There’s been a lot of hype to #supportlocal in Singapore.
But what sort of groundbreaking initiatives have been rolled out to raise the support for these homegrown talents so far?
Zooming in on the fledgling local film industry, Singaporeans still can’t adequately show their love and support for local films when they are so inaccessible, especially when compared to international blockbusters.
Sure, some might argue that the annual Singapore International Film Festival – which was established way back in 1987 – has helped to raise the profile of many local filmmakers, exposing them to international audiences as well, but this long-running festival does not run throughout the year.
Besides this festival, the only time Singaporeans have the chance to catch these films are in movie theatres (during the screening period) and when they’re out on DVDs.
But let’s admit it, who still buys DVDs in this digital era?
Some maybe, but not the majority.
Plugging this gap, Chai Yee Wei, local filmmaker and founder of A Little Seed, has partnered with iTunes to showcase Singaporean films on the platform.
The first batch of 12 critically-acclaimed Singaporean titles will make their debut on the store from June onwards.
Some of the titles that will be available for rent and purchase include Anthony Chen’s family drama Ilo Ilo (2013), Boo Junfeng’s coming-of-age drama Sandcastle (2010), Ken Kwek’s black comedy thriller Unlucky Plaza (2014) and SG50 omnibus film 7 Letters (2015).
Selected Singapore films such as Army Daze are already available on iTunes, but there has not been a slate of old and new Singaporean classics such as these.
United Through The Same Passion For Local Content
“A Little Seed was set up with the goal to work with many independent film-makers, especially those in Asia, many of whom had wonderful works which are not available on any platform today. I feel that iTunes would be a great platform to ensure that people around the world can have access to them easily,” said Chai.
A Little Seed is Chai’s latest venture, and is set up together with Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking.
The latter company has been dedicated to promoting and distributing Singapore independent films since 2003, and will lend its curatorial expertise to A Little Seeds as a natural collaboration and an extension of its passion for local content.
Yuni Hadi, director of the Centre, said that “digital platforms like iTunes help broaden the audience base for Singapore films, especially for independent films that want to find exhibition beyond the festival circuit and generally receive limited theatrical release.”
“Independent filmmakers are still learning about the rules of digital distribution and understanding contracts and technical deliverables. We have to participate in order to get to the next step of where we want to take Singapore cinema,” she added.
Beyond Singapore films, Chai also shared that he has plans to bring more Southeast Asian films on iTunes at a later stage.
We can’t wait for more local gems to be made available on iTunes – what about you?
Featured Image Credit: Fisheye Pictures