The SGIFF is in Hong Kong as part of the Media Development Authority of Singapore’s announcement of the December film and TV event in Singapore, called the Singapore Media Festival. The announcement was made at the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) on March 24, 2014.
New appointments at the SGIFF have been reported; with Zhang Wenjie taking over the role of Festival Director from Yuni Hadi, who now helms the role of SGIFF’s Executive Director. Hadi speaks to TV ASIA Plus about the challenges ahead of her.
“The festival has been absent for two years, so it’s a real challenge to bring it back. But we’ve got a small but good team, and we’re very encouraged by the film community, who’s been rallying behind the festival. The new board, led by Mike Wiluan, is very strong. And I think that we’re quite confident that the festival will come back with a bang. The most important thing for us is to do a quality festival rather than look at quantity,” says Hadi.
Zhang Wenjie, Festival Director (left) and Yuni Hadi, Executive Director of the SGIFF Ltd (right)
The new SGIFF board has CEO of Singapore’s Infinite Studios Mike Wiluan chairing the board, and Shaw Soo Wei, former Executive Director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, taking on the Vice Chair position.
“I’ve always been involved with the SGIFF on the peripheral because I’ve been a long time investor of the industry, in terms of building up Infinite Frameworks. We’ve always supported local filmmakers. And in turn, the local filmmakers have always supported us in their films. When I heard that the SGIFF had a challenging few years ahead in terms of raising finances, in terms of direction; I was invited to be on the board. I would basically put the energy that I’ve had in building the industry from a business point of view to an industry point of view – that’s why I accepted the Chairmanship,” says Wiluan. He goes on to elaborate how he intends to rally the support of both local and regional filmmakers.
Mike Wiluan, CEO, Infinite Studios and Chairman, Board of Directors, SGIFF
“I’m here to build relationships with the grassroots filmmakers. It’s important that we connect with the grassroots Singapore filmmakers, since it’s a celebration of the Singaporean art form and its language, and also to create a platform for Southeast Asian filmmakers to promote their films. Those are my first two missions. The other mission is to basically drive sustainability to the film festival, which we’re able to raise funding on a consistent level, and to bring corporate sponsorship on a sustainable level, and so to create partnerships that will last years ahead as opposed to one year at a time. The MDA and STB are involved (in funding), and there are other funders involved, including MBS (Marina Bay Sands); and ultimately, they are there to promote the festival on the vision that we have Singapore, regional, and international — those three levels — right, and putting up a world-class event.
SGIFF new logo
In the spirit of change and rejuvenation, the SGIFF, formerly SIFF, sees not just a name change, but also a revised logo, and will expand the short film category of the festival’s Silver Screen Awards to include Southeast Asian short films. The SGIFF will run from December 4 to 14, with call-for-entries from March 25 to September 15. It is part of the Singapore Media Festival that will run from December 4-14, 2014, and which brings together four complementary film and TV events – a trade market for film and TV, conferences, awards, and festival screenings under a single umbrella. For 2014, the four anchoring events are the â€‹Singapore International Film Festival (Dec 4-14); the Asian Television Awards (Dec 11); the Asia TV Forum & Market, (Dec 9-12); and ScreenSingapore (Dec 9-12).