Week 8 was not your typical humdrum of group projects and binge watching Netflix. Courtesy of the team at the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), I was among the excited crowd at CHIJMES on 5 October for this year's SMF press conference to catch the latest buzz on the media industry.
Mark it down on your calendar – the 2016 edition of SMF will run from 23 November to 9 December, open to the public to rub shoulders with industry opinion leaders and creatives. Held at CHIJMES, an apt location where the past collides wonderfully with the present, this year's festival theme is 'Celebrating Asian Storytelling'. We take a look at the successes of the media sector and get to see how storytelling is enhanced with new digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR).
Be sure to look out for SMF Ignite, a new event to be held annually, that showcases digital trends of the industry, as well as to bring together the great minds of digital content during the festival. Furthermore, this year's festival incorporates other big-scale events such as the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). For all you film enthusiasts, SGIFF will showcase exceptional films made by local filmmakers such as K. Rajagopal's A Yellow Bird - a film that was shown to critical acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
A Yellow Bird - Photo courtesy of Joseph Nair & Akanga Film Asia
What does SMF offer to SMU students? Capturing the essence of this year's SMF, Angeline Poh, Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) Assistant Chief Executive for Content and Innovation, said, "This year's Singapore Media Festival celebrates the importance of good storytelling as the constant amidst a rapidly changing media environment. This is because the success or failure of any content product, regardless of length, format or delivery mode, lies very much in the strength of its story and how it is told to engage its intended audience."
A Corporate Communications major myself, it was heartening to hear from a practitioner that stories have the power to inspire, empower and touch the hearts of the audience. Throughout history, the narrative has been the most common mode of communication. Although good stories are difficult to craft, they are essential for filmmakers and brands to start a conversation with the audience. If I had just three words to sum up this experience, it would be this - "Stories sell. Period."
Want to know what happened at SMF 2016 press conference? Check out the video below: