5 Ways to Seize the Singapore Media Festival
THR's guide to efficiently navigating through the 11-day event — a film festival, TV market and digital conference all in one.
This story first appeared in the Dec. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Last year, the inaugural Singapore Media Festival craftily rebranded its various fall TV and film events into a splashy, one-stop media showcase, attracting the likes of John Woo, Juliette Binoche and Zhang Ziyi — as well as redoubling its links to China with the launch of a $100 million media fund for investments. In addition to an inaugural event devoted to new media (Digital Matters), this year's fest includes the fifth ScreenSingapore film market, the 16th annual Asian Television Forum and Market, the 20th Asian Television Awards and the 26th Singapore International Film Festival — which will include a master class by Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul and a tribute to Malaysian-born actress Michelle Yeoh. "The Singapore Media Festival serves as a platform for creative, content and commerce leaders from Singapore, Asia and other regions around the globe to come together to form fruitful partnerships that place Singapore as Asia's leading hub for content creation," says Robert Gilby, chairman of the SMF advisory board and managing director of The Walt Disney Co., Southeast Asia. Here's THR's guide to navigating the myriad screenings, seminars and awards shows during the 11-day event.
From left: Director Woo and actors Binoche, Zhang and Tong Dawei at the opening night of last year's festival.
Get Insiders' Tips on China
ScreenSingapore and ATF, running Dec. 1-4, expect more regional power players to take to the sales floor. Last year saw a record number of attendees (4,800) and exhibitors (1,300), and the events registered more than $250 million in sales. Maggie Xiong, senior director of international acquisitions at Chinese online video giant Youku Tudou, will provide tips on tailoring media content in ways that can help attract regional buyers.
Glimpse Asia's Digital Future
The inaugural edition of Digital Matters will explore various aspects of Asia's rapidly evolving online entertainment industry, from brand marketing to digital distribution. Speakers will include Bing Chen, a former vp at YouTube who now heads new-media platform Victorious, YouTube star Alfie Deyes and YouTube director of content and operations Gautam Anand.
The Man Who Knew Infinity stars Irons (left) and Dev Patel.
Seize Investment Opportunities
Singapore has emerged as an attractive production hub for Hollywood talent, with local authorities enforcing strict intellectual property laws and dangling cash rebates of up to 50 percent of qualifying expenses incurred during filmmaking in the territory. But the island city-state also offers investment capital for filmmakers in the West: Singapore-based Xeitgeist Entertainment Group has backed a number of English-language titles, including IFC's The Man Who Knew Infinity, starring Jeremy Irons. Says Xeitgeist's Tan Min-Li, "There are great opportunities here for international filmmakers."
Tap Into Asia's Booming TV Sector
D.J. Lee, president of media content at CJ E&M, will give this year's ATF keynote, "Into the Future of Television: An Asian Empire's Move Forward." He plans to speak about his experience at South Korean media giant CJ, which provides about 3,000 hours of content per year across Asia. The Asian TV Awards, which aired to about 50 million households across Asia last year, will run Dec. 2 to 3 and reach an estimated 80 million households.
The new Adrift restaurant.
Wind down at Adrift
Juggling a film festival, a movie and TV market, two awards shows and dozens of panels and business meetings will surely be enervating. Recharge at Adrift, a new eatery that opened this year at the festival hub, the Marina Bay Sands. Recently ranked one of the top 10 interior designs at the 2015 Inside World Festival of Interiors, the space is modeled after a traditional Japanese izakaya bistro and was designed by one of Los Angeles' own, chef David Myers.