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SFC introduces new fund

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The Singapore Film Commission has announced a new S$250,000 fund for filmmakers, the largest amount to date to be offered for film funding purposes.

money.jpgAnd here’s even more good news to sweeten the pot: an additional 10 percent, or up to $20,000 will also be given to help first-time directors reach out to local audiences. This serves as a marketing budget for local films, which usually do not enjoy lavish marketing campaigns due to their limited budget.

More importantly, however, is the promise that comes with it — films will receive a guaranteed screening in local cinemas. Local cinema operator and distributor Golden Village has been roped in to screen the finished films, with SFC helping to negotiate overseas distribution.

“A fundamental concern of filmmakers when he or she is just starting out… is if there is anyone who will go and watch the film. When our filmmakers go overseas and talk to international sales and distribution companies, the first question they always ask is: has the film been shown back home? how many people saw it?” said Kenneth Tan, director of the Singapore Film Commission in a report on Channel NewsAsia.

Tan was also firm on letting the local films compete on equal ground, and said that no screening quota will be enforced.

“We make our films compete on an equal footing, because that’s how they will compete on the world stage. What we do need is proactive, self-driven support by the exhibition and distribution industry to make sure there’s adequate shelf space for our local films. In a different way, for the new filmmakers who may not be as prominent, what we should do is to give them more exposure, organise more question-and-answer sessions, more meet-the-directors sessions and blog aloud the sessions, where the audience can get to know them more in their work,” added Tan.

This scheme also allows for filmmakers to receive a percentage of the box office revenues once it has recouped its investment, but more information has not yet been released as talks are still underway between SFC and distributors.

Applications for the scheme ends 31 July 2008. More information can be found soon on the SFC website.
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