Be aware of scammers impersonating as IMDA officers and report any suspicious calls to the police. Please note that IMDA officers will never call you nor request for your personal information. For scam-related advice, please call the Anti-Scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to


​Mr Mike Wiluan,

Chairman of the Singapore International Film Festival,

Mr Rob Gilby,

Chairman of the Singapore Media Festival Advisory Board

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening.

2       Thank you for joining me for the launch of the inaugural Singapore Media Festival (SMF), and the opening of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) 2014.

3       The return of Singapore’s longest-running film festival after two years has been highly anticipated and with good reason. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the well-loved festival, which has played an instrumental role in raising filmmaking standards in Asia, and in discovering and promoting the next generation of film talent.

More Opportunities for Regional and International Collaboration

4       Its return is even more significant as it kick-starts the inaugural Singapore Media Festival. To build up and promote our media industry, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has brought together under one roof, the SGIFF, the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS), and Asian Television Awards (ATA). We look forward to welcoming more than 5,000 film and TV professionals from over 60 countries to the Singapore Media Festival.

5       The combined strengths of these four events under the Singapore Media Festival will create more opportunities for businesses to network and collaborate. It has also created a very comprehensive range of media offerings, covering the whole value chain from production to distribution for both local and global media players.

6       There is great potential for Singapore to work with our partners in the region by combining our resources and talent to create more original, quality Asian content for the world. For instance, award-winning Singapore filmmaker, Anthony Chen, is now embarking on a new project titled Distance, which is a joint effort between filmmakers from Singapore, China and Thailand. I hope that with the Singapore Media Festival, there will be more chances for such fruitful collaborations to take place.

Platform for Showcasing Local and Regional Film Talent

7       I am pleased to note that the SGIFF will be launching the festival with a Singapore film - Ken Kwek’s Unlucky Plaza. The film played to a sold-out audience at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. It has also garnered a favourable response in Singapore, with tickets for the SGIFF screening snapped up within a few days of its release. I am heartened by the strong support for a local film, and hope that all the other titles in the line-up will be equally well-received.

8       In line with nurturing young filmmakers, SGIFF will feature 28 local films, including works by filmmakers, like Ric Aw and Jason Lai, who are both awardees from the first batch of MDA’s New Talent Feature Grant Scheme. They will be presenting their first feature film on home ground and I would like to wish them the very best for their film premieres.

9       In addition, more than 50 titles were handpicked from the Southeast Asian region this year as part of SGIFF’s Special Presentation section. This gala showcase will present of some of the most anticipated new films by today’s leading filmmakers, such as the romantic-comedy by prolific Thai director Yuthlert Sippapa [pronounced as youth-lert sipapa] Chiang Khan Story.

10     The SGIFF has also expanded its competitive category for short films this year to include Southeast Asian Shorts, recognising the brightest budding filmmakers from both Singapore and the region.

11     The SGIFF has launched the careers of notable local filmmakers such as Eric Khoo and Kelvin Tong, as well as Southeast Asian filmmakers like Riri Riza, who was behind Indonesian box-office successes like Laksar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops). I hope that the SGIFF will continue to be the platform for more young and aspiring filmmakers to kick off their careers.

12     Top aspiring filmmakers and the next generation of critical writers on cinema will also gather here to attend SGIFF’s two new training programmes - the Southeast Asian Film Lab and SGIFF Youth Jury. The selected filmmakers will benefit from the mentorship of local veteran filmmakers like Eric Khoo and will also have a say at the Silver Screen Awards with their vote on the Youth Jury Prize.

SG50 Celebrations and Spotlight on Singapore Cinema

13     Singapore will celebrate its 50th golden jubilee in 2015. We have been encouraging Singaporeans to think of creative ways to celebrate this important milestone in our country’s history. Singapore’s heritage and culture has formed a rich tapestry, from which our filmmakers can tap on.

14     I am therefore glad to note that our filmmakers have decided to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday with films dedicated to telling the nation’s story. Local audiences can look out for titles such as 7 Letters, a collection of seven short stories presenting a unique interpretation of Singapore and the lives of its people, and 1965, which is set to bring audiences back in time through the stories of immigrants and natives during Singapore’s struggle for independence.

15    I am happy to announce that as part of the SG50 celebrations next year, the MDA, in collaboration with the National Library Board and the National Heritage Board have embarked on a project called Spotlight on Singapore Cinema.

16     This collaborative effort will see selected iconic films that reflect Singapore's history, culture and landscape restored and screened to the public. Through this, we hope to keep important pieces of Singapore's film heritage alive, and share them with Singaporeans from different walks of life and inspire future generations of filmmakers. I would like to urge those who are aware of or own any original film prints to contact the Asian Film Archive to help in the restoration effort.


17     Our film industry, though young, has grown significantly and I am encouraged by the progress we have made as evidenced by the increasing number of quality works, emergence of fresh local talent, and heightening public interest. With SGIFF as part of the Singapore Media Festival, I am even more confident that there will be greater opportunities to propel Asia’s content and talent onto an international stage to be discovered by global industry players and audiences.

18     On this note, I would like to thank the SGIFF team, in particular Mr Mike Wiluan and Ms Yuni Hadi, Chairman and Executive Director of SGIFF, the SMF advisory board and the MDA, for their hard work and commitment in staying true to the vision of the festival; participating filmmakers for their quality contributions, dedication to train the next generation of film-makers, and for choosing Singapore as the place to present your works; and everyone else who has helped make the event a success in one way or another.

19     I wish everybody an enjoyable evening ahead. Thank you.