The Singapore Media Festival provides recognition and potential opportunities in the age of digital disruption with an incredible lineup organised for media players which ties in with this year’s theme of ‘Celebrating Asian Storytelling’ in the upcoming events. Thanussha Priyah reports.


The third edition of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the recently restructured, Info-communications Media Development Authority returns with two new associate events, the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Spotlight Series, which is a one-day conference offering attendees details about a particular Asian market or sector, and ciNE65, which is a short film competition for film buffs to tell their Singapore story. Another latest addition to the basket of events is the new digital event, SMF Ignite. The established events from Singapore Media Festival include the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS) and Asian Television Awards (ATA) will take place from 23 November to 9 December 2016.


The festival will highlight the abundant openings in the age of digital disruption and signifies the increasing growth of the region’s television and film industry. The festival’s theme, ‘Celebrating Asian Storytelling’ showcases the region’s talent, achievements and significant growth of the media sector. SGIFF is the largest and longestrunning film event in Singapore which focuses on dynamic programming and revolutionary Asian cinema for Singapore and the region.


Its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards gathers emerging filmmakers from Asia with its mentorship programmes, master classes and dialogues with filmmakers. Local filmmaker K. Rajagopal’s A Yellow Bird made its world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival during the International Critics’ week and it’s competing for the Silver Screen Awards’ Asian Feature Film Competition. SGIFF Programme Director, Zheng Wenjie said, “In 1995, I remember watching Rajagopal’s first film and thought to myself that he has a remarkable talent and his film is one of the most visceral and powerful Singapore films that I have seen.


Hence, we couldn’t be more proud to welcome Rajagopal back to participate in our festival this year.” The 27th edition of SGIFF targets upand- coming filmmakers to assist them with the support needed to produce outstanding Asian Films. Gladys Ng, winner of SGIFF 2015’s Best Singapore Short Film is the first filmmaker to be commissioned under a new initiative for a short film by the Youth Jury and Critics Programme. The short film will make its world premiere during the opening of the festival. “Our focus is the directors and the stories that they tell and I’m really excited about this year’s lineup because we have close to about 100 films submission and it’s been curated by an amazing team. We get a huge number of submissions and those entries grow every year,” says Mike Wiluan, Chairman, Singapore International Film Festival.


SGIFF will also be paying tribute to Singapore’s independent filmmaker, the late Abdul Nizam by screening a collection of 23 of his works which include Datura (1999) and Breaking the Ice (2014). The second edition of Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market at ScreenSingapore will include 15 projects this year, which is an increase from 10 projects last year. This opens up to more opportunities for participants to work on their feature-length projects. The ATF Formats Pitch is this region’s leading entertainment content event to acquire knowledge, network, buy, sell, finance, distribute and co-produce across all platforms. Regional content creators will present their new and original, nonscripted entertainment formats to get selected as a receiver of a bespoke package worth SG $20,000 of consultancy advice, technical aid and cash support. This initiative is a partnership between ATF and


all3media international (UK). Senior Project Director of ATF and Screen Singapore, Reed Exhibitions’, Yeow Hui Leng said, “ATF and ScreenSingapore constantly evolve and adapt. At the premier stage in Asia for top TV and film players, delegates can look forward to obtaining the keys to navigating today’s robust Asia’s content market – the freshest content, latest formats, cutting-edge technology and up-to-date insights.”