SINGAPORE - The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) led 36 Singapore media companies to the 20th edition of the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), with more than 250 hours of film and TV content for Asian audiences. Among the Singapore content featured at Hong Kong FILMART were 30 original and engaging films with a unique blend of Asian and Western influences, across a diverse variety of genres such as romance, thriller, comedy and action.
Hong Kong FILMART is held concurrently with the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). For the past 3 years, Singapore projects have been selected to participate in HAF, one of Asia's leading project markets, where filmmakers have opportunities to meet with film financiers and distributors from the region. Every year, HAF presents various awards to selected filmmakers in recognition of the potential of their projects. This year, Singapore presents action film "Warrior of Love", produced by SIMF Management and directed by Derrick Lui.
Singapore media companies make waves regionally and in the online space
Singapore companies are partners-of-choice for regional and international co-productions, because of the availability of experienced media professionals who are able to deliver high-quality content. With its experienced talent-pool and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Singapore remains a choice location for global industry players to manage their business operations from.
mm2 Asia Ltd is the first Singapore movie production company to be listed on the Singapore Exchange. While mm2's headquarter is in Singapore, the company has expanded its footprint into Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. It is expected to make some announcements on its upcoming movie projects at Hong Kong FILMART.
Another Singapore media company, Clover Films, has gone beyond distributing films for the Singapore and Malaysia markets, to being a content co-producer with regional filmmakers. A recent example is "Let's Eat!", a collaboration between Clover Films and its partners from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Singapore company BananaMana Films recently announced a partnership with global TV site Viki. BananaMana's award-winning web drama "Perfect Girl" ("Outstanding Drama Series" at Toronto WebFest and LA WebFest in 2015) has been added to Viki's slate of content offerings for international audiences. BananaMana Films will also be showcasing its upcoming action thriller "Bang Bang Club" at Hong Kong FILMART.
Viddsee, a Singapore-based streaming platform, is seeing rapid growth in its community of users and gaining attention from investors. Viddsee is a mobile cinema platform, bringing together Asian filmmakers and curated film content to give millions around the world a new way to showcase and watch films. Set up in 2013 as a platform for Southeast Asian filmmakers to showcase their works, Viddsee's library of content has grown significantly to include titles from other Asian countries such as Iran and Japan. In recent months, it has also started collaborating with international film festivals to showcase selected works on its site.
Regional co-productions that are recognised at international festivals
"A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery" is a historical drama set during the Philippine revolution of 1896-1897. It is directed by Lav Diaz and co-produced by Singapore-based film companies POTOCOL and Akanga Film Asia and the Philippines' Ten17p, Sine Olivia Pilipinas and Epicmedia Productions. "A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery" clinched the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize (for a feature film that opens new perspectives) at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.
"Let's Eat!" tells the story about an erstwhile popular eatery that is trying to regain its popularity. The comedy is a Singapore (Clover Films), Malaysia (Sonneratia Capital Sdn Bhd, Asia Tropical Films Sdn Bhd), Taiwan (Sky Films Entertainment Co Ltd) and Hong Kong (FOX International Channels Asia Pacific Limited) production, directed by one of Hong Kong's leading comedians Chapman To. "Let's Eat!" competed and premiered at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2016.
Exciting new Singapore films and rising filmmaking talents to look out for
At Hong Kong FILMART, trade visitors found out more about the exciting slate of upcoming Singapore films and new filmmaking talent. From themes of nostalgia and identity, to the pursuit of happiness, our stories are a compelling mix of culture, history and adventure, with a uniquely Singaporean touch.
Singapore's filmmaking community is seeing more female representation in the likes of Eva Tang ("The Songs We Sang") and Tan Ai Leng ("My Love, Sinema"). Eva was a former journalist whose short films have been showcased internationally and "The Songs We Sang" is her first feature documentary. Ai Leng on the other hand, was a recipient of the Singapore Film Commission's New Talent Feature Grant (NTFG) and "My Love, Sinema" is her first feature-length film.
Xinyao is a local music movement popular among Singaporean youths in the 1980s. "The Songs We Sang" is a vivid and in-depth documentary that explores how Xinyao flourished amongst Singapore's Mandarin-speaking community, travelled beyond its shores and left an indelible mark on the culture of a young nation. "The Songs We Sang" will be released commercially in Singapore on 24 March 2016.
"My Love, Sinema" is a love story that transcends generations. Set in Ipoh, Malaysia and Singapore, "My Love, Sinema" features the lead character, starry-eyed 20-year-old Qiang, who moves from his village to the city, where his passion for cinema is ignited. "My Love, Sinema" is directed by Tan Ai Leng and produced by Scout Pictures and FLY Entertainment.
Other upcoming Singapore films include "The Tenants", an original dark psychological thriller and director Mike Koh's debut feature film; "Young & Fabulous", Singapore's first cosplay-themed film inspired by real life stories; heart-warming comedy "Lucky Boy" and "4Love", an anthology by 4 up-and-coming Singapore filmmakers: M Raihan Halim, Gilbert Chan, Sam Loh and Daniel Yam.
Other highlights from the Singapore showcase
TV titles showcased at the market include "The Dream Makers 2", "Crescendo" and "Somewhere Out There".
"The Dream Makers 2" is the successful sequel to Mediacorp's hit Mandarin drama series, "The Dream Makers". Set in a fictitious TV broadcast station, "The Dream Makers 2" sees various characters vying for success in the ever-competitive entertainment industry. Besides topping local viewership charts, "The Dream Makers 2" has also been acquired by broadcasters in Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand.
"Crescendo" is a drama series by Wawa Pictures that showcases Singapore's unique culture and heritage. It follows the story of a group of Xinyao music enthusiasts as they manoeuvre the unpredictability of Singapore's music industry, and are forced to adapt in order to survive.
Go on an adventure with "Somewhere Out There", where the hosts experience a myriad of scenarios, including living in a desert refugee camp. "Somewhere Out There" is produced by August Pictures.
List of Singapore companies at Hong Kong FILMART 2016
1. Advent Media Group
2. Antares International Media Pte Ltd
3. August Pictures Pte Ltd
4. BananaMana Films Pte Ltd
5. Beam Artistes
6. Bomanbridge Media
7. Brainchild Pictures
8. Brand New Media
9. Can Did Productions Pte Ltd
10. Clover Films Pte Ltd
11. Digital Blowfish Pte Ltd
12. Encore Films Pte Ltd
13. FILMAT36 (S) Pte Ltd
14. FLY Entertainment Pte Ltd
15. Hi-5 Operations
16. Hub Media Group Pte Ltd
17. Idiosyncratic Motion Pictures
18. J Team Productions Pte Ltd
19. Kawi Content
20. MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd
21. mm2 Entertainment Pte Ltd
22. Monstrou Studio
23. Papahan Films
24. Potocol Pte Ltd
25. Samuel Seow Law Corporation
26. Scout Pictures Pte Ltd
27. SIMF Management Pte Ltd
28. Singapore Cinema Pte Ltd
29. Sitting in Pictures Pte Ltd
30. The Songs We Sang Pte Ltd
31. Viddsee Pte Ltd
32. Videofashion Asia Pacific
33. Vividthree Productions Pte Ltd
34. WaWa Pictures Pte Ltd
35. Widescreen Media Pte Ltd
36. Xtreme Media Pte Ltd
 The NTFG encourages first and second-time directors to launch their careers in feature filmmaking, by helping them make films for different platforms such as cinemas, film festivals, or broadcast.
About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (www.mci.gov.sg).
Joannah Zhong (Ms) Executive (Industry Communications) Media Development Authority of Singapore Mobile: +65 9728 9956 Email: Joannah_zhong@mda.gov.sg