Singapore – The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) unveiled on June 16 a nine-member advisory board for the inaugural Singapore Media Festival (SMF).
The board, which is made up of global media professionals, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region, will provide guidance and advice to MDA and its partners and help chart the roadmap for SMF, which is set to be one of the region’s premiere film and TV events.
Robert Gilby, Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company (SEA), is the chairman of the SMF advisory board. Based in Singapore, Gilby is responsible for all Disney business divisions in the Southeast Asia region.
The eight other members are:
- Colin Brown, General Manager of LucasFilm Animation (Based in Singapore)
- Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia (Based in Singapore)
- Calvin Cheng, Founding Director of Lumina-Looque International and Former Nominated Member of Parliament (Based in Singapore)
- Man Shu Sum, Associate Director of Academy of Film Hong Kong Baptist University and Chief of Jury Asia TV Awards (Based in Hong Kong and Singapore)
- Nansun Shi, Chairman of Distribution Workshop and Executive Director of Film Workshop Co. Ltd. (Based in Hong Kong)
- Shanty Harmayn, CEO of Salto Films (Based in Singapore and Indonesia )
- Steve Ransohoff, Co-President of Film Finances Inc. (Based in USA)
- Yvonne Tay, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Fox International Channels (Based in Singapore)
“Each member of the board is a leader in his or her chosen field and we are privileged to have them as our advisors for the SMF,” said Angeline Poh, MDA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Industry). “We are confident that with their support, we will be able to make the SMF one of the most compelling film and TV events in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Gilby said, “The Singapore Media Festival brings together leaders of creativity, content and commerce in the Asian Film & TV industry. It provides a platform for inspiration, exchange of ideas and industry investment in the talent that drives great storytelling.”
The annual SMF, which runs from December 4-14 this year, brings together four complementary film and TV events – the Singapore International Film Festival, Asian Television Awards, the Asia TV Forum and Market as well as ScreenSingapore – under a common umbrella.
It is hosted by the MDA and organised by Reed Exhibitions, Contineo Media and SGIFF Ltd.
Profile of Chairman
Robert Gilby is Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company South East Asia, based in Singapore. Gilby leads all Disney businesses across the Southeast Asia region, focused on building Disney’s portfolio of leading brands such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars across its Film, Television, Consumer Products, and Interactive Media businesses, and connecting fans with Disney’s branded experiences, stories and characters. Gilby joined Disney in 2006 as Managing Director of Disney Channels in UK, Scandinavia & Emerging Markets, based in London. He relocated back to Hong Kong in 2008 as Managing Director for Disney Media Distribution Asia Pacific, and was responsible for expanding Disney’s content distribution business through collaborative partnerships with broadcast, platform and digital partners across the Asia Pacific region. Prior to Disney, Gilby worked at Turner Entertainment Networks Asia Pacific as Vice President, Network Development and Strategic Marketing, having joined Turner in 2000 as Head of Business Development in Asia Pacific, leading strategy and business development for Turner’s portfolio including CNN, Cartoon Network, Pogo and China Entertainment Television. Gilby has served on the Board of Directors of CASBAA in the Asia Pacific region, The Movie Network Channels in Australia and UTV Software in India. A qualified Chartered Accountant and Strategy Consultant by background, he started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entertainment & Media group and worked with them in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
“The Singapore Media Festival brings together leaders of creativity, content and commerce in the Asian Film & TV industry. It provides a platform for inspiration, exchange of ideas and industry investment in the talent that drives great storytelling,” said Gilby.
Profile of Members
Calvin Cheng, Founding Director of Lumina-Looque International and Former Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore, was also a member of Singapore’s Ministry for Communications and Information’s (MCI) Media Literacy Council, and the Media Development Authority’s (MDA) Board of ScreenSingapore. Calvin is the Founding Director of Lumina-Looque, a regional integrated media company that owns event companies, model agencies and magazines. Calvin is also the largest shareholder of Jue Rui Bao Si (JRBS), a training company in China that trains companies in soft skills. JRBS has partnered China’s leading movie studios, including Bona Film Group and Enlight Media, to train their artistes in deportment, image and communication. It was also the official training partner for China’s inaugural season of X-Factor. Calvin graduated from the University of Oxford with a MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a MSc in Management. Calvin is also a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
“The Singapore Media Festival brings together the most important Film and TV events in Singapore under one umbrella. With media convergence, I foresee that the SMF will encompass even more content formats in future, and will keep Singapore on the cutting-edge of media development. I am confident the SMF will be a signature media event for Singapore and the world for many years to come,” said Cheng.
Colin Brown, General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation (Singapore), has over 25 years experience in various sectors and geographies in the Film and TV business sectors. Starting in 1989 with WHSTV in London transmitting 2 satellite channels (sports and lifestyle) he moved into Film Visual Effects in 1993 founding Cinesite Studio in London, and eventually ran Cinesite studios in both London and Hollywood. In 2003 he became a Board member of the UK Film Council and went on to be appointed as British Film Commissioner. He has worked extensively in Europe, the USA, India and China.
“My vision for the Singapore Media Festival is that it should shine a light on the real opportunities for film making, film financing and cross collateralisation of visual media, which Singapore offers,” said Brown.
Jonathan Spink, Chief Executive Officer, HBO Asia, has over 26 years of experience in the pay television industry. Spink is responsible for the overall management of HBO in South East and South Asia. He has spearheaded the growing network of standard-definition and high-definition channels and services – HBO, HBO SIGNATURE, HBO FAMILY, HBO HITS, HBO DEFINED – as well as HBO GO, HBO ON DEMAND, CINEMAX and RED. HBO is available across 23 territories in Asia. Under Spink’s leadership, HBO Asia co-produced its first filmDead Mine, an original ten-part hour-long detective noir drama series Serangoon Road, as well as a four-part hour-long horror mini-series Grace. The company also became the exclusive distributing agent for BabyFirst in Asia-Pacific.
“It is an honour to be a member of the inaugural Singapore Media Festival’s International Advisory Board. With the many developments in the media space in Singapore recently, including HBO Asia’s co-production of Serangoon Road and the upcoming premiere of the HBO Asia Original series Grace, the Singapore Media Festival is poised to help propel the film and TV industry to greater heights,” said Spink.
Man Shu Sum, Associate Director of Academy of Film Hong Kong Baptist University and Chief of Jury Asia TV Awards, is a veteran of the Singapore media industry, with a wealth of experience in the television and film content business. In 2000, he was tasked to start two new free-to-air channels and this marked a new milestone in Singapore’s media landscape. Shu Sum joined the Media Development as the director of Broadcast and Film in 2005, and was in charge of public service broadcast funding. As the director of the Singapore Film Commission, he was honoured with the title of top 50 Asia film leaders by the magazine Variety at the Busan Film Festival 2007, together with Ang Lee, Tony Leong, Bill Kong and many others producers from the region. As the CEO of the Asia office of Hollywood based Company Mark Burnett Productions and Managing Director of Mediacorp Raintree Pictures, Shu Sum focused on producing and investing in television and film content for the Asia market. Shu Sum currently holds the position of Chief Jury of Asia TV Awards, Associate Director of Academy of Film Hong Kong Baptist University, Chairman of Singapore Work Development Authority Media and Communications Sector and Visiting professor of Sun Yat Sen University.
“The Singapore Media Festival is set to be the most recognised marketplace to understand Film and TV content made for Asia, and provide ample high value business opportunities for media professionals. Our vision is to place the Singapore Media Festival on the world map through top-level events and conferences, and give participants the opportunity to network with the industry’s leading players. It will be a must-attend iconic media event for creative talents, distributors and investors,” said Shu Sum.
Nansun Shi, Chairman of Distribution Workshop and Executive Director of Film Workshop Co. Ltd, is an esteemed and prolific producer who has produced blockbuster hits such as The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D (2011) and Young Detective Dee — Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013). She was pivotal to the success of Cinema City and Film Workshop Co Ltd., which she founded with an internationally-acclaimed producer and director, Tsui Hark. In 2007, Shi was a juror of the Berlin Film Festival’s main competition. She was also a juror of the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. In October 2013, the French Government honoured Nansun with the title of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
“The Singapore Media Festival is set to be Asia’s premier event,” said Shi.
Shanty Harmayn, CEO of Salto Films, is an Indonesian film producer based in Singapore and Jakarta. She established Jakarta based Salto Films in 1998. The company credits include award-winning Indonesian films such as Sang Penari(2011) by Ifa Isfansyah – Best Indonesian Film 2011, The Photograph by Nan Achnas – Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2008, andGaruda Di Dadaku, a children soccer box office hit film, now a well known brand and growing franchise. In 1999, Harmayn co-founded the Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFest). In 2012, Harmayn established Kawi Content in Singapore with Tanya Yuson. Kawi develops and manages Asian-based intellectual properties, turning them first into comics and graphic novels then into products across all media platforms.
“The Singapore Media Festival is set to be a premier event in Asia where content creators and media business can meet and engage in collaborations,” said Harmayn.
Steve Ransohoff, Co-President of Film Finances Inc., has been with the company for over 25 years and became Co-President/Co-Chairman in 2008. Over the years he has worked as the head of FFI’s legal team and played a crucial role in many of the hundreds of films that they have bonded. Steve has also had an active role in seeking out new business ventures, as well as coordinating activities with FFI’s overseas offices. Steve received his J.D. from San Francisco’s Hastings School of Law and began his career in the entertainment division of Loeb & Loeb LLP. He remained there for three years before joining FFI in 1986.
“Film Finances, Inc. is excited to work towards growing the Singapore Media Festival into the premiere entertainment platform within Asia. Our hope is that in bringing together people from all fields of media this event will foster a greater understanding of the worldwide opportunities that are available throughout Asia’s flourishing entertainment industry,” said Ransohoff.
Yvonne Tay, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Fox International Channels, graduated with a Theatre Studies and Literature degree and started her career in journalism for a magazine in Singapore. However, she was soon seduced by the glamour of advertising sales and after a few years of selling for print media, she was asked by what was then STAR TV to join them as advertising sales manager for National Geographic Channel. In 2008, she moved to the Hong Kong office to take up the larger role of looking after Ad Sales pan regionally across 13 markets. Following STAR TV’s merger with FOX International Channels, Yvonne was then offered in 2010 the position to head up FIC’s Singapore business as its Territory Head, taking her back to her home city. She is now Senior Vice President and General Manager of the FIC’s operations in Singapore, which includes its factual, entertainment and recently acquired sports business. When Yvonne was single and more carefree, she used to travel adventurously to countries like Kazakhstan and Cambodia to teach drama to underprivileged youths. Now, she runs after two energetic young ones of her own at home, boys aged eight and four, and they make up for all the magic of the stage she has always loved.
“FOX International Channels is a significant part of Singapore’s media scene and we look forward to continuing to help make this city a key global destination for our exciting and vibrant industry. There is no better place to celebrate great creative work, showcase innovation and connect people and ideas, which is really the heart of our business, so I have no doubt that the Singapore Media Festival will become a significant platform and iconic event on the industry calendar,” said Tay.