Back for its 9th edition, the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) celebrates the best of Asian storytelling and provides international and Singaporean creators with opportunities to collaborate. In fact, the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ may be one of the most well-known projects that sparked off from the festival!
From highly rated crime dramas to popular children’s animation, we shine the spotlight on 8 made-in-Singapore titles that have entertained audiences home and abroad. View the full collection on the Vuulr Marketplace.
Singapore director and Cannes’ winner Anthony Chen’s sophomore film, Wet Season follows the plight of Ling, a Chinese language teacher, whose marriage and school life are fraying apart because she is unable to bear a child. But an unlikely friendship with a student helps her reaffirm her identity as a woman.
The film features a star-studded cast, including Golden Horse Award Winner Yeo Yann Yann, and Golden Bell Award winner Christopher Lee Ming Shun.
Wet Season garnered six nominations and won one award at the 56th Golden Horse Awards. It was nominated for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (both Anthony Chen), two Best Supporting Actors (Koh Jia Ler, Yang Shi Bin), and Best Actress in which Yeo Yann Yann won.
Wet Season is available for licensing on Vuulr
Wonderboy is a Singaporean coming-of-age musical film directed by homegrown musician Dick Lee in his directorial debut, and co-directed by Daniel Yam. The film is loosely based on Dick Lee’s own teenage years, before he became an award-winning singer songwriter whose pioneering use of Asian elements in his pop compositions earned him regional acclaim.
Set in 1970s Singapore, when rock music was banned and long-haired men were considered gangsters, the film follows the story of Richard, a teenaged aspiring musician and the school’s social outcast, as he forms a band – The Wonder Boys – and embarks on his coming-of-age journey through youthful ambition, friendships, first love, and the uncertainty of impending adulthood.
Wonderboy was nominated for the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the 2017 Golden Horse Film Festival.
Wonderboy is available for licensing on Vuulr
Featuring a line-up of stellar cast, including one of Singapore’s top actresses Joanne Peh, Last Madame is a story that intertwines two seemingly opposite generations through the fascinating story of Chi Ling and her great-grandmother, Fung Lan. Shrouded with secrets and mysteries, a run-down shophouse in Singapore draws attention to banker, Chi Ling, who returns from Hong Kong to claim its inheritance. As she discovers the drudgeries and intrigues of her great-grandmother’s world – in a brothel set in early 1940s Singapore – she is pushed to decide the fate of the building and to reconcile with her roots and history.
Last Madame’s triumph saw it sweeping up awards everywhere, including Best Asian Drama at the Asia Contents Awards (2020), Best Digital Fiction Series and Joanne Peh for Best Leading Female Performance (Digital) at the Asian Television Awards (2021), finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards (2020), and many more. The series was also named Best Asian Drama at the 2020 Busan International Film Festival, beating out popular k-drama Crash Landing On You and Kingdom.
Last Madame is available for licensing on Vuulr
4 intertwined stories explore the notion of love in a hotel, how important love is, to what extremes we go to make it happen, but in different situations and circumstances, the outcomes may be more than what we bargain for.
1400 is director Derrick Liu’s first feature film, and he completed shooting the entire film in just 5 days!
1400 won multiple awards such as Best Feature Film at the 2015 flEXiff in Sydney, Gold Awards for Best Feature Film, Director, Actress, Screenplay, Editor, and Producer at the 2016 International Movie Awards in Jakarta, and Best Feature Film at the 2016 Maverick Movie Awards.
1400 is available for licensing on Vuulr
Education, Children’s Animation
Created and produced by award-winning Singapore animation studio Omens Studio, Counting With Paula follows six-year-old Paula and her friends making learning about numeracy, literacy and social development skills fun, easy and entertaining. The series features Paula along with friends – Tim, Billy, Chalkie, Calc and the Numbers as they go on exciting adventures to colourful and exotic places, where they solve problems and make new friends.
The colorful animation series combines the best in entertainment and education, drawing on curriculum from Singapore’s Ministry of Education and the US’ Common Core for K-5. It has received prestigious awards recognition across the seasons, including a nomination in the Children/Youth category at the Venice TV Awards in 2020.
Counting With Paula is available for licensing on Vuulr
I Am A Teacher is a multi-award winning short film that tells the story of a once Singapore’s top but now terminated teacher, who is struggling to find another job to support herself. She finds out that her ex-husband is now trying to take her daughter away to China and has to adapt to her new circumstance and find a way to overcome her obstacles – even if it means she has to stop doing what she loves, teaching.
Written and directed by Singaporean Youtuber and Entrepreneur, JianHao Tan, the film has gained several international awards and recognition – including Best Short Film at the Tokyo Twilight Film Festival, as well as winning the Outstanding Achievement Award at the International Open Film Festival.
I Am A Teacher is available for licensing on Vuulr
Drama, Comedy, Family
Anchovies is a Malay short film written and produced by prolific children’s filmmaker, Lee Chee Tian. The film blends the elements of old Malay cinema into scenes set in the present day. It tells the story of a boy who watches a scary sea monster movie and becomes afraid of the sea. Problem is, he comes from a family of fishermen, and is expected to become a fisherman too. Will this spell the end of his traditional livelihood?
Anchovies won the Gold Remi in the Children / Family Category at the Worldfest International Film Festival in Houston, the same festival that discovered Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
It was also nominated for awards at the International Family Film Festival, and the Short Shorts Film Festival.
Anchovies is available for licensing on Vuulr.
Thriller/Suspense, Horror, Fantasy
Singapore-based American filmmaker Tony Kern’s Afterimages is a collection of five short horror stories that unfold when a group of students burn paper effigy cameras for the dead during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, known as the Ghost Festival, and they receive films in return.
The first film, ‘Ghost Pool Leg’, revolves around Chinese superstition in which ghosts are believed to pull swimmers’ legs to drown them. The second movie, ‘Xiao Bao Bao’, focuses on a young woman’s haunting experience after taking a postmortem photograph of a suicide jumper. The third movie, ‘Skin Deep’, finds a group of shoppers stuck in a mall elevator with a mysterious and beautiful woman who holds a terrible secret. The fourth film, ‘Rekindling’, features a heartbroken hawker, a missing China bride, and the mysterious ring she left behind. The final film comes with a price.
Afterimages won multiple awards, including Best Film at the 11th Eerie Horror Film Festival, Network of Asian Fantastic Film (NAFF) Award at the 2012 PiFan film festival in South Korea, as well as Best FX at the 2014 Thriller! Chiller! Horror Film Festival and the 2014 New York City Horror Film Festival.
Afterimages is available for licensing on Vuulr