Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority is teaming with Asian streamer Hooq and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) to fund and develop local content for distribution in Southeast Asia and India.

Both partnerships are under the aegis of the Capabilities Partnership Programme that is part of the IMDA’s ‘Made With Singapore’ initiative. The Hooq collaboration will see the IMDA co-fund Singapore-driven stories produced under the Hooq Originals banner that have the potential to resonate with a wider audience in the region.

The IMDA-Hooq collaboration will see scripts from three ‘WritersLab: Script to Screen’ participants produced as pilots, that will also give the opportunity for local Singaporean production talent to hone their skills. The writing participants will benefit from masterclasses from Hooq executives and their industry partners.

In an era where streamers are reluctant to provide viewership data, Hooq will provide writers with this information from the platform. The idea is to allow them to understand how data can be used to make creative and business decisions.

The content emerging from this partnership will be available on Hooq from mid-2020.

Award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen’s “Wet Season” that opened the recently concluded Singapore International Film Festival and is currently in local cinemas, was produced in association with Hooq. The company recently inked a three-year, first-look and co-production deal with Chen. Mouly Surya’s 2018 film “Marlina The Murderer In Four Acts,” a Hooq co-production, was Indonesia’s entry in the erstwhile foreign language category. The company’s recent credits also include another Indonesian film, Guntur Soeharjanto’s “Belok Kanan Barcelona”, Indian series “Bhak”, and Malaysian series “Babi!”.

VIMN is seeking to increase its Asia-Pacific presence by collaborating with local media companies to produce digital content. The company has expressed interest to board IMDA’s Story Lab Apprenticeship Programme that will provide newly-qualified media professionals opportunities to acquire practical skills. Selected participants will go benefit from a 12-month training programme.

Hooq is a joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, and currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Singapore.

VIMN, a unit of Viacom Inc. Is composed of several global brands including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.