MDA rolls out initiatives to attract movie talent to Singapore

MUMBAI: The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has rolled out several new initiatives as part of its ongoing Singapore Media Fusion Plan (SMFP) to attract the world’s creative community to partner with Singapore media companies as it strives to develop Singapore into a trusted global capital for New Asia Media.

Making the announcement at the Cannes Film Market & Festival, MDA chief executive officer Dr. Christopher Chia said, "New Asia Media is about the diversity and dynamism of Asia as an emerging content powerhouse of ideas and creativity that is fast captivating the imagination of global audiences. Singapore’s strategic location in the heart of Asia, at the cross-road between East and West, gives our media companies a unique advantage in the creative process for making content from Asia that resonates with domestic as well as international audiences."

Dr. Chia added that the Singapore government has earmarked $156 million over five years to develop the country’s media content sector. This is in addition to the $340million already committed to interactive digital media research and development. SMFP aims to provide the best environment for media business, while leveraging R&D to position Singapore at the leading edge of digital media. Emphasizing the creation of new intellectual properties, as well as the formation of new digital media industries, the SMFP is looking to partner international companies tapping on new markets in Asia and beyond.

The three initiatives outlined by the MDA include: The International Film Fund (TIFF), Stereoscopic 3D Development Fund and Mediapolis @ one-north.

The International Film Fund will encourage projects to be shot in and out of Singapore. The fund will allow a contribution of up to $3.4 million per project, covering 17 to 20 projects ranging from animation, live-action features and post-production projects. MDA will take a share of the rights and revenues of the films as appropriate for its investment. The TIFF is in addition to the $882 million of private equity investment in Singapore that is currently available to filmmakers.

On the other hand, Singapore has earmarked $6.7million for its Stereoscopic 3D Development Fund as a result of its inaugural 3DX Festival, a global gathering of the stereoscopic 3D filmed entertainment and technology sectors which took place last November. Under this fund, Singapore has committed to co-produce a slate of three 3D films, all of which will be in production by the end of March 2010, and which are being offered for pre-sale here at Cannes. The first title of the slate is Amphibious, a science fiction adventure project to be directed by Brian Yuzna.

Currently under development, Mediapolis @ one-north is a state-of-the-art studio complex which offers sound stages, digital production, post production, broadcast and distribution facilities. A collaboration between the Singapore Government and private sector investors, Mediapolis @ one-north, will span 47 acres and will serve as a catalyst for film, television, animation, video game and emerging new media production.

In addition to the studio complex, the master plan for Mediapolis @ one-north includes research and development labs and work lofts as well as retail and recreation amenities and accommodations, creating a truly one-stop-shop for tomorrow’s media industry.

The first tenant will be Infinite Frameworks, the Singapore-based production company, with expertise in computer graphics and visual effects. Infinite Frameworks has committed to operating from the new complex and will be building two visual effects soundstages for film and television on three acres and the company will be among the most globally competitive one-stop visual effects centres in the industry, according to its managing director, Mike Wiluan.