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MDA announces project calls across various platforms

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From massively multiplayer online games to films that can be distributed globally and next-generation digital media applications that serve users worldwide – the Media Development Authority (MDA) is scaling up the capability of Singapore’s media companies to undertake large-scale media projects targeting the international market.

Addressing some 300 members of the industry at its annual Media Business Forum, MDA announced a slate of project calls across television, film, animation, games, interactive media, publishing and music, with an emphasis on projects that are internationally-marketable and scale across media platforms.

In total, nine different project calls today open for submissions, of which four are new and five are recurring calls.

Please log on to www.smf.sg and access the Funding page to download the complete information and application form of each call for proposal.

(A) NEW PROJECT CALLS

GAMES

1) INSPIRE+

INSPIRE+ aims to take the Singapore games industry to the next level by catalysing the creation of big-budget next-generation games. Through these projects, commercialised games based on franchisable, globally recognised IPs will put Singapore on the world map for high-end games development. The first Inspire+ call will focus on developing massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for international audiences. MDA will co-invest up to 30 percent of qualifying project costs.

All game platforms capable of supporting next generation MMOGs are allowed. The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2010 and selected projects are expected to commence on 1 September 2010.

2) INVIGORATE +

INVIGORATE+ calls will be held quarterly for both Singaporean individuals and companies looking to bring their ideas from concept to commercialisation on a variety of emerging digital platforms such as social networking sites, mobile phones,
handheld devices, online game services (PlayStation Network, WiiWare, Xbox Live). MDA will support up to 50 percent of qualifying project costs.

The submission deadlines for the four quarterly calls are: 7 June 2010, 13 September 2010, 10 January 2011 and 8 March 2011. For individual game developers with no proven track record, successful applicants’ proposals will receive supervision from one of the GAME+ Development Centres.

3) INNOVATE+

INNOVATE+ aims to drive innovation in game development by creating demand for game projects, paving the road for developers to approach and apply games in new and different ways.

INNOVATE+ calls are made jointly with MDA’s industry and agency partners based on demand requirements. The first INNOVATE+ call to open today is made jointly with the Central Provident Fund Board to create financial management games on social networking platforms as well as for mobile phones. Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to 75 percent of qualifying project costs. The deadline for submissions is 7 June 2010.

INTERACTIVE MEDIA

4) Cross-Sector (X-sector)

The X-sector call is a sector-based call for proposals for the development of new interactive digital media applications, services and/or content, with a focus for commercialisation. The inaugural call seeks for proposals for the following five pre-identified sectors – Education, Learning & Training; Advertising; Wellness & Healthcare; Tourism & Hospitality; and, Sports.

The call invites industry players to collaborate with one or more of 10 short-listed technology companies to submit a proposal for development of new application, content or services suitable for one or more of the five pre-identified sectors. 30 July 2010 is the submission deadline for Learning and Advertising sectors, while 27 August 2010 is the submission deadline for the Healthcare, Tourism and Sports sectors.

(B) RECURRING PROJECT CALLS

TELEVISION

5) Public Service Content (PSC)

Under the PSC call for programming ideas, MDA is looking for innovative concepts that have public service value, the potential to reach viewers in Singapore and beyond, and cross platform potential. Only concepts for projects to be produced in the main languages of English, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil and Malay (Bahasa Melayu) will be accepted. The closing date for submissions is 21 May 2010.

6) Content 360? TV

The Content 360? TV initiative aims to foster the development of digital production studios to deliver TV and/or video productions for new media platforms. These platforms include the development of new media properties, or episodic online video programmes distributed exclusively online, in partnership with sponsors and online distribution partners. The Content 360? TV Initiative Call for Proposals seeks submissions from eligible media companies for programmes with strong cross-media cross-platform elements aimed at international distribution and viewership. Submissions close on 4 June 2010.

To date, nine proposals from three previous calls have been selected for funding, of which two are currently in production, namely LoveQ.TV (working title) by The Very Love Company; and NowShowingLife.TV (working title) by Interactive Digital Reality.

FILM

7) International Film Fund (IFF)

The second call for IFF closes on 12 July 2010. Launched last May at the Cannes Film Festival, the IFF aims to help Singaporean production houses and post- production houses assume executive producer or co-producer roles with international partners in films that have international commercial appeal. Through this, MDA supports local companies in the film ecosystem build up their international reputations, scale up their capabilities and attract further feature film projects to Singapore. All films funded through the IFF will be represented by Hong-Kong based international sales agent, Distribution Workshop.

From the inaugural round, two projects have received support: BAIT, Singapore’s first stereoscopic 3D film co-produced by Singapore’s BlackMagic Design and Australia’s Arclight Pictures and Pictures in Paradise; and, Neon Sign, the first Singapore-China- Korea film co-production involving CJ Entertainment and Beijing Polybona Film Distribution Co., Singapore’s Bang Productions and Korea’s Nabi Pictures.

PUBLISHING

8) Spearheading Publishing Innovation for New Enterprise (SPINE)

The fourth call of SPINE aims to further encourage the creation and development of original publishing IPs into brands and franchises that live on multiple media platforms ranging from print, online, TV to mobile and handheld devices. Submissions close on 22 June 2010.

Examples of projects supported under SPINE include the digital extension of Communication Resources-owned lifestyle magazine August Man onto online and mobile platforms; Scrawl Studios’ development of e-learning content and children’s book series based on its popular animated series Nanoboy; and, the publishing of a series of Major Reference Works in both the print and digital format by World Scientific Publishing Co.

MUSIC

9) Music

The Music call invites proposals to take Singapore’s music industry to the next level. Companies are encouraged to explore bold ideas that leverage Singapore’s regional branding, supported by innovative business models. The new initiatives should create viable and sustainable models to discover, groom, showcase and deploy Singapore’s musical talents, both locally and regionally; and/or position Singapore as a music hub in Asia. Submissions close on 11 June 2010.

A project that received support under the inaugural call in 2009 was the Singapore Entertainment Awards 2010, which showcased and honoured Singapore’s media talents through a sold-out concert attended by 11,000 people. MDA supported the telecast of the concert on cable channels E-City and TVB 8, reaching out to audiences in the region. Another initiative that received support was the creation of Republic of Pop, a soon-to-be-launched online repository of all information relating to Singapore music undertaken by local company Music and Movement. Besides profiling and promoting local talents and music productions, this platform would also facilitate the discovery and matching of suitable partners for music projects.

(C) A PROJECT CALL LAUNCHED ON 12 APRIL 2010

ANIMATION

10) International Animation Fund (IAF)

IAF, launched on 12 April 2010 at MIPTV, aims to stimulate original animation co-productions in and with Singapore. Application is open from all over the world for new animation content in any format, including television series, telemovies and theatrical features. MDA will co-invest up to S$5 million for each qualifying project. FremantleMedia Enterprises is MDA’s partner for this initiative, and will represent the chosen projects as worldwide distributor.

All applications must reach MDA by the close of business on 30 June 2010, and proposed projects must have a Singapore partner. Short-listed applicants will be required to pitch face-to-face, in Singapore, to an evaluation panel comprising senior executives from MDA and FremantleMedia Enterprises.

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