Boost for made-with-Singapore productions

IMDA launches grant, schemes to support collaborations by local, international partners

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is looking to boost "made-with-Singapore" content by launching a number of programmes to support local content producers collaborating with international partners.

They include the South-east Asia Co-production Grant, which will provide funding of up to $250,000 a project for feature-length co-productions between Singaporean and South-east Asian film-makers. It is believed to be the first such fund in South-east Asia, as countries tend to provide funding for purely domestic projects. Details will be released early next year.

The announcement was made by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran at the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre yesterday.

Other programmes include the Facebook Creator Lab, a partnership between IMDA and Facebook. This initiative is designed to help Singapore content creators learn to build their businesses through Facebook, which is known for its wide reach as well as its digital marketing capabilities.

Applications for the six-month programme can be submitted at fb.me/fbcreatorlab

The IMDA has also collaborated with entertainment conglomerate Disney on a new initiative to train Singapore content creators to develop and produce eight digital-first, multi-platform titles for distribution on Disney's platforms.

Mr Iswaran also announced the launch of the Public Service Media Digital Partnership Fund, which encourages Singapore media players to collaborate with international partners to develop public service content for digital platforms.

These initiatives have been launched as the media landscape continues to change, said Mr Iswaran.

"There is an exciting set of opportunities that is on offer in the media industry because of the confluence of technological shifts, business and industry consolidation and restructuring, as well as the heightened interest in Asian content," he said.

Mr Howie Lau, IMDA's chief industry development officer, told The Straits Times: "With the rapid changes taking place in the media landscape, it is important to have a global outlook in order to access new markets and opportunities.

"We believe that a 'made-with-Singapore' mindset and an openness to collaborations will help the Singapore media industry to grow and find new platforms to tell their stories."

Mr Iswaran also launched the Skills Framework For Media, which serves to standardise job scopes in the media industry - for example, what a lead animator does - as well as spells out the skills needed for these roles.

Earlier in the day, at the opening ceremony for the same event, Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information, and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, launched the Media Industry Digital Plan (IDP).

This is a guide to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and professionals in the media industry see how they can develop their digital capabilities and get advice on how to thrive in the digital economy.

For example, SMEs can approach consultants via SME Centres, free of charge, for advice on the type of digital solutions that are relevant to their operations.

The Media IDP is the seventh and latest plan to help SMEs get digital-ready, following plans previously launched in other sectors such as food services, retail and security.

The ATF and ScreenSingapore end tomorrow and are constituent events of the Singapore Media Festival, which covers film, TV and digital media trends and trade deals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2018, with the headline 'Boost for made-with-S'pore productions'. Print Edition | Subscribe