Working across both of Singapore’s two main media support bodies, Man Shu Sum is the leading movie administrator in the ambitious territory.
Last year saw Singapore ramp up its role as a financier of international co-productions through its “made by Singapore” policy.
Generously, this does not insist on predominance of Singapore elements in order to be categorized as a local Singaporean movie and thus qualify for loans and subsidies.
The theory underpinning this is that by attracting footloose movies to either use Singapore facilities or establish a Singapore production base, there will be a ripple effect through the talent and executive classes of the territory’s still-modest film industry.
Country now boasts a cluster of small shingles, set up to access state coin. Australian talent manager RGM recently opened a Singapore office and began developing and producing from the city-state, with Rowan Woods’ upcoming Forest Whitaker starrer “Winged Creatures” its latest offering.
Man’s qualifications for the role are excellent. He worked for years in journalism and TV in Hong Kong at the time TVB was schooling helmers such as Tsui Hark and Patrick Tam. He then relocated to Singapore and launched a career as a TV producer. An avid film buff, Man has TV sets in every room of his home and was recently informed by cable company StarHub that he is one of the country’s five heaviest movie consumers.
The MDA recently pulled out of a commitment to fund Kelvin Tong’s “Rule Number One” as private companies piled in. Man cites this as an example of policy success and administrative flexibility.
Role as director of the film commission will see Man take on responsibility for developing strategic relations with Asia movie-producing powerhouses China, Japan and Korea.