Singapore Media Festival 2020 Spotlights Filipino Films and Talents

November 24, 2020

The Philippines is represented at the Singapore International Film Festival, Asia TV Forum & Market, ScreenSingapore, and Asian Academy Creative Awards

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, NOVEMBER 24, 2020 — Seven films, four projects, four production companies, and 23 national winners are among the Philippine representatives to the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) slated from November 26 to December 6.

Among the SMF’s key events are the Singapore International Film Festival, Southeast Asian Film Lab, Asia TV Forum & Market, ScreenSingapore, Ties That Bind, Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum, SuperGamerFest, and Asian Academy Creative Awards. 

“Despite the pandemic, the Filipino film and audiovisual industry proves that it certainly has a lot to offer not just locally but internationally as well through the various Philippine participations in the Singapore Media Festival,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.


“Judy Free” by Che Tagyamon is in the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Competition.


“Filipiñana” by Rafael Manuel is in the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Competition.

Hosted by the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority, the SMF is among Asia’s leading international media events where industry members discover content, talents, and trends in Asia for digital media, television, and film. 

SGIFF to have online and theatrical screenings

The 31st Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) will proceed with a hybrid setup as it will screen films virtually and at least once in a cinema. The seven Filipino films featured in this year’s SGIFF, are the following:

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

  • “Judy Free” by Che Tagyamon (International Premiere)

  • “Filipiñana” by Rafael Manuel by (Southeast Asian Premiere)

  • “To Calm the Pig Inside” by Joanna Vasquez Arong (Singapore Premiere)

  • “How to Die Young in Manila” by Petersen Vargas (Southeast Asian Premiere)

Asian Vision 

  • “Aswang” by Alyx Ayn Arumpac (Singapore Premiere)

  • “Genus Pan” by Lav Diaz (Southeast Asian Premiere)

Monographs – Movements

  • “Spirit Film” by Raya Martin (Southeast Asian Premiere)

Among the Asian Feature Film Competition Jury members is Filipino filmmaker, writer, and musician John Torres, who has won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Critics awards at the SGIFF. 

to calm the pig

“To Calm the Pig Inside” is in the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Competition.


“Aswang” by Alyx Ayn Arumpac is in the SGIFF Asian Vision Section.

Meanwhile, the SGIFF will hold the Southeast Asia Producers Network and Southeast Asian Film Lab online. Filipino delegates Bianca Balbuena with “Olivia” and Carl Adrian Chavez with “Sad Boy” are part of the Southeast Asian Film Lab.

FDCP’s Philippine Pavilion in ATF

The Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) will be held online from December 1 to 4. Content buyers and sellers converge at this international entertainment content industry market to exchange insights and create partnerships.

The FDCP is hosting the Philippine Pavilion at the ATF to showcase the talents of four production companies: Digital Dreams Inc., Philippine Film Studios, Inc., Project 8 Projects, and Betsy D. Film Productions.

PH projects in ScreenSingapore

Filmmakers, financiers, distributors, and buyers explore co-production opportunities in ScreenSingapore. The workshop program Ties That Bind (TTB) seeks to foster cooperation between Asian and European producers by holding trainings and meetings. The lone Filipino TTB project is “Dancing the Tides” by Xeph Suarez. 

genus pan

“Genus Pan” by Lav Diaz is in the SGIFF Asian Vision Section.

spirit film

“Spirit Film” by Raya Martin is in the SGIFF Monographs – Movements Section

The Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum (SAFF), meanwhile, gathers the filmmakers behind the top feature film concepts from Europe and Asia so that they can meet with financiers, prospective international co-producers, festival programmers, commissioners, and distributors.

The Philippine finalists in the SAFF Project Market are “Kathoey” by  Joris Fernandez and Paolo Martin Valconcha, “Swan River” by WilFredo C. Manalang, and “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah” by Avid Liongoren.

Filipinos in SMF panel discussions 

Several Filipino filmmakers are set to share their experiences and insights in online panel discussions such as Arumpac for “Shaping Southeast Asian Identities through Documentary” and Balbuena for “Southeast Asian Producers Network: Accessing International Co-production – Why And How?” 

“Co-production Opportunities Available from the FDCP” will be attended by FDCP Chairperson Diño, who has also confirmed attendance for the “Producers Network and Film Lab Networking Session” and “Film Lab Pitching Session.” 

Chavez and Alemberg Ang are panelists in “Future Of Cinema: Rethinking the Experience of Film” while 108 Media Philippne Country Manager Micah Tadena is a speaker in “SAFF 2020: SEA Changes - Fresh Perspectives in Southeast Asian Co-Productions.” 

National winners to compete at AAA Gala Finals

The Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) named 23 National Winners from the Philippines in October, and they will be the country representatives to the AAA Grand Awards on December 3 and AAA Gala Finals on December 4. Below are the 23 National Winners:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role - Arjo Atayde for “Bagman” (ABS-CBN/iWant)

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role - Angeli Bayani for “Food Lore: Island Of Dreams” (HBO/WarnerMedia)

  • Best Animated Programme or Series (2D or 3D) - “Jet And The Pet Rangers” (ABS-CBN/iWant)

  • Best Branded Programme or Series - “Coke Studio Season 3: Family #Feels” (UxS/ABS-CBN)

  • Best Current Affairs Programme or Series - “One-on-One with Pinky Webb” (CNN Philippines, Nine Media Corporation)

  • Best Direction (Fiction) - Cathy Garcia-Molina - “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (ABS-CBN Film Productions)

  • Best Documentary Programme (One-Off) - “The Atom Araullo Specials: When The World Stopped” (GMA Network)

  • Best Documentary Series - “The Last Manilaners” (ABS-CBN/iWant)

  • Best Drama Series - “A Soldier's Heart” (ABS-CBN)

  • Best Feature Film - “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (ABS-CBN Film Productions)

  • Best Infotainment Programme - “One At Heart With Jessica Soho: Denmark Special” (GMA Network)

  • Best Lifestyle Programme - “Dreamcatchers, Season 3: Malapacao” (Trifecta Collective/Phil & Iva Productions, ABS-CBN)

  • Best Lifestyle, Entertainment Presenter/Host - Drew Arellano for “Drew Hits The Road: Taiwan's Secrets To Long Life” (GMA Network)

  • Best Music or Dance Programme - “Coke Studio Season 3 : My Feels” (UxS/ABS-CBN)

  • Best News or Current Affairs Presenter/Anchor - Jessica Soho for “24 Hours” (GMA Network/GMA-7)

  • Best News Programme - “The Final Word With Rico Hizon” (CNN Philippines, Nine Media Corporation)

  • Best Non Scripted Entertainment - “Your Moment” (ABS-CBN Corporation & Fritz Production)

  • Best Original Programme by a Streamer/OTT - “The Tapes” (ABS-CBN Corporation – iWant)

  • Best Original Screenplay - Carmi G. Raymundo, Cathy Garcia-Molina, Rona Co for “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (ABS-CBN Film Productions)

  • Best Short Form Content - “RTx (Reel Time Exclusives) - Marcelo’s Last Plea” (GMA Network)

  • Best Single Drama/Telemovie/Anthology Episode - “Food Lore: Island Of Dreams” (HBO/WarnerMedia, Bert Pictures)

  • Best Single News Story/Report - “24 Hours: Walking in EDSA, Traversing A Major Thoroughfare on Foot” (GMA Network)

  • Best Telenovela - “The Killer Bride” (ABS-CBN/RCD Narratives)

The cover photo featuring Elijah Canlas and Kokoy de Santos is from “How to Die Young in Manila” by Petersen Vargas, which is part of the SGIFF Southeast Asian Short Film Competition. 

Photos courtesy of


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