Festival-goers can celebrate the past and experience the future of Asia’s media industry’s best, with 11 days of screenings, showcases pavilions, discussion panels, fan meets, and more.
Taking place from 30th November to 10th December 2023, the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) returns for its 10th edition with a robust line-up of programmes from the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) and a new addition, Nas Summit Asia.
Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the festival is expected to gather over 50,000 top media professionals, leaders, talent, content creators and consumers from Asia and worldwide to make new dreams, content and connections here. With the best of Asia’s media industry assembling on Singapore’s shores, the public can enjoy more than 100 of the region’s top films and experience the best in pop culture, television, and new media.
Singapore Media Festival turns 10: The nexus of Asia’s media industry
The festival this year celebrates the theme “Make It Here”, rallying the region’s media entrepreneurs, talents, creators, and consumers to explore diverse media innovations, form strategic deals, and discover Singapore’s best made for the world. The Singapore Media Festival has been one of Asia’s leading international media industry events since 2014, gathering more than 274,000 participants from 60 countries over the last 10 years. S$3.04 billion (US$2.23 billion) worth of deals and partnerships have been generated from the festival since its inception.
Notable projects that have emerged from the festival include the Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which grossed close to S$330 million (US$240 million) worldwide. The festival has been a catalyst for discovering outstanding media talents across Asia while fueling the growth and creation of media productions and content through initiatives such as SGIFF’s Film Academy and Silver Screen Awards, SGCC’s Work In Progress (W.I.P.) programme, ATF’s In-Development lab and pitches. These initiatives complement IMDA’s ongoing support for Singapore’s media industry including the Virtual Production (VP) Fund and grants offered by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.
“The Singapore Media Festival has proudly spent a decade celebrating, discovering and nurturing the best of Asia’s media industry, and we will not stop here,” said Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive for Media, Innovation, Communications and Marketing, IMDA. “The media industry landscape today is shaped by new trends and technologies like virtual production and AI that present exciting creative opportunities. To capitalise on this, the festival’s role as the place where new dreams, content and connections are made becomes ever more crucial as we collaborate with the best of talent in Asia and around the globe to create stories for the world.”
Highlights of the 10th Singapore Media Festival
This year, the festival offers a diverse 11-day line-up of programmes and is expected to gather a total of 50,000 participants from more than 60 countries, including over 5,000 media professionals and 700 content creators, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
The festival will also showcase over 100 films from across 50 countries with 20 world premieres, feature 4 In-Development lab and pitches, creators’ discussion panels with over 30 speakers, and 16 official pavilions where media professionals and creators gather to share their latest insights and best practices.
Among other highlights, festival-goers can look forward to:
Diversifying into new media storytelling skills:
- Nas Summit Asia, a new addition to the festival, will be held on the 7th and 8th of December. It is organised in partnership with notable global content creator Nas Daily where local content creators can learn from more than 30 speakers like Our Grandfather Story’s Ng Kai Yuan and Maureen from Miss Tam Chiak on how to diversify their storytelling skills and potentially scale their content to regional and global audiences.
- Creators Con, a brand new B2C segment of this year’s Singapore Comic Con, will see new media creators engage with their community and fans. The segment aims to empower creativity, foster innovation, as well as celebrate diversity and inclusivity through meet-and-greets, and creators Q&A sessions.
Discovering the best of Asia’s cinema and talent:
- The best of Asian cinema will be on show at SGIFF with a slate of over 100 films from across 50 countries with 20 world premieres. This year’s SGIFF features a bumper crop of Made-with-Singapore films (27 features and shorts) and IMDA-supported co-productions (5). Notably, Tiger Stripes, an IMDA-supported film that won the Grand Prize for Cannes Critics Week, will be opening the festival.
- 2023 is an exceptional year for Made-with-Singapore films with the highest number of films selected in competition by Singaporean directors since 1997. Nominations for the highly prestigious Asian Feature Film Competition include Jow Zhi Wei’s Tomorrow is a Long Time, Nelson Yeo’s Dreaming & Dying, and Nicole Midori Woodford’s Last Shadow at First Light, which are must-watch films for all festival-goers.
- Golden Horse Award Winning Actress Fan Bing Bing will also grace the festival’s red carpet on the opening day to present her latest film, Green Night.
Uncovering new deals and insights:
- Delve into high-level discussions with the industry’s thought leaders from iQIYI, Jio Entertainment Services, Paramount, Youku, and many more, at the pre-market ATF Leaders Dialogue on the 5th of December.
- Catch the shortlisted project finalists from ATF’s first ever Singapore company-anchored initiative ATF x Beach House Pictures, who will be pitching their ideas to key decision makers live on stage on the 6th and 7th of December.
- Discover the frontiers of emerging technology and its infinite possibilities with new showcases by IMDA at ATF.
- A Virtual Production Afternoon at ATF’s Singapore Pavilion will showcase successful VP projects, alongside an insightful sharing session by panelists from Mediacorp and Weiyu Films who will dive into their eye-opening experiences working with VP.
- Engage in a thought-provoking discussion panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts as we explore the intriguing question: Is Generative AI a boon or bane for the media industry?
Singapore Film Commission celebrates its 25th anniversary as the champion of local talent and films
This year, the Singapore Film Commission, a division under IMDA, celebrates 25 years of nurturing Singapore’s film industry. With unwavering support, the SFC has backed over 800 projects, including short films, scripts, feature films, and film-related events that showcase homegrown talent and creativity within Singapore.
Since its inception in 1998, the SFC has tripled the output of Singapore films, with a steady annual release of 15 films today. Notably, local filmmakers have garnered international recognition, expanding Singapore’s cinematic reach far beyond its physical size. In 2023, Singapore’s presence at the Cannes Film Festival was remarkable, featuring the largest number of Made-with-Singapore feature films.
Among these, Jeremy Chua’s Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, won the Camera d’Or, Fran Borgia’s Tiger Stripes, clinched the Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize, and Anthony Chen’s The Breaking Ice, premiered in the Un Certain Regard section – each of them set to screen at this year’s SGIFF.
2023 also marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Media Festival, rallying Asia’s most passionate media professionals, industry leaders, talents and content creators to “Make It Here”!
For more details on the Singapore Media Festival and its partner events, please see the Annex or visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/sgmediafest.