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Singapore’s MDA seeks out talent

Revamped funding model should boost local biz

HONG KONG — Singapore’s Media Development Authority hopes that its newly revamped funding model will help it find the next generation of filmmakers to boost its domestic biz.

“We have a few filmmakers, like Eric Khoo, Jack Neo and Kelvin Tong. We want to find the next batch of wannabes that are still in school. The focus is to find new talents,” said Yeo Chun Cheng, MDA director of broadcast, film and music.

“We decided to do a fundamental switch. We would actually give out funds,” said Yeo, speaking on the sidelines of Filmart, the Hong Kong film and TV market, on Wednesday.

The MDA revamped its palette of media funds last year to streamline the number of programs on offer to better reflect the development of the industry.

Since the MDA started in 2003, it has earmarked S$230 million ($183 million) under the outgoing funding system. But the take-up on the funds was low, and often there was confusion about the 46 funds on offer.

Now there are five funds covering development assistance, production, marketing, talent support and enterprise development. The funds will apply to broadcast, film, animation, publishing, interactive media, games and music.

There were other problems with the old system, such as the way the government was effectively playing the role of producer in films.

Yeo said the new model was already reaping rewards and several projects had been greenlit. He expected to announce the new projects soon.

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