Singapore Media Festival to showcase vibrant content and platforms

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Media Festival (SMF) is back from 28 November to 9 December 2018 for its fifth instalment to celebrate the best of Asian storytelling. This year’s SMF will feature new platforms for budding Asian media talent to be discovered and trained by international experts, a robust showcase of Asian films, as well as a vibrant celebration of Singapore films to be opened to the public.

Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Singapore Media Festival 2018 consists of the newly-minted Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) and SMF Ignite.

Robert Gilby, Chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, said: “Asian stories and storytellers matter to the world. There has never been a better time for Asian stories and talent to shine bright on the global stage. The Singapore Media Festival is the most diverse platform in the region and unique in the way it brings together the best talent to celebrate these stories, foster new collaborations and discover innovative ways of storytelling. The time for Asia is now.”


SMF will feature new platforms for aspiring media talent from Asia to be discovered and mentored by international experts.

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.

Two key figures in the short-form video content realm – Curt Marvis, CEO and Co­Founder 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.

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 3 to 7 December, with the Asian Academy Creative Awards to be held at Capitol Theatre on 6 and 7 December.

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 and runs from 21 November to 4 December.

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 filmmaker 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 [email protected] 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 4 to 7 December will be “The Convergence of Big Data, AI and Storytelling”.


The Philippines is the SMF’s Country-of-Focus this year as the country celebrates 100 years of Philippine cinema and commemorates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Singapore in 2019. In line with this year’s Country-of-Focus, SGIFF will present a robust line-up of Philippine films.

In competition at the SGIFF’s Southeast Asian Short Film Competition are:

  • Manila is Full of Men Named Boyby Andrew Stephen Lee
  • The Imminent Immanentby Carlo Francisco Manatad
  • Please Stop Talking by Josef Gacutan
  • Judgement by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

SGIFF’s Official Selection will feature the following Filipino titles:

  • The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931by Christopher Gozum
  • Season of the Devil by Lav Diaz
  • Nervous Translation by Shireen Senowhich is based on Seno’s personal experience and set against the backdrop of Filipino society in the late 1980s just after the People Power Revolution. The film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the Rotterdam 2018 NETPAC award for best Asian film.
  • Mikhail Red’s Eerie, which was a 2017 finalist for SAFF Project Market, will also make its world premiere at the Festival’s Midnight Mayhem section.

Beyond discovering films from the Philippines, media professionals at SMF will also have the opportunity to interact with Filipino media industry veterans through a host of programmes and initiatives that spotlights on the Philippines.


SMF will also feature a celebration of Singapore films by home-grown filmmakers:

  • Award-winning local filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua’s film, A Land Imagined, has been selected to compete at the SGIFF’s Silver Screen Awards in the Asian Feature Film Competition category. This follows the film’s top prize win at the Locarno Film Festival and Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. A Land Imaginedis supported by the SFC, a division under the IMDA.
  • In conjunction with the SFC’s 20thAnniversary, a documentary commemorating the evolution and milestones of Singapore’s cinema will premiere at SGIFF on 1 December at the National Museum of Singapore. The film will premiere as part of SGIFF’s SG Originals: Singapore Cinema – New Perspectives. The screening will be accompanied by a panel discussion with notable Singapore filmmakers Eric Khoo, Kirsten Tan, Sanif Olek, and the Director of the SFC, Mr Joachim Ng. The screening and panel discussion is opened to the public for free. Interested members of the public may register for tickets at
  • In addition, three Singapore films from 1998 – The Teenage Textbook Movie(directed by Philip Lim), Forever Fever (directed by Glen Goei) and Money No Enough(directed by Tay Teck Lock) – have been restored by the Asian Film Archive (AFA) with the support of the SFC.
  • Free film screenings of the three restored films, accompanied with a talk featuring a reunion with the cast and crew of the films will be jointly organised by SFC with the AFA to celebrate the films’ 20th anniversary.
  • Screenings will take place from 1 to 3 November, 7PM at The Cathay Cineplex (Hall 2), and from 9 November to 10 November at The Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore. Tickets are free for registration from 8 October at
  • The public can also enjoy Singapore films on Mediacorp platforms. A curated selection of local films including Kallang Roar The Movie (2008), Ilo Ilo (2013),7 Letters (2015) and Wonder Boy (2017) will air on Mediacorp’s Channel 5 from November 2018, as part of the celebration of SFC’s 20th Anniversary.

“The media industry in Singapore and the region has truly grown from strength to strength over the years. Singapore has a unique position as a connecting hub in Asia, and we welcome the creation of more made-with-Singapore content with a universal appeal. The Singapore Media Festival is the best platform in the region to make these collaborations happen and to bring our stories from Asia to the world.” said Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA.

For more details of the Singapore Media Festival, visit Media materials may be accessed in the Festival e-Media Kit here:

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore’s ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on Facebook and Twitter @IMDAsg.

The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, is set to become one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia for Film, TV and digital media. Taking place from 28 November to 9 December 2018, the Singapore Media Festival brings together the newly-minted Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) and established media events such as the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore and SMF Ignite.

For more information about the Singapore Media Festival, please visit

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