FINAS to organize Malaysia-Singapore Co-Pro Forum on 31st January

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 30 January, 2012 - 13:33

In line with the significant growth in the Asian entertainment and media industry in recent years, Malaysia and Singapore are now combining their efforts and resources as a strategic alliance to penetrate the global market. Since October 2011, Malaysia’s National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) and Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) have been in talks towards concretizing a co-production agreement. To jumpstart the initiative, MDA will be leading 33 Singapore entertainment and media companies to visit Kuala Lumpur from 30th January to 1st February 2012, and they will be hosted and facilitated by FINAS. The 3-day official mission led by MDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Aubeck Kam, will comprise visits to major studios/broadcasters, workshops, forums, business-matching sessions and networking receptions.

Amongst the delegates, represented mainly by television and film producers, are 18g Pictures, A.I Pictures, August Media Holdings, BizKode, CloudPic Singapore, Cokelat Events & Production, DV Studio, E&W Films, Fine Cut Media, Gobi Partners, GSMproject Media, Hoods Inc Productions, Imagen, I Media Entertainment, Media Reel, MediaCorp Channel 5, MediaCorp Suria, Monstrou Studio, Muse, Oak3 Films, Ochre Pictures, One Animation, Papahan Films, React Pictures, SIMF Management, Screenbox, Shortman Film, Tantra Incorporated, ThreeG Karma, Widescreen Media and independent producers such as Gavin Lim and Ellery Ngiam.

To showcase the breadth and depth of the Malaysian entertainment and media industry, FINAS has arranged for the Singapore delegation to visit broadcasters such as RTM, Media Prima, Astro, and major studios such as Metrowealth, KRU, Les’ Copaque Productions, MM2 Entertainment, Animasia Studio, Funcel, etc. Also on 31st January, the business matching programme co-organized by FINAS and MDA is expected to attract some 50 Malaysian companies and 33 Singapore studios, generating more than 200 pre-arranged meetings, to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel.

This campaign to boost cooperation between the two countries' creative industries is timely, as Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak met recently at the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat in Putrajaya and reaffirmed both countries' commitment to strengthening cooperation bilaterally at all levels. Both Prime Ministers welcomed mutually-beneficial collaboration in Iskandar Malaysia, and noted the potential for Iskandar Malaysia to provide industrial facilities and infrastructure for Singapore companies to expand their projects into Iskandar Malaysia. Such collaboration would help create a broad base of prosperity, vitality and activity for both countries.

Mohd Naguib Razak, Director General of FINAS said, “Sharing efforts and resources together amongst regional neighbours, such as Singapore, makes perfect sense and should bring a wealth of positives to both our countries, especially when Malaysia and Singapore already share similar culture, race, languages and traditions, are world-class digital content providers and possess a high-growth sector known worldwide.”

According to the latest Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2011-2015 from PwC, entertainment & media spending in the Asia-Pacific is projected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% over the next five years, while Malaysia and Singapore are making healthy growth at a rate of 7.1% and 5.5% respectively. With healthy growth in the region, Naguib confirms that it would be  very potent for FINAS and MDA, being the respective competent authorities for both countries, to spearhead and encourage more co-productions and combined distribution projects from within the region to penetrate the global market.

In a bid to strategically and effectively promote culturally-adapt contents to its fragmented viewership, the Malaysian Government is now aligning its plans to help the local industry create a greater impact in the  regional and international broadcast markets with a special focus on global IP development through international co-production programs and partnerships with international distributors.

Aubeck Kam, Chief Executive Officer of MDA said, “Asia’s media industry is fast expanding, and Southeast Asia is likewise experiencing rapid growth. The fact that Singapore and Malaysia’s media industries are growing in tandem and collaborating in media projects is a positive development. This business mission is a good platform to further synergise our efforts, and open the way for Singapore and Malaysian companies to create compelling content that resonates with local and international audiences.”

To further create the mood for closer ties between Malaysia and Singapore, FINAS will also organize a Malaysia-Singapore Co-Production Forum & Networking Session on 31st January at Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel, which is expected to attract 200 professionals from the industry fraternity. The Forum, moderated by Patrick Frater CEO of Film Business Asia and Samuel Seow, Managing Director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation, will cover 3 exciting sessions and 1 special presentation: “Latest Updates of Iskandar Pinewood Studios” Presented by: Michael Lake, CEO of Iskandar Pinewood Studios.

    FORUM 1: “Venturing Out, Developing Within – International Needs and the National Agenda”
    Moderator: Patrick Frater, Editor in Chief, Film Business Asia
    1. Mohd Naguib Razak, Director General, FINAS
    2. Aubeck Kam, CEO, MDA (Singapore)
    3. Dr. Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, Director – NKEA, Pemandu

    FORUM 2: “Emerging Markets, New Platforms and Content 360”
    Moderator: Patrick Frater, Editor in Chief, Film Business Asia
    1. Low Huoi Seong, Managing Director of Vision New Media
    2. Lam Swee Kim, Group General Manager – New Media & Integrated Marketing of Media Prima
    3. Zaihirat Banu, CEO of Oak3 Films (Singapore)
    4. Jyotirmoy Saha, CEO of August Media Holdings (Singapore)

    FORUM 3: “Conquering the World from the Heart of South East Asia”
    Moderator: Samuel Seow, Managing Director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation
    1. Hasnul Hadi Samsuddin, General Manager of Rhythm & Hues
    2. Michael Lake, CEO of Iskandar Pinewood Studios
    3. Mark Bracken, Executive Vice President of BigAnt Studios
    4. Leon Tan, Managing Director of Tripod Entertainment
    5. Norman Abdul Halim, Group CEO of KRU Studios

FINAS will take this opportunity to continue its discussion with MDA on details of the entertainment & media bi-lateral agreement between Malaysia and Singapore expected this year, with the hopes of providing mutual co-production benefits to commercial interests in both countries. A return visit to Singapore by Malaysian companies, led by FINAS, will be arranged in late February or March this year. FINAS is also in advance stages of finalizing a Co-production Agreement between Malaysia and Australia, with its counterpart there, Screen Australia.