SINGAPORE: 2014 is shaping up to be a bumper year for Singapore movies, with 18 new Singapore films slated for release next year.
And they will no doubt be looking to follow in the footsteps of Singaporean director Anthony Chen's “Ilo Ilo”, which has been garnering strong international acclaim.
Some of these films will be showcased at this year's Asia Television Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, which will take place from December 4 to 6 and bring together more than 4,000 filmmakers, producers and distributors to collaborate on future TV and film productions.
The fresh crop of homegrown films include "Don't Wayang Me", a comedy about an eight-year-old Indian boy who wants to learn Chinese Opera, much to the dismay of his parents.
Also expect a horror flick,"After Images", about a group of artists who witness paranormal sightings after burning cameras as offerings to the dead.
10 of the films are regional collaborations with Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, spanning the genres of horror, comedy and romance.
A few of them will be screened as "sneak peeks" for international buyers during the forum to pique their interest in the Singapore film industry.
During the event, Singaporean filmmakers and foreign investors will come together to look for business opportunities, and local film companies will also meet with filmmakers interested in Asian content.
It is hoped that networking opportunities such as these will lead to interesting collaborations in the future.
Yeo Chun Cheng, assistant chief executive officer at Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), said: “Actually international buyers have been more and more interested in local content over the last few years -- both in terms of film and television, we've been doing quite well.
“In fact, our box office has shown that not just in Singapore, but in the region, our films usually do quite well, doing better by the year. And of course, with Anthony's win at the Golden Horse Awards last week, I think this will spur a lot of interest in Singapore media productions."
Singapore will be a hub of media activities this December, rounding up a good year for film and television.
This year’s combined ATF and ScreenSingapore, hosted by MDA, will see Singapore put on a strong showing with more than 70 film, television and animation companies bringing over 600 hours of content to the Singapore Pavilion for sale and distribution.
And for the first time, the ASEAN Film Festival will also be held in Singapore in December, kicking off with “Ilo Ilo”, followed by other award-winning titles from eight ASEAN countries.
The regional film festival will offer free public screenings of ASEAN films at Filmgarde in Bugis+ from December 3 to 6,.
MDA said at both ATF and ScreenSingapore, there will be onsite events to help filmmakers explore business opportunities and monetise their content.
Five films will be showcased during "sneak peeks", an exclusive preview to international buyers and distributors.
They include “Everybody's Business”, a comedy about sanitary loos; and four of the 18 made-by-Singapore films titles to be released locally and regionally next year -- “The Lion Men”, “After Images”, “Kiasu” and “Meeting the Giant”.
There will also be a business matching session for 50 Singapore and international film companies.
Singapore-made television content will receive dedicated attention this year.
Television producers will have their own business matching and "sneak peeks" sessions.
Four locally-produced television productions will be showcased during "sneak peeks."
They are animated series “Ella Bella Bingo Season 2” and “The Insectibles”, as well as documentary series “Break-Neck Business” and “Animal Emergency”.
In addition, at the Singapore Pavilion, television titles which feature uniquely Singaporean content will be showcased.
They include “Singapura Syok”, an infotainment programme which showcases the typical Singaporean life and what is closest to the hearts of Singaporeans; and “History from the Hills 2”, a documentary that re-tells significant historical events and landmarks in Singapore through one of the country's most symbolic vantage points, Fort Canning.
Mr Yeo said: "Singapore has had a good showing this year with quality, original Asian-themed content such as “Ilo Ilo” and “Serangoon Road.”
"With these successes, I hope more international media players will look to Singapore as good storytellers and good co-production partners, and join us on this continuing journey to make innovative and quality programmes which can appeal to a global audience," he added.
Preview of selected Singapore content on show is available at MDA's YouTube channel. - CNA/nd
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