The Singapore On-screen Fund aims to incentivise major streamers and media companies to set projects in the city state and hire local talent. Rose Dykins reports

Singapore is launching a US$7.5 million fund for TV and film production companies to set projects in the city state, in a move to promote itself as a destination.

A joint fund from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the city state’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Singapore On-screen Fund will support selected projects by international media and entertainment companies that are set in Singapore and launched before 2027.

Global media companies, major streamers and studios will be invited to apply for the fund. Filming proposals will be evaluated based on their distribution and market reach, their concept and creative merit, the opportunities they present to feature Singapore’s offering and experiences, and the amount of local talent involved in credited roles.

Successful projects will receive funding for up to 30 per cent of their qualifying costs related to featuring Singapore (such as marketing and production).

Justin Ang, assistant chief executive at IMDA, says: “The Singapore On-screen Fund provides more opportunities for our home-grown media enterprises and talent to collaborate with their international counterparts to hone their skills and gain valuable experience on projects that target the global audience.”

Chang Chee Pey, assistant chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board’s marketing group, says: “This exchange of capabilities through direct involvement in such projects will boost the credentials of our local media industry. We hope that such collaborations will showcase to the world Singapore’s capabilities to take on large-scale productions on the global stage.

“To keep pace with the changing digital landscape and increased demand for authentic and entertaining content, branded entertainment is a key focus of STB’s marketing strategy. The Singapore On-screen Fund allows us to tap the deep storytelling expertise of global media and entertainment players in a more purposeful way, showcasing Singapore through a fresh lens as travel demand recovers.”

Singapore’s landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and and Merlion Park have set the scene for high-profile media projects. Recent films and TV series that have been filmed partly in Singapore include: Korean drama series Little Women, Westworld season three, the SK Global-produced Crazy Rich Asians and Twentieth Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, monthly inbound travel to Singapore is now above 2019 levels, with an estimated 2.9 million international visitors in the first three months of 2023.