Interview: Georgina Koh, Director, Digital and Content of the Singapore Tourism Board, on SG Stories Content Fund Season 26 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Amidst Circuit Breaker measures in April 2020, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the SG Stories Content Fund (SGSCF), aimed to spur tourism enterprises, content creators and individuals to craft content around the themes of “Strength, Resilience, Solidarity and Unity”.
The initial funding pool of S$2 million was raised to S$2.5 million due to overwhelming response. Attracting over 500 applications, the fund would go on to support 20 awardees in the creation of digital video content, spanning animation, short films, profile features and mini-documentaries. These videos can be viewed at ttps://www.visitsingapore.com/editorials/sg-stories-content-fund/
SGSCF returns for its second season this year with a funding pool of S$2.5 million. The season’s theme “Singapore: The Unique and The Unknown” looks to build on STB’s SingapoReimagine initiative and encourage the creation of compelling stories about the island’s interesting yet lesser-known sides.
The fund will welcome applications taking the form of a single video or a series of videos from Singapore or overseas-based individuals and registered businesses in areas such as production, media, tourism, digital marketing and influencer marketing.
Applications are now open and will close on 24 May 2021, 5:00 PM (GMT +8). Full details can be found at www.go.gov.sg/sgstories.
Sinema.SG spoke with Ms Georgina Koh, Director, Digital and Content of the Singapore Tourism Board, via email interview to find out more about the second season of SGSCF and how the STB looks to continue its support of content creators.
Share with us why the theme “Singapore: The Unique and The Unknown” was chosen.
The SG Stories Content Fund builds on STB’s SingapoReimagine initiative, which was launched on 26 November 2020 and aims to reimagine travel for Singapore and the rest of the world by sparking conversations, stories and ideas to collectively shape the future of the tourism sector.
Through the theme “Singapore: The Unique and The Unknown” we aim to encourage passionate local and international content creators to create compelling stories about interesting and lesser-known facets of Singapore. We hope that applicants will highlight extraordinary and authentic ‘Singapore-only’ experiences, by going beneath the surface to uncover what makes Singapore really special.
Through the unique perspectives of content creators, we hope it will inspire travellers and locals to experience Singapore in new ways, when it is safe to do so.
Share with us what the selection process will be like.
There are 3 criteria that the proposals will be evaluated based on – the strength of storytelling, feasibility of project, and strength of marketing and distribution plans.
The stories should bring authentic Singapore experiences to life by going beneath the surface to uncover the spirit of what makes Singapore truly special. The content should entertain and be easily relatable to global and local audiences.
Once the application window closes (24 May 2021), STB’s evaluation committee will assess all submitted applications holistically (as per the evaluation criteria). We hope to inform all applicants of the outcome about 2 months from the application closing date, depending on the volume of applications received.
With how live streaming has picked up over the last year, will the SG Stories Content Fund 2021 be open to live streaming content?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, we will support all content formats. One of the awardees for Season 1 – TheMomentum – produced a livestreamed series titled LETSGOLIVE. The videos brought viewers on a tour through Singapore from the comfort of their living rooms, with live-streamed virtual tours of our city’s most beloved districts.
So, we encourage content creators to get creative with the format of their content.
As payment disbursements are often a source of worry for production houses, are there any changes in payment milestones for SG Stories Content Fund 2021 compared to last year’s edition?
The payment milestones for this Season 2 will be similar to last year’s Season 1 – awarded recipients will be reimbursed at two milestones.
The first milestone will be upon STB’s approval of the applicant’s project storyboard and/or script. At this point, awarded recipients will receive 30% of the approved award sum.
The second milestone will be upon STB’s approval of the submitted project deliverables and various required documents such as the project completion. At this point, the awarded recipients will receive the remaining 70% of the approved award sum.
What are the different challenges faced by content creators this year compared to last year and how will this year’s fund look to help them?
Similar to Season 1, we acknowledge that tourism enterprises and content creators are still in need of support given the protracted COVID-19 situation.
The fund gives content creators the opportunity to unleash their creativity and tell meaningful stories in interesting new ways that resonates with global and local audiences – and as a result, serve as a way to showcase their work to new audiences in this challenging period.
Season 1 was launched in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With an initial funding pool of S$2 million, it attracted a total of 559 proposals, spanning a variety of formats such as mini-documentaries, narratives, profile features and animation. Due to the overwhelming response, the funding pool was raised to S$2.5 million, which we are matching for Season 2.
STB hopes that this year’s fund can further support the industry during this trying period and help them to continue telling great stories about Singapore, with authentic voices and in creative content formats.
Beyond funding support, such as the two seasons of SG Stories Content Fund and 2019’s Fast Forward, how will STB look to help content creators in Singapore?
STB is always looking at new and innovative ways of telling Singapore’s destination story!
So beyond financial support through such schemes, we remain open to hearing great story ideas from content creators. Interested parties can reach out to STB via our Facebook page or email@example.com.
Successful applicants will be given 8 weeks to complete production and delivery, and an additional 2 months to complete marketing and distribution of project content. Are there measures in place for recipients who are unable to meet the timeline due to possible lockdown measures in the near future?
We advised that all awarded recipients must comply with IMDA’s prevailing filming and content production guidelines and adhere to Safe Management Measures as advised by STB.
But if tighter COVID-19 measures lead to a delay in production and recipients are unable to meet timelines, approval may be sought for an extension of the project duration. Requests for extensions should be made at least 2 weeks before the project duration period ends. STB will review these requests on a case-by-case basis.
Banner image credit: Singapore Tourism Board