Singapore offers new initiatives

Cash-rich locale increases creative perks

BEIJING — Film funding may be drying up in some markets but the cash-rich city state of Singapore is expanding efforts to woo the world’s creative community.

The Media Development Authority of Singapore announced three initiatives at a briefing at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday.

The government has earmarked $156 million over five years to develop the media content sector, which comes on top of $340 million it has already committed to interactive digital media research and development over five years.

The first of the new initiatives is the Intl. Film Fund, which aims to encourage films to lense in Singapore, providing locally based production and post-production companies with the opportunity to exec produce and/or co-produce films of global appeal with international partners.

It will contribute up to $3.4 million per project, covering 17 to 20 projects ranging from animation, live-action features and post-production projects.

The MDA also will help pics tap the $882 million of private equity investment available to filmmakers.

Singapore has set aside $6.7 million over five years for a stereoscopic 3-D development fund, which commits the territory to co-producing three 3-D films, all of which will be in production by the end of March, and which are being offered for pre-sale at Cannes.

The first title is “Amphibious,” a science-fiction adventure project to be helmed by Brian Yuzna.

The third initiative is the previously announced Mediapolis@one-north, a 47-acre, state-of-the-art studio that offers sound stages, digital production, post, broadcast and distribution facilities.

A collaboration between the Singapore government and private investors, it is hoped Mediapolis will be a catalyst for film, TV, animation, videogame and emerging new-media production.

The three-pronged strategy is part of the Media Development Authority’s Singapore Media Fusion Plan to attract international projects and film companies to the territory.

“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,” said MDA CEO Christopher Chia.

Singapore’s media sector contributes $13.2 billion in revenue to the economy and employees 54,700 people.

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