ATF 2023: Singapore builds a new fund to support international coproductions

The new funding, split between production and tech, was announced ing by Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information during the first day of ATF 2023.

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Tan Kiat How & Chien-Ee Yeh

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The 2023 edition of Asia TV Forum officially opened in Singapore with around 5,000 delegates from more than 60 markets expected to be on-site at the Marina Bay Sands. Asia's leading entertainment content market and conference will also feature 15 official pavilions with the attendance of leading studios and streaming platforms. It will also feature the participation of celebrities from China, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. 

ATF 2023 also features the presence of The State Council Information Office of China, National Radio and Television association of China, Shanghai Media Group, the Council of India, the Japan Bureau of International Drama Festival, the Tokyo Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, Gilkey Content Agency Korea, Korea Creative Content Agency, Korea Radio Promotion Association, Audiovisual From Spain, Taiwan Creative Content Agency, Department of International Trade Promotion Thailand and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. "On behalf of the producer of ATF, RX, we would like to sincerely thank all our partners who have been so supportive of the event. We would like to express our appreciation to 15 pavilions. We will kick start the program flow today with the official opening of ATF followed by the conference after the ceremony", Yeh Chien Ee, President for the Asia Pacific at RX, said during the opening ceremony.

During the opening of ATF 2023, Singapore's government agency, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), announced a new S$55-million/US$41-million fund to support international co-productions and enhance local virtual production capabilities. The new funding, split between production and tech, was announced ing by Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information. The fund will allocate S$30 million/US$22.4 million for the International Co-Production Fund and S$25 million/US$18.7 million over three years to the one-year-old Virtual Production Innovation Fund, which was set up in December 2022 with S$5 million/US$3.7 million.

The International Co-Production Fund is open to Singapore media companies with a track record in long-form content production, "Empowers media companies in Singapore to pursue co-productions with international partners to create content with a distinct local flavour for the Singapore story to reach global audiences through streaming platforms", the IMDA said. IMDA is accepting proposals for the co-production fund from 11 December to 31 January 2024. The Virtual Production Innovation Fund aims to intensify efforts to develop more local virtual production talent to meet the increasing demand for virtual productions in the industry. IMDA said that the virtual production and innovation funding had to date supported more than 20 creative projects. This includes education and training programmes.

“Exciting new technologies like virtual production, artificial intelligence and immersive storytelling are set to change the way we create and experience media. These trends will open up exciting opportunities for content creation, production and collaboration. To support Singapore’s aspirations for fostering creativity and innovation across the region, the island nation will remain focused on three pillars: partnerships, people and potential,” Tan Kiat How stated.

Together with ATF 2023, this year the Singapore Film Commission, a division under IMDA, celebrates 25 years of nurturing Singapore’s film industry. With unwavering support, the SFC has backed over 800 projects, including short films, scripts, feature films, and film-related events that showcase homegrown talent and creativity within Singapore. Since its inception in 1998, the SFC has tripled the output of Singapore films, with a steady annual release of 15 films today. Notably, local filmmakers have garnered international recognition, expanding Singapore's cinematic reach far beyond its physical size. In 2023, Singapore’s presence at the Cannes Film Festival was remarkable, featuring the largest number of Made-with-Singapore feature films.

Among these, Jeremy Chua’s Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, won the Camera d'Or, Fran Borgia’s Tiger Stripes, clinched the Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize, and Anthony Chen’s The Breaking Ice, premiered in the Un Certain Regard section – each of them set to screen at this year’s SGIFF.
2023 also marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Media Festival, rallying Asia’s most passionate media professionals, industry leaders, talents and content creators to “Make It Here”!

The Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), returns to celebrate its 10th edition as one of Asia’s leading international media industry platforms. Taking place in Singapore from 30 November to 10 December 2023, Asia’s media community will gather to explore diverse media innovations, form deals, and discover Singapore’s best made for the world. This year’s festival invites everyone to “Make It Here” in Singapore, inspiring the region’s most passionate media talent to step forward and continue making content, connections, and dreams come true. Media professionals, industry leaders, creators, and consumers will come together at the festival through the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Singapore Comic Con (SGCC), along with this year’s new additions, Nas Summit Asia and Creators Con (a new segment of Singapore Comic Con).

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