Global News


L-R: Wahyuni Hadi, Executive Director, SGIFF; Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA; Robert Gilby, Chairman, Singapore Media Festival; Stone; Huang Lu; Ding Ning; Ho Wi Ding; Tan Wei Keong; Sebastian Tan, Chairperson, SGIFF; Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA

SINGAPORE – The highly anticipated Singapore Media Festival (SMF) kicked off this evening 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.

From 28 November to 9 December, the fifth instalment 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).


Mr 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.”


Following the introduction of the Country-of-Focus programme last year, the Festival continues its efforts to highlight one country’s rich stories, talents and achievements. This year, the Philippines has been selected as Country-of-Focus.

Celebrating the centennial of Philippine cinema, SGIFF presents a robust selection of films from the country over the next 11 days. Well-known Filipino film figures will be in attendance, including Mikhail Red, Raya Martin, Shireen Seno, Sheron Dayoc, John Torres, Micah Tadena, and stars Bea Alonzo, Charo Santos Concio and Jake Cuenca.

Actors Miguel Tanfelix, Maja Salvador, Kyline Alcantara and Gabby Eigenmann, comedian Michael V., and film and television director Theodore Boborol will lead the Filipino delegation on AAA’s inaugural gala red carpet on 7 December, alongside AAA Philippines Ambassador, Mr Wilson Tieng, President of the Motion Pictures Distributors’ Association of the Philippines (MPDAP). Singer/actor MiG Ayesa will present a special performance at the awards ceremony, which will be broadcasted live by HOOQ across Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. 

ATF and ScreenSingapore have also lined up acclaimed industry players as part of its “Country of Focus: Philippines at the Crossroads” panel at the ATF Leaders’ Summit. Mr Carlo Katigbak, President and CEO, ABS CBN Corporation, Mr Guido Xavier R. Zaballero, Chief Marketing Officer, Cignal TV and Mr Vincent Reyes, CEO, TV5 will be sharing insights on what’s next in the Philippine landscape, leadership roles and coopetition, as well as the impact of the digital revolution on partnerships and investment decisions. The Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market 2018 will also feature five projects from the Philippines in its Top 15 finalist line-up. At the market, the country will be represented by a pavilion with more than 30 delegates, including independent producers and filmmakers, brought together by the Film Development Council of Philippines.


Singapore Film Commission, in cooperation with the Singapore International Film Festival, will be co-hosting the ASEAN-ROK Film Leaders Incubator (FLY) 2018 for the first time. This is part of IMDA’s mission to grow talent in the media industry.

First introduced in 2012 by the Busan Film Commission, FLY 2018 grooms aspiring ASEAN and South Korean filmmakers and provides them with co-production and collaboration opportunities with talent from around the region, under the mentorship of famed Asian filmmakers.

The two-week filmmaking boot camp kicked off in Singapore last week and will culminate in a graduation ceremony and public screening of the completed films on 3 December.

 Of the 22 participants from 11 countries, two young female filmmakers represent Singapore in this year’s programme: Judith Tong, who directed Paper Roof (2017), which has been screened at international festivals like Tribeca Film Festival, Busan International Short Film Festival, and Rhode Island International Film Festival; and Tang Wan Xin, whose film White Carnations (2017) premiered at FilmFest Munich. 


The festival’s keystone digital event, SMF Ignite, takes place on 5 December with the theme, “The Convergence of Big Data, AI and Storytelling”, to explore how data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning could aid storytelling in small and big ways. SMF Ignite sets out to create new opportunities for Asian media companies to thrive in a digitally driven environment.

This year, the event comprises a discussion of the theme among industry leaders; an exhibition of companies combining data analytics, AI and storytelling; keynote speeches; and a workshop. 

Popular online video creator Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily will be conducting the videomaking workshop for selected Singapore content creators. He will also be sharing his personal insights on digital storytelling in the keynote, alongside three other speakers:

 Mr Chen Xiao, Vice President of iQIYI, one of the largest online video sites in the world (Thoughts on the Film and Entertainment Industry under the Global Situation – Taking iQiyi As An Example);

 Mr Jim Louderback, General Manager of Vidcon, the world’s largest multi-genre online video conference (Beyond Viral – Building Community-based Video Success); and

 Mr Alex Smith, Area Lead (APAC) at Microsoft (Content in the Age of AI). More details on SMF Ignite keynote speakers and exhibitors are available in Annex A.

For more details of the Singapore Media Festival and its constituent events, refer to Annex B or visit Media materials may be accessed in the Festival e-Media Kit here:

Related Articles

Back to top button