Singapore, Oz unveil media pact


SYDNEY -- The Australian and Singapore governments will sign a new co-production treaty later this year, the country's major film agencies announced Monday in Cannes.

The agreement, the fourth official co-production treaty Australia has signed, will cover co-productions in film, TV, video recordings, animation and digital format production.

It aims to "further enhance the cultural and creative exchange between the two countries," the two governments said in a statement.

Man Shu Sum, Singapore Film Commission director and head of the Media Development Authority of Singapore's Broadcast & Film section, said the treaty will build on Singapore and Australia's long-standing and well-established history of cooperation in areas of defense, trade and investment, education and cultural exchanges.

"Industry interest in film co-production is already reflected by the growing number of partnerships between Australia and Singapore media companies," he said, citing the recent production of writer-director Tony Ayres' "Home Song Stories," starring Joan Chen and co-produced by Singapore's MediaCorp. Raintree Pictures and Australia's Film Finance Corp. That film is scheduled for release in Australia in August.

The announcement was made at a co-production panel session jointly hosted by the Singapore Film Commission and the Australian Film Commission.