×

Singaporean Cinema Still Seeking the Spotlight

It’s not for want of trying, but the Singaporean film industry continues to struggle to make its voice heard.

Since the island-state’s Media Development Authority was formed in 2003, the numbers the organization has released have certainly been impressive, given Singapore’s tiny domestic audience of 5.3 million people. Last year 10 local films made it to screens, while overall box office takings of S$13 million ($10 million) was a record — and up 10% year on year. But Anthony Chen’s 2013 Camera d’Or-winning “Ilo Ilo” remains the standard bearer for the industry ($1.15 million worldwide).

Censorship is an issue for potential investors. The MDA’s banning of the documentary “To Singapore, With Love” tarnished the industry’s image abroad.

Still, the MDA keeps pushing initiatives such as the Singapore-Malaysia “match-making” seminar it hosted at Cannes this year as it seeks to expand the local industry’s options.

It points to the opening of Infinite Studios and the Sandcrawler building (pictured), which houses Lucasfilm Singapore, as positive indications.

Popular on Variety

“It is an exciting time for Singapore,” says Angeline Poh, the MDA’s assistant chief exec (industry). She points to the Singapore Media Festival (Dec. 4-14) as a sign of the local biz’s growing Asia importance.

More Film

  • Ennio The Maestro

    Wong Kar-wai’s Block 2 to Sell Giuseppe Tornatore’s ‘Ennio: The Maestro’

    Block 2 Distribution, the sales arm of Wong Kar-wai’s Jet Tone Films will handle international rights to “Ennio: The Maestro.” The film is an upcoming documentary about legendary film musician Ennio Morricone, written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Morricone, who is 91, has more than 500 movie credits to this name including scores for Sergio [...]

  • José

    'José': Film Review

    It has been a year and a half since director Li Cheng’s “José” won the Venice Film Festival’s Queer Lion. It would be a shame to let the lag time diminish expectations. After a LGBTQ fest run, the Spanish-language drama — about a young gay man in Guatemala — has opened theatrically and continues to [...]

  • The Cost of Silence

    'The Cost of Silence': Film Review

    A decade has passed since 2010’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy, history’s most catastrophic oil drilling accident that occurred when a BP-operated pipe exploded, leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There was no successful intervention for months, and time hasn’t healed all wounds. On the contrary, it opened new, irreversible ones as [...]

  • Nardjes A.

    ‘Invisible Life’s’ Karim Ainouz Drops Trailer for 'Nardjes A.’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    On Feb. 14 last year, Karim Aïnouz arrived in Algeria to trace via the story of his parents the Algerian Revolution which happened 60 years ago – its 1954-62 War of Independence from France. The uprising he very quickly started to shoot, however, was one happening right then, the Revolution of Smiles, whose first street [...]

  • Call of the Wild

    Harrison Ford in 'The Call of the Wild': Film Review

    Dogs, in their rambunctious domesticated way, can lead us overly civilized humans a step or two closer to the natural world. So it’s only fitting that the best dog movies have saluted that unruly canine spirit without a lot of artificial flavoring. Hollywood’s classic dog tales, like “Old Yeller” (1957) or “Lassie Come Home” (1943), [...]

  • Adventures of a Mathematician

    Indie Sales Unveils Trailer For 'Adventures of a Mathematician' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the run up to Berlin’s European Film Market, Indie Sales has unveiled the trailer for Thor Klein’s “Adventures of a Mathematician” which had its world premiere in Palm Springs. The film tells the inspiring true story of a Polish-Jewish mathematician who got a fellowship at Harvard and went on to join the prestigious Manhattan [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content