ATF, Screen Singapore to Combine With Singapore Intl Film Festival for 2014

Marina Bay Sands Resort will host the combined event

The expanded event, slated for December of next year, is designed to raise the city's profile in the growing Asian content industry, crowded regional market and convention sector.

SINGAPORE – The Asian Television Forum (ATF) and Screen Singapore are to be held next year alongside a returning Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) and the Asian Television Awards, in an expanded, co-located five-day convention,Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's minister for communications and information, announced at the opening ceremony of the 2013 event Wednesday.

To capitalize on the growing Asian content market, the events will be held under one umbrella at the Marina Bay Sands resort in December next year, to create a bigger combined event, said Ibrahim.

Around 4,000 buyers from 900 companies did a total of $204 million in deals last year, the first time that ATF and Screen Singapore were held together, said the minister.

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The minister cited Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo, the debut feature from the local director, which won Taiwan's Golden Horse and the Camera d'Or at Cannes this year, as an example of Singapore's growing strength in cinema.

“The details are still being decided on, but the core of the event will be around five days, when the events will overlap,” Chun Cheng Yeo, assistant chief executive of Singapore's Media Development Authority, told The Hollywood Reporter after the minister's announcement.

An umbrella name for the event is still under discussion, according to Yeo.

“Our challenge is finding a name that everybody can relate to, it's not been easy. People in this industry have strong views on what it should be; there have been a lot of names tossed around,” said Yeo.

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ATF and Screen Singapore will continue to be run by Reed Exhibitions, the Asian Television Awards by Contineo Media, and SGIFF by its board of directors.

The SGIFF, which was canceled in 2012 amid internal strife which saw two directors resign, will return for its 25th anniversary event, after the two-year hiatus. The Marina Bay Sands resort, which includes a 2,500-room hotel, casino, conference center and movie theater, will donate $300,000 to support the SGIFF.

Soo Wei Shaw, former director of Hong Kong International Film Festival and SGIFF, will return as chairperson of the SGIFF portion of the event, which is expected to show around 80 films over two weeks.

“For the first time, the Festival will also have a market through its co-location with Screen Singapore, offering filmmakers greater distribution, financing and networking opportunities with international delegates in attendance,” said Shaw in a statement.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair