Interview: Greg Coote

What is your view of the Singaporean film scene?
You have to give the creative community the infrastructure and the support necessary to foster talent. Right now the Media Development Authority is doing that but it takes time. The local talent is there—in Cannes, Eric Khoo’s My Magic was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or in 2008, while Anthony Chen’s short film Ah Ma received a special mention in 2007. But, as in any artistic endeavor, the filmmakers need help. They have to be subsidized, shown how to co-produce with other countries, and learn how to pitch their product to the world. Given the tools, that WILL happen and Singapore’s creative community will return the favor both creatively and financially.
How will ScreenSingapore develop/contribute to Singapore’s film industry?
The inaugural ScreenSingapore will bring in filmmakers, executives and studio heads from Hollywood, India, China, Australia and other regional powers. The emerging talent that exists in Singapore will meet, learn and be exposed to the mainstream industry and grow and prosper. Over time, as ScreenSingapore gains traction, a vibrant marketplace will be developed for the global film community, which will generate business opportunities for both Singapore’s creative talent and the nation’s production companies.
There’s a lot of talk about Singapore’s potential to become the “Cannes of Asia.” What are your views on this?
Sure, why not? Our event is a hybrid, so we are that and more. We are a red carpet showcase for world-wide motion pictures, a marketplace for independent products to be sold into the film distribution business, a film finance conference, a series of master classes across the spectrum of filmed entertainment, an Asian Short Film Awards competition, a trade expo and lastly a meeting ground where major Hollywood studios will reveal their upcoming lineup to the theater owners of the region.
Does Singapore have the potential to produce a film that succeeds critically and financially on the world stage?
Absolutely. There is no barrier against Singapore to entry on the world stage; a gathering such as ScreenSingapore and the creative support of bodies like the Media Development Authority will just hasten the day that a locally produced film will break out.
To find out more about ScreenSingapore, and to see a full schedule of events, log on to