Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

New Singapore film channel by Viddsee to build support for local works

SINGAPORE — In this era of digital content and social media, it is getting increasingly tougher to be heard. Films people make often get drowned out when one is faced with the deluge of daily videos and pictures flooding the Internet space, and many would find it hard to push across their ideas or generate a strong following.

SINGAPORE — In this era of digital content and social media, it is getting increasingly tougher to be heard. Films people make often get drowned out when one is faced with the deluge of daily videos and pictures flooding the Internet space, and many would find it hard to push across their ideas or generate a strong following.

Viddsee, a homegrown online video-sharing platform specialising in the curation and dissemination of short films from Asia, hopes to address these issues with its new Singapore Film Channel, launched at the opening of the Singapore Media Festival this evening (Nov 23).

The channel, which went live today, is dedicated to showcasing diverse and unique stories from home-grown filmmakers and launched with the support of the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), part of the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). This partnership is part of the SFC’s efforts to cultivate greater awareness and appreciation for Singapore films.

Up to 30 short films will be curated for the channel, which will feature works by up-and-coming student film-makers such as Tariq Mansor, Lauren Teo and other notable independent film-makers from Singapore including Kirsten Tan and Leon Cheo. The works selected for the channel encompass a wide variety of genres, from documentaries (Longest Distance Relationship by Lee Sin Yee) and comedy-dramas (Teo’s The Lying Theory and Cheo’s Move Out Notice) to animation (The Violin by Ervin Han, and Ways of Seeing by Jerrold Chong).

Derek Tan and Ho Jia Jian, the co-founders of Viddsee — which has garnered more than 500 million users globally since it was set up in 2013 — believe having a strong local focus is important.

“A good local story (is one) that’s told within the film-makers’ own environment and community, to make the story relatable and accessible to an audience. Good production to support the storytelling. This is something we use in our own curation process as well,” said Tan, 32.

Tan, who previously headed Cooliris, a Silicon Valley start-up acquired by Yahoo, added that film-makers need to remain true to the basic art of storytelling, even with online audiences clearly geared towards audio-visual content.

“We have been moved by stories for a long time, technology has only changed the form of how we are telling stories. From cave printings to the invention of paper for print and publications, to radio, TV and cinema for broadcasting and the Internet now, we have always been telling stories. Viddsee looks to shape and groom more of the way we tell stories within this digital wave.”

As part of the collaboration with SFC, Viddsee will also be commissioning its first original short film by a local film-maker to produce a heartfelt Singapore-inspired story for local and regional audiences. The film will be released in the first half of next year.

“We seek this opportunity to develop the ecosystem further for the creator community that we work with, and look at finding new content opportunities for upcoming film-makers to further their careers. We love to continue to serve as an online community conduit for the Singapore Film Commission to share our local films and talents with a global audience,” said Tan.

The co-founders’ enthusiasm for supporting local films stem in part from their own experience, being film-makers themselves. In fact, they created this online platform because they had been struggling to bring their stories to relevant audiences.

“We shared our films online, but our videos (would) drown in the sea of online content today. Our idea came about (because we wanted) to bring cinematic short films together, and create a consistent programme to grow an audience for such films and stories,” said Tan.

Their past working experiences helped. Ho, 29, who worked for over a year at StarHub, explained: “Having a background in engineering and product development at a pay-TV operator and from Silicon Valley, we felt the future of growing and developing this audience would be on the Internet. That was how Viddsee was born.”

The young film-makers were also savvy enough to tap into current platforms such as YouTube and Facebook video. “We see these platforms as distribution channels to reach our audience. However, the pain is how we can utilise such channels to grow our audience, and hence Viddsee differentiates itself by combining video marketing and community engagement on top of being a video platform only,” added Tan.

“We use marketing insights regarding targeted communities to position stories into editorials, video teasers and conversations to market our films to a social-mobile audience.”

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa