Why the Singapore Media Festival brings together the best in Asian content

The Singapore Media Festival helps media and marketing professionals navigate the shifting trends of content and creativity, even as it showcases the best the region has to offer in terms of talent and entertainment – so don't miss it

Whether you are a media professional, creator, marketer or advertiser, it is no secret that storytelling is at the heart of all good content. In a fragmented world with consumers spoilt for choice when it comes to media consumption, the ability to craft compelling stories has become more important than ever. 

For the past six years, the annual Singapore Media Festival (SMF) has been showcasing the industry’s best content and talent from across Asia to inspire and inform industry practitioners as they navigate a shifting media landscape.

Hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), this year’s instalment of SMF will take place from November 21 to December 8. The event will feature a wide range of media formats – from films and television to popular culture, comics and games. 

Some highlights include the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore (SS), the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), and this year’s new addition, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC). The two-day VidCon Asia Summit will also be held in conjunction with SMF.

Over 50,000 thought-leaders, creative professionals, and members of the public from around the world are expected to be part of this year’s event – more than double the number last year.

SMF advisory board chairman Robert Gilby said: “There is a rising wave of Asian creativity driving growth opportunities in the media sector, as global players look to tap the stories and market in this region.

“The Singapore Media Festival plays an important role in bringing together the best of Asian content and talent across different formats, genres and platforms, to create potential for creative, collaborative and commercial partnerships to happen.”

Here are just a few reasons why you should attend this year’s SMF.

Get an inside look at the latest trends impacting the media landscape from industry heavyweights

(Left to right) iQIYI founder and CEO Gong Yu; Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibasish Sakar

One of the highlights of SMF is the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. 

With massive disruption affecting the television industry, it is timely that this year’s ATF will be exploring the theme ‘Streaming The Future’. Industry heavyweights such as iQIYI founder and chief executive Gong Yu, Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibasish Sarkar and WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks president Giorgio Stock will weigh in on what the future of television looks like to them.

With the increasing popularity of episodic content, the Singapore International Film Festival’s (SGIFF) ‘The Future Of Cinema – Storytelling Through Episodes’ is a highly-relevant forum. It will will offer content developers valuable insights into creating captivating characters, developing engaging stories and connecting with audiences.

Meanwhile, SGIFF’s three-day South East Asian Producers Network will see 25 leading producers and established professionals from the region – including veteran Vietnamese producer and co-founder of Autumn Meeting Tran Thi Bich Ngoc and Beijing based Rediance CEO Xie Meng – discuss the latest developments and strategies of content production.

SMF 2019 will feature another first when the world’s largest online video convention – VidCon – makes its Asian debut in Singapore as part of the festival. The two-day VidCon Asia Summit will introduce its signature Industry Track to the Asian market, with a variety of keynotes from global  leaders. It will also include hands-on workshops focused on growing an audience and revenue in the fast-paced Asian online video marketplace. 

Discover the best content and talent from the region 

Maria Rahajeng and Elizabeth Rahajeng at the Asian Academy Creative Awards

The Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) will be back once again to recognise the best content in the region. The awards are emerging as one of Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious for creative excellence, with several media companies taking up the broadcast or streaming rights to this year’s ceremony.

Asian television creators will get to showcase their original ideas for export and development at the Asia TV Forum & Market’s Animation, Chinese and Formats Pitches. Past winners have found success in the industry, with ‘Pigsy’ (the winning concept for Animation Pitch 2017) expected to be released by early 2021, and ‘Serenade’ (winner of ATF Formats Pitch 2018) now being considered by regional and international networks.

A Short Film about the Indo Nacional by Raya Martin

On the film front, a special focus of South East Asian cinema will be on SGIFF’s line-up, titled ‘Stories We Tell: Myth, Dreamscape and Memory in South East Asian Cinema’, which will feature four films that that showcase imaginative and dreamlike storytelling. 

Budding filmmakers will also have a chance to get their projects off the ground at the South East Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market, a platform that connects promising project ideas to potential investors and financiers.

There’s a little something for everyone

Singapore Comic Con

 It’s not all about work at SMF. If you’re looking to indulge your passions or simply have some fun, SMF will present the leading toys, comics and gaming content from around the world when it hosts Singapore Comic Con (previously known as Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention) for the first time as part of the festival this year. The convention will feature fan-based zones, cosplay competitions and an e-sports arena.

And for some family entertainment, SMF 2019 will introduce a new SMF Festival Village at Armenian Street, where members of the public can take in outdoor film screenings, workshops, talks and masterclasses, as well as immersive VR showcases, over two weekends from November 22 to  November 24 and November 29 to December 1.IMDA chief industry development officer Howie Lau said: “Singapore is at the heart of Asia, and home to where East meets West, and tech meets media. As a multi-genre, inclusive festival that reflects the converging media landscape, the Singapore Media Festival aims to be a platform that encourages the creation of ‘Made-with-Singapore’ content, where everyone can participate, learn and appreciate the best that Asian content and talent have to offer.”

Join us at the Singapore Media Festival (21 Nov to 8 Dec), and find out more on how you can be a part of the exciting activities here or follow us on facebook here

SPONSORED CONTENT FROM Infocomm Media Development Authority

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