Media Development Authority revamps media funds

Org to streamline programs to better reflect Industry

Singapore’s Media Development Authority has revamped its palette of media funds to streamline the number of programs on offer to better reflect the development of the industry.

Singapore’s lavish film funds have become the stuff of Asian biz legend, and the MDA has earmarked serious coin for making movies since it started in 2003. A total of S$230 million ($179 million) was set under the outgoing funding system. But the take-up on the funds has been more steady than spectacular, and often there was confusion about the 46 funds on offer.

From now on, Singapore will no longer seek a stake in whatever projects it invests in, but will work on a grant-only basis, instead of co-investment, local media in the city-state reported.

The number of funds on offer will fall to just five, covering development assistance, production, marketing, talent support and enterprise development. The funds will apply to broadcast, film, animation, publishing, interactive media, games and music.

The aim of the streamlining is to provide a more systematic approach to support an increasingly sophisticated media industry, after consultation with the biz, recently appointed MDA CEO Aubeck Kam told local media.

“They’re telling us they need more content development, they need to start moving away from mere production, to actually creating their own intellectual property. And that by doing so, the chances of succeeding and growing sustainably are much better,” he said.

Singapore has done very well on establishing itself in areas such as post-production, on visual effects and animation, and was recognized internationally as a place with technological depth and the skillsets needed.

It has already wooed and won the affections of biz leaders such as the Jim Henson Company and LucasFilm Animation, which set up LucasFilm Animation Singapore in 2004. All existing funding will be guaranteed.

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