Jakarta. The Singapore Media Festival, or SMF, will return for its fourth edition this year from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3 to highlight emerging technologies as springboard for new storytelling ideas.
"The festival this year will continue our celebration of Asian storytelling, showcasing the region’s most talented creators and successful media businesses. We'll bring the industry together through cross-market collaborations and innovative stories that embrace new technologies," SMF's advisory board chairman, Robert Gilby, said in a statement.
SMF comprises well-established events including the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Asian Television Awards (ATA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore and SMF Ignite.
SMF Ignite will shine a spotlight on virtual reality (VR) technology. A one-day conference called "VR X SMF Ignite" on Nov. 29 will gather experts in technology and content production to exchange insights on the VR ecosystem and how it can create new opportunities for media businesses.
Alexandre Regeffe, VR consultant at Neotopy, will go in-depth into the post-production and storytelling process of 360 VR documentary "Expedition Antarctica," a sequel to the Academy Award winning feature "La Marche de l’Empereur" (March of the Penguins).
A VR exhibition will be held at the market floor of ATF and ScreenSingapore, allowing participants to explore innovative uses of VR for entertainment.
ATF also features a "Leaders’ Summit" that will release exclusive data and discuss the use of big data to make business decisions in the digital age.
SGIFF meanwhile will feature a "Future of Cinema" forum featuring Canadian filmmaker and EyeSteelFilm creative director Sandra Rodriguez and Australian filmmaker Aaron Wilson who will delve deeper into how VR technology has transcended film, television and traditional media.
As an associate event of SMF, Beach House Pictures will host a career and media workshop titled "Careers in Content in the Age of Digital Disruption" at Pixel Studios on Nov. 27-28.
The event will feature discussions and screenings and showcase the latest breakthroughs in VR and HDR technologies.
Celebrating Innovations Across Asia
SMF will also hold competitions and awards events to celebrate innovations and outstanding talents.
As usual, there will be the Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, featuring well-known names as the jury, including Shekhar Kapur who directed the Oscar-winning "Elizabeth" (2008) and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."
Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market and ATF Formats Pitch will return this year to connect promising film and television projects to potential investors and financiers.
ATF will also introduce its inaugural ATF Animation Pitch, seeking ideas for original animation for children in the comedy, adventure, action and fantasy genres.
Shortlisted participants will be able to pitch their ideas to senior executives from Disney, Netflix, Nickelodeon and Green Gold Animation.
Spotlight on Indonesia
Commemorating 50 years of Singapore-Indonesia diplomatic ties, SMF has selected Indonesia to be its very first country-of-focus, with special programmes being held in three events.
SGIFF will recognize Indonesia’s contributions to Asian Cinema with a series of discussions and screenings titled "Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order."
The program highlights Indonesian filmmaking traditions and explores recent trends in Indonesian independent cinema.
ATA meanwhile will present its Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television to Chairul Tanjung, founder of major Indonesian broadcasting companies, on Nov. 30.
Singer and actor Afgansyah "Afgan" Reza will also take the stage to perform.
Content sellers and buyers will get a chance to interact at ATF and ScreenSingapore and find out more about the Indonesian market, including the chance to meet broadcasters and platforms such as Hooq, Indonesia Entertainment Group, MNC Contents and ANTV.
"This is an exciting time for Indonesia’s media industry – local producers and content creators are taking risks, making bigger budget productions and telling a wide variety of stories. My hope is for Indonesian content creators to be able to come to the Singapore Media Festival to have their voices and stories showcased, to exchange knowledge and to share more about our market and potential," Indonesian filmmaker and SMF Advisory Board member Shanty Harmayn said.
SMF expects more than 20,000 professionals and members of the public to attend its series of events. More information is available on the SMF website.