S'pore media firms to create content with major players

Two Singapore media companies will work with major players to create content for a global audience.

Singapore-headquartered Beach House Pictures will work with American subscription streaming service Curiosity Stream, among others, to produce documentaries, while film distribution and production house Clover Films will work with Chinese online entertainment service iQiyi to produce a slate of films.

The announcement was made by Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo in her address at the opening ceremony of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore yesterday morning.

In a pre-recorded video message delivered to online and in-person attendees at Marina Bay Sands, Mrs Teo, currently on a work trip in London, said that more than 80 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and over 500 media professionals are expected to benefit from the two partnerships.

"Through these collaborations with new and existing partners, our companies and talents will have the opportunity to link up with the rest of the world," she said.

Both deals were facilitated by the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) Capability Partnership Programme, created in 2018 to encourage collaborations between reputable multinationals and Singapore-based SMEs.

Mrs Teo also announced that in February next year, 15 to 20 screenwriters from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia will be attending a workshop by Netflix to hone their craft in series writing.

The minister also said that six new South-east Asian co-productions will be supported with grants of up to $300,000 each under the IMDA's Talent Progression Programme (TPP), which helps companies with high-quality projects develop and produce them.

An IMDA statement providing more information about the deals said the first Beach House Pictures-Curiosity Stream title will be the documentary series Lift The Ice. The show will explore prehistoric Arctic civilisations and animals, as well as look at deadly viruses emerging from the Arctic ice.

The Clover Films-iQiyi partnership will create a slate of online films, the first two being the comedy Reunion Dinner and horror film Confinement. Both will premiere on the iQiyi platform in China next year, with other films coming online in 2023.

These collaborations, among others, will benefit local media industry professionals through job creation and opportunities for upskilling in the next two years, according to the statement.

The Netflix Series Writing Workshop, created with the support of IMDA, will be a virtual event set to start in the first quarter of next year. It will be conducted by Mr Christopher Mack, Netflix's director of Grow Creative, and screenwriter and producer Joe Peracchio.

The six TPP grant recipients come from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Five Singapore-based producers will be involved in all six projects, which are expected to be completed next year and in 2023.

The ATF and ScreenSingapore event, billed as the region's leading content market and conference, is part of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), taking place from Nov 25 to Dec 5 and hosted by IMDA.

Other SMF constituent events are the Singapore International Film Festival, the VidCon Asia Summit and Singapore Comic Con.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2021, with the headline S'pore media firms to create content with major players. Subscribe