FESTIVALS & COMPETITIONS

Singapore Media Festival Returns With Expanded Offerings For Media Leaders, Fans And Creators

7 October 2019

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Singapore Media Festival Returns With Expanded Offerings For Media Leaders, Fans And Creators

The sixth edition of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) returns with an expanded line-up and a strong spotlight on propelling the voices of Asian talent. This year’s festival will see wider offerings for both industry players and the public alike – across film, television, comics and popular culture, digital video content, VR and AR technology, and more – with new avenues for emerging players and talent to be part of the region’s vibrant ecosystem.

Over 50,000 thought-leaders, creative professionals, and members of the public from Asia and around the world are expected to be part of the festival this year, more than double the number last year.

Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, said, “There is a rising wave of Asian creativity driving growth opportunities in the media sector, as global players look to tap the stories and market in this region. The SMF plays an important role in bringing together the best of Asian content and talent across different formats, genres and platforms, to create potential for creative, collaborative and commercial partnerships to happen. We look forward to taking the future of Asian storytelling forward together.”

Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the SMF will take place from 21 November to 8 December 2019, and consists of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore (SS), Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), and this year’s new addition, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC). The two-day VidCon Asia Summit will also be held in conjunction with SMF.

This year, SMF offers new programmes and enhanced platforms to propel the voices of rising media talent and content creators, taking their stories to a bigger stage.


In light of its 30th anniversary, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has commissioned three short films that will centre on the theme of celebration by Southeast Asian directors Yeo Siew Hua (Singapore), Mouly Surya (Indonesia) and Anucha Boonyawatana (Thailand). These films will make their world premiere at the festival’s opening night on 21 November.

SGIFF’s line-up will include a Focus on Southeast Asian cinema, titled Stories We Tell: Myth, Dreamscape and Memory in Southeast Asian Cinema, encompassing four features that trace imaginative and dreamlike storytelling, a characteristic of films from the region.

The line-up includes Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, seminal Singaporean omnibus, Lucky 7 (2008) directed by seven local filmmakers (Sun Koh, K Rajagopal, Boo Junfeng, Brian Gothong Tan, Chew Tze Chuan, Ho Tzu Nyen, and Tania Sng), A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (2015) by Filipino director, Raya Martin, and The Missing Picture (2013) by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh.

The Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market, organised by ScreenSingapore in partnership with the Southeast Asia Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), returns this year to connect promising project ideas to potential investors and financiers.

A successful case study is Laotian director Mattie Do’s The Long Walk, which was a finalist at the inaugural SAFF Project Market in 2015. The film, completely produced and funded by Singapore’s Aurora Media Holdings as well as 108 Media, is presently making waves in the international festival circuit to high acclaim, most recently at the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival.

SGIFF’s Southeast Asian Producers Network has expanded to a three-day industry programme where 25 invited producers and established professionals from Singapore and Southeast Asia, including Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, Vietnamese veteran producer and co-founder of Autumn Meeting, and Xie Meng, CEO of Beijing-based Rediance will engage in dialogue and seek opportunities for collaboration.

Through roundtable sessions, talks and case study presentations, they will discuss pertinent topics relating to the latest developments and strategies of content production in the region.

With the rise of episodic content as a top choice of entertainment among consumers, SGIFF’s The Future of Cinema – Storytelling through Episodes forum will enable storytellers and content developers to gain insights into creating captivating characters, developing engaging stories, growing and connecting with audiences with evolving consumption patterns.

Guest speakers include Singaporean filmmaker Ler Jiyuan who is showrunning HBO Asia’s drama series Invisible Stories, Thai director and writer Ekachai Uekrongtham who helmed the second season of HBO’s Halfworlds and Netflix’s Bangkok Love Stories, Erika North who oversees Netflix’s content development, and Tanya Yuson who is the founding partner and Chief Creative Development officer of BASE Entertainment.

SGIFF has gathered nine local film and media personalities including Fiona Xie and Oon Shu Ann, alongside filmmakers such as Kirsten Tan, to share their self-portraits inspired by nature, at a mixed-media exhibition, Nature’s Playground, held at Gardens by the Bay as it celebrates 30 editions of championing local storytellers and their creative narratives.


The Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) is emerging as one of Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious awards for creative excellence and a raft of broadcasters have taken up the broadcast or streaming rights to this year’s ceremonies. International broadcaster

E! Entertainment has not only renewed their 34-country deal to broadcast E! on the Asian Academy Creative Awards Red Carpet but will be extending the coverage to a full hour (up from 30 minutes in 2018). Regional streamer HOOQ will screen both awards nights live into Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and exclusively into Indonesia. BHD’s Danet Vietnam will also stream the entire awards programmes in Vietnam.

The AAA also announced that this year’s awards would be staged at the historic Victoria Theatre in Singapore (on 5 & 6 December) and the glittering Red Carpet would be held indoors for the first time. Lawrence Wong (who found fame in China by virtue of his role in The Story of Yanxi Palace) has confirmed his attendance for the awards along with Hong Kong born, US based Oli Pettigrew who will host the two nights of ceremonies. Yvette King is confirmed to host E!’s Red Carpet broadcast. The rest of the celebrity line-up will be shared after the Regional Winners are announced at an exclusive party in Cannes, France in mid October.

Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA, adds, “Singapore is at the heart of Asia, and home to where East meets West, and tech meets media. As a multi-genre, inclusive festival that reflects the converging media landscape, the SMF aims to be a platform that encourages the creation of “Made-with-Singapore” content, where everyone
can participate, learn and appreciate the best that Asian content and talent have to offer.”


About the Singapore Media Festival (SMF)

The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the IMDA, is one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for film, TV and digital media. Taking place from 21 November to 8 December 2019, the Singapore Media Festival brings together the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC), and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). VidCon Asia Summit will also be held in conjunction with SMF. For more information about the Singapore Media Festival, please visit www.sgmediafestival.com.

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