Singapore Media Festival to Celebrate “Best of Asian Storytelling”


The Singapore Media Festival (SMF) is returning for its fourth edition, held from November 23 to December 3, with an aim to celebrate the best of Asian storytelling.

This year’s festival will feature a stronger emphasis on emerging technologies and innovation, more platforms to springboard new content ideas, increased regional collaborations with Indonesia as SMF’s first country-of-focus, and a bigger festival village. Hosted by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), the SMF consists of the established constituent events the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asian Television Awards (ATA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore and IMDA-led SMF Ignite.

Robert Gilby, the chairman of the SMF Advisory Board, said, “This year’s festival continues its celebration of Asian storytelling, showcasing the region’s most talented creators and successful media businesses. Bringing the industry together provides an abundance of creative and commercial opportunities through cross-market collaborations and innovative stories that embrace new technologies.”

Shining a spotlight on emerging technology trends, VR X SMF Ignite is a new one-day conference and exhibition to be held on November 29. It will bring together technologists, creators, developers and users to exchange insights on the VR ecosystem and discuss how this new paradigm can create opportunities for businesses in media. Creators X SMF Ignite, a two-day event to be held on November 28 and 29, will be organized in partnership with Bloomr.SG (Mediacorp Creators Network) to equip digital creators with skills that revolve around storytelling, creativity, technology integration and market-grade pitching. Meanwhile, SGIFF’s Future of Cinema forum—organized with Canadian filmmaker and creative director of EyeSteelFilm, Sandra Rodriguez, and Australian filmmaker Aaron Wilson—will delve deeper into how VR technology allows for more innovative storytelling.

As an associate event of SMF, Beach House Pictures will host a career and media workshop titled “Careers in Content in the Age of Digital Disruption” at PIXEL Studios on November 27 and 28. The event will feature interactive workshops, the latest breakthroughs in technology such as VR and HDR, sessions with industry professionals, panel discussions and screenings of award-winning content. ATF Leaders’ Summit will focus on big data.

To honor the best innovative ideas and stories, SGIFF’s Asian Feature Film Jury will be led by award-winning film director behind Elizabeth and Bandit Queen, Shekhar Kapur. He is joined by screenwriter and film director Ana Lily Amirpour, filmmaker Clara Law and Locarno Festival’s head of programming, Mark Peranson. This year’s Southeast Asian Short Film Jury will be headed by the programming director of the Asian Future section at Tokyo International Film Festival, Kenji Ishizaka. He is supported by actress Marsha Timothy and filmmaker K. Rajagopal. ATF will introduce its inaugural ATF Animation Pitch.

The Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market, organized by ScreenSingapore in partnership with the Southeast Asia Audio-Visual Association and Ties That Bind, as well as the ATF Formats Pitch (which is backed by all3media international) will return this year to connect promising project ideas to potential investors and financiers. To recognize significant contribution to the Asia Pacific’s TV industry, ATA will be presenting the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television to the founder of Indonesian broadcasting companies Trans TV and City Corp, Chairul Tanjung.

SMF 2017 will be spotlighting Indonesia as its very first Country-of-Focus. SGIFF will recognize Indonesia’s contributions to Asian Cinema by launching a Focus series, titled Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order.