 has been an exceptional year for Singapore film and television. First-time feature film director, Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo won Best Feature Film at the 50th Golden Horse Awards and the prestigious Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in March. The film hit the Singapore one million dollar mark at the local box office on 1st December, and has extended screenings here until 11 December.

15.     This year also saw the completion of TV series, Serangoon Road, one of Asia’s largest original television productions. The 10-part detective series involved some 80 credited Singapore cast and crew, and was post-produced and partly filmed in Singapore. The series aired in September this year on HBO Asia to 23 territories, and has received very positive feedback from viewers. It also won the Digital and Film Award at the Australian Art in Asia awards in August 2013.

16.     So, to international broadcasters, networks and channels, if you are looking to produce original Asian stories, Singapore is the place to be. Not only do we have producers and filmmakers who understand Asian sensibilities, there is strong government support to push for projects that will benefit our film and television sector.

17.     2013 is also significant as it marks the 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Singapore. It has been a remarkable journey for Singapore broadcasting: from its humble beginnings of the black and white television era, to its present-day High Definition, digital form. By the end of this year, in line with the worldwide trend of digital TV, all seven MediaCorp free-to-air channels will begin digital broadcasting alongside analogue TV. With digital TV, viewers will be able to enjoy a better TV viewing experience, through sharper images and better quality sound.

18.     Today, Made-In-Singapore TV content is entertaining audiences in some 70 countries around the world. For instance, The Kitchen Musical, by The Group Entertainment, aired on AXN Asia to 19 countries. It was also nominated for two Emmys last year, including Best Drama Series. Our producers are also riding on international trends and creating transmedia TV productions for different platforms. An example of such transmedia content is Beach House Pictures’ Hidden Cities Extreme, which engaged viewers via Facebook and social media interactivity.

By 2014, Singaporeans can also look forward to catch original PSB programmes commissioned by StarHub, under our Public Service Broadcast or “PSB” Contestable Funds Scheme, which encourages better-quality and innovative TV programmes to be produced.

19.     Such transformation has made Singapore a broadcast centre for more than 20 international satellite broadcasters today. Broadcasters such as BBC, Discovery, Disney, FOX and HBO, currently use our strategic location and connectivity to reach out to viewers throughout the region. With your support, I am confident that we can make the next 50 years even more exciting for Singapore, as we look forward to bringing our local stories to the world.


20.     On this note, I would like to invite all of our trade participants to visit the Singapore Pavilion, which is showcasing more than 600 hours of content from over 70 local companies. Do talk to our Singaporean producers who will be pleased to share their works, and explore business collaborations with you. In closing, thank you for your support, and may you have an enjoyable stay in Singapore.

1PWC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook Report for 2013 to 2017.