Wednesday, 06/12/2023 16:50

Việt Nam as an important emerging media market: Singaporean official

The 10th Singapore Media Festival (SMF) between Nov 30 and Dec 10 gathered thousands of top media professionals, leaders, talents and consumers in the region and all over the world.

The event includes the Singaporean International Film Festival, Asia TV Forum & Market, Singapore Comic Con and a new addition, Nas Summit Asia hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation by developing a vibrant digital economy and an inclusive digital society.

The authority fosters growth in Infocomm Technology and Media sectors in concert with progressive regulations, harnessing frontier technologies, and developing local talent and digital infrastructure ecosystems to establish Singapore as a digital metropolis.

Việt Nam News reporter Lê Hương talks to Jean Ng, IMDA Media Industry Cluster Director on the event.

Jean Ng, IMDA Media Industry Cluster Director. VNS Photo Lê Hương

What do you expect in the event of this year?

For Media Festival, I think we are expecting it to be one of the best showings for the media festival in terms of the number of attendees. Last year, the Singapore Media Festival was one of the biggest events in Singapore in terms of the number of attendees, over 60,000.

This year I think we expect a larger turnout, primarily because China has opened up. Last year, we didn’t have China on the trade floor. This year we have very big China press here. So we anticipate that we would see more participants both the B2B participants as well as the B2C participants.

So that's something that we are expecting and alongside that we are also expecting that the number of deals that can be made at a trade platform like this will increase. Given the stellar kind of line up and programming for the Singapore International Film Festival, I think our hope is as well that a lot more people would go to the theatres and watch some content.

Because unlike Indonesia and even Việt Nam, actually, the movie attendance in Singapore hasn't quite gone back to pre COVID levels. So we're hoping that events like that will try to encourage Singaporeans to come back to the movie theatres, for example.

What do you thing challenge the IMDA mission now?

I mean, I made this mission for the media sector. I think to me, it's quite clear we want to grow strong media enterprises.

We want our enterprises to be able to compete regionally to get us a big slice of the economic value and the global content pipe. That's really our mission and we need to be able to grow our local enterprises, as well as help our talents be more recognized and acknowledged globally, so that they then are sought after for projects. So these are the 2 broad kind of missions for IMDA.

It's the 10th edition, right? So what's different compared to your previous years?

So there's two new elements for us this year. One is that we added Nas Summit to our list of events. We have realised that the creator economy is a space that is growing and we wanted to support our creators to also upskill and to make business deals.

Hence, we introduced a new component, Nas Summit, this year. The second new component is that we enhance the Singapore Comic Con with a creator element to provide opportunity for creators to meet their followers and fans in the community.

So these are the two elements that's new for this year's media festival. Of course, it comes alongside our regular programming like the ATF as well as the Singapore International Film Festival.

What role does AI play in this crazy future?

Well, I think AI and Gen AI is actually quite sensitive topic globally. So as you know, the writers and actors have gone on strike. I think it's been about six months and they just I believe today will start to rectify the agreement on how to govern AI.

So that's something that is sensitive because I think for creators, people are concerned about their IPs, they're concerned about copyright infringements, they're concerned about who can use my likeness, right? Am I going to be paid for it?

They’re also concerned about if AI can replace jobs, which is a very common, I think, worry not just in the media sector, but anywhere in the industry. So I think that's something that we are treading very carefully. I think we see AI as obviously a tool that can help improve certain efficiencies. And some of our media companies are really using AI to help with some of the more repetitive work.

So I think it does bring benefits, but because of its slightly more sensitive nature, I think we are also approaching it with some care. We think there may be a need to put in place some guide on how we want to use the technology and we're watching this space very closely.

So I don't think our view is fully formed at this stage given how things are still evolving, you know on the global stage. We're likely to take some dressing and some reference on what's done globally, but I think we need to approach this topic very sensitively.

A booth of WWoa Network, the only Vietnamese representative at the Asia TV Forum & Market. VNS Photo Lê Hương

What do you think about Việt Nam’s participants in this event and in the region’s media industry in general?

I think Việt Nam is up and coming.

It's becoming a very important market for us in terms of collaborations. So every year we launched what we called Call for Proposal for Feature films and one of the categories of that is the Southeast Asian Co production grant, we provide 300,000 for every successful project that we award, but the condition is that it must have a Singapore talent involvement as well as Southeast Asia representation.

And in the last few years, what we've noticed is that increasingly our Singaporean talents have been collaborating with Vietnamese talent.

This year, one of the projects that we had awarded was a Singapore-Việt Nam Co production and we are eagerly expecting that it will be a good production.

Just as I mentioned, “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell”, that's also a Singapore-Việt Nam, among others, Co production.

So we see Vietnamese talent definitely up and coming, especially in the film industry.

I know that the cinema crowd in Việt Nam is very passionate about supporting local film and I think that's something that we all very envy and it will be interesting to see how Vietnamese content start to also sell and be accepted globally. So that's something that we are all keeping a watch on, but definitely their talent is already collaborating with ours.

I want to ask about virtual production, how does it help in terms of productivity of the filmmakers in Singapore?

So I think for virtual production, it does help somewhat with productivity.

I think today our talents are still kind of learning how to use the technology.

So the productivity gains may not be as apparent as when you know you're fully trained and all that, but I think the bigger value for virtual production is more the ability to expand that creative horizon.

Meaning that you can then imagine, like I said, scenes that you can't do in real life, right? Imagine then what kind of stories you can create from such scenes.

So I think the bigger value for virtual production I think today is really more in terms of the creative application of virtual production as well as the ability to create new worlds that will expand the kind of stories you can tell.

I think the productivity gains will come a little bit later when the talent in this ecosystem start to be more effective in using virtual production as a tool. VNS

Comments (0)

Related content