The year 2018 marked 20 years since the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) was created. This is a big milestone, but what the commission has achieved in those two decades is an even greater milestone. The SFC has played a very big role in ensuring that Singapore’s film industry is soaring to new heights.
Producer James Toh together with filmmaker Eric Khoo developed the idea of creating the Singapore Film Commission. An announcement in Singapore’s parliament about the creation of the commission then followed. The commission was tasked with nurturing, supporting and promoting filmmaking talent, film production and the whole film industry in general.
Since the SFC was created, the number of films for theatres released yearly has been growing. At first, four movies were being produced yearly, but now the number has risen to 11 movies per year. It is important to note that movies released for festivals or any online content has not been counted in this list.
Unexpected Growth in Singapore’s Film Industry
The population of Singapore is smaller than many other countries. As a result, many people thought that the film industry would not be as successful as other previously established film industries. The argument was that the film industry market was very small in Singapore.
Indeed, the film industry in Singapore is not as big as Hollywood or Bollywood. Still, it has managed to exceed the expectations of many people. This was evident when Eric Khoo’s My Magic film was nominated for the Palme d’Or award in 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival.
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Positive Performance in Global Film Festivals
Ever since My Magic competed for the Palme d’Or award, more Singaporean films have followed suit. For instance, Ilo Ilo would go on to win the Camera d’Or award at the same festival in 2013. The film also managed to bring in four awards at the Golden Horse Awards. The award for the best feature film was among the awards scooped up.
As if that were not enough, other Singaporean films like Apprentice, Yellow Bird and Pop Aye have also managed to be nominated and win awards in international film festivals. Some of these film festivals include Toronto, Rotterdam, Sundance and Busan. Making your way out of a small market like Singapore to the international arena is a very big step.
Expansion of the Scope of Work of the SFC
The government and people of Singapore, in general, have realized how important Singapore’s film industry is. SFC now is chipping in with assistance in various ways either through production assistance, holding scriptwriting workshops and film mentorship programmes. All this is done to ensure that the Singapore film industry receives the support it needs.
Filmmaking is the best way to tell stories either to those in our own country or to the rest of the world. Films can even help preserve culture. This is why the government of Singapore is committed to promoting the growth of the film industry. With this kind of support, there will be many more Singaporean films nominated and even winning international awards.