Disney Executive Robert Gilby to Head Singapore Media Festival Board

The Singapore Media Festival will be held at Marina Bay Sands.

The expanded multimedia event spans a TV market, film festival, industry panel discussions and the Asian Television Awards.

Walt Disney Company’s Southeast Asia head Robert Gilby will lead a nine-member advisory board for the inaugural Singapore Media Festival, which merges the Asian Television Forum (ATF), Screen Singapore, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) and the Asian Television Awards into an expanded five-day convention.

“We like the idea of putting both TV and film together. It’s a great opportunity to be part of the festival. At Disney we have our headquarters in Singapore,” said Gilby at an event to unveil the panel at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The inaugural Singapore Media Festival will be held at the Marina Bay Sands resort between Dec. 4-14.

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“From an international perspective, Asia is a very large, complex region. It is very hard to stereotype any individual market," Gilby said. "You are really looking for the most effective forum to connect with the best talents and best creative capability."

Also on the board are Nansun Shi, chairman of Distribution Workshop and executive director of Film Workshop Co; Colin Brown, general manager of LucasFilm Animation; Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia; Calvin Cheng, of Lumina-Looque International; Man Shu Sum, the associate director of the Hong Kong Baptist University’s film academy; and Shanty Harmayn, CEO of Singapore and Indonesia-based Salto Films.

The board also includes Steve Ransohoff, co-president of Film Finances Inc., and Yvonne Tay, general manager and senior vice president of Fox International Channels.

“Singapore is a one-stop shop,” said Kenneth Tan, assistant chief executive of Singapore's Media Development Authority,

“It is easy to take things forward in many ways. The infrastructure is there, the means of doing it are not just limited to the talent that is domiciled in Singapore. That is how Singapore works,” said Tan.

“The opportunity to bring it all together is both a catalyst and addressing what’s happening,” he said.

Shi said holding the festival in Singapore worked because the city-state is central in the region.

“It can be the hub for this, which gives it a very unique position as we all know there are so many festivals and they are so competitive. Because of emergence of various countries filmmaking in the industry, I think it is more interesting to look at it this way now,” she said.

“There is no doubt about the organizing ability and infrastructures in Singapore," she said. "In all of these markets, you need to have a distinguishing character. When you see all the new talents in southeast Asia, you see it first in Singapore. You are going to see all the new films and filmmakers there."

The event will be run by Reed Exhibitions, Contineo Media and SGIFF.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan