The highly anticipated Singapore Media Festival (SMF) kicked off on November 28 with the Southeast Asian premiere of the 29th Singapore International Film Festival’s opening film, Cities of Last Things, at the iconic Capitol Theatre.
The opening event’s red carpet was a star-studded affair led by the film’s Golden Horse Award-winning director, Ho Wi Ding, Golden Horse Awards winner for Best Supporting Actress, Ding Ning, and fellow cast members, Stone and Huang Lu. Other acclaimed local and international industry bigwigs who graced the event included Singaporean filmmakers, Tan Wei Keong (Director of SGIFF commissioned short film, Kingdom), Royston Tan, Craig McTurk and Alvin Lee; local actors Fiona Xie, Irene Ang, Benjamin Kheng, Alaric Tay, Adele Wong, Jimmy Taenaka, Constance Lau, Amy Cheng, Jason Godfrey, Sheila Sim; and musicians Lioncityboy, Aisyah Aziz, Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen of ARE, among others.
Key representatives of the Singapore Media Festival: (L-R) Michael McKay, President and Founder of AAA; Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board; Chan Gin Kai, Chairman of SAAVA; Yeow Hui Leng, Group Project Director of ATF and ScreeenSingapore, Reed Exhibitions; Sebastian Tan, Chairperson of SGIFF; Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA
From 28 November to 9 December, the fifth installment of the Singapore Media Festival will bring together leaders and talents from the global film, television and digital media industries to celebrate the best of Asian storytelling and provide a valuable platform for Asian talent from the region to network and collaborate.
Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Festival consists of five events: the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), SMF Ignite, and the newly-minted Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA).
Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, said, “The global focus on Asia’s talent and content is unmistakable. With Singapore’s vibrant and robust infocomm and media ecosystem, the Singapore Media Festival is well-positioned to nurture, elevate and celebrate Asian storytelling. The Festival offers the region a proven platform to connect with like-minded industry players, discover rising talents and harness new opportunities. Asia is the place to be, and all of Asia meets at the Singapore Media Festival.”
SMF features new platforms for aspiring media talent from Asia to be discovered and mentored by international experts.
Asia TV Forum & market (ATF)
The Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) will introduce an inaugural pitching competition for the Chinese market, the ATF Chinese Pitch, to identify innovative traditional movie, online movie and online drama series concepts in the genres of Sci-Fi, Thriller, Myths and Legends, Horror and Fantasy.
Finalists will get the chance to pitch their ideas to an expert panel. Winners in each pitch category will take home a S$3,500 cash award, and potentially receive an opportunity for their scripts to be bought for S$15,000.
The ATF Chinese Pitch is a partnership between ATF and GHY Culture & Media. GHY Culture & Media will be launching Little Nyonya 2, a remake of the hit TV series at ATF.
ATF Leaders’ Summit
Two key figures in the short-form video content realm – Curt Marvis, CEO and Co-Founder of QYOU and Andy Kaplan, Media Industry Advisor and Non-Executive Chairman of QYOU India – will headline the ATF Leaders’ Summit. Other industry heavyweights who will be present include Howard Owens, Founder and Co-CEO of Propagate Content, an independent premium content production company.
Asian Academy Creative Awards
The Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) will launch the Asian Academy Creative Campus, featuring a host of masterclasses and panels to equip budding media professionals in skills such as live TV directing and writing.
Helmed by reputable experts such as Francesco Calvi, one of Australia's leading lighting designers and Natalie Gee, Creative Director and Head of Production at NBCU International, the Asian Academy Creative Campus will be free for all Singaporean students studying in the media, communications and creative fields.
The Asian Academy Creative Campus will run from December 3 to 7,with the Asian Academy Creative Awards to be held at Capitol Theatre on December 6 and 7.
Young filmmakers from ASEAN and South Korea will also benefit from the 2-week Film Leaders Incubator (FLY) 2018, which is organised by the Busan Film Commission from November 21 to December 4.
Hosted in Singapore for the first time this year by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) in cooperation with SGIFF, the FLY programme will be helmed by filmmakers from Singapore and South Korea. This includes founder of Mocha Chai Laboratories, Chai Yee Wei, and Korean filmmaer Shin Dongseok, who has won numerous awards such as the BIFF FIPRESCI and the Udine Far East Film Festival White Mulberry Awards.
The FLY programme will feature short film workshops and mentoring sessions that will equip young filmmakers with skills such as directing, cinematography and editing.
SMF Ignite will feature Nuseir Yassin, creator of popular video series Nas Daily, who made the viral video on Singapore titled The Almost Perfect Country.
Nuseir Yassin will speak on topics including building digital audiences, digital storytelling for online platforms, and how audience response has shaped his content. He will also personally select three Singapore content creators to be mentored and produce their own one-minute videos. Interested participants can submit a one-minute video to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 November to get a chance to meet and work with Nuseir Yassin.
The focus of the four-day SMF Ignite conference and exhibition from December 4 to 7 will be “The Convergence of Big Data, AI and Storytelling”.