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Upskilling programmes up for grabs for media talent in Singapore

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched programmes to help media talent in Singapore grow their skills, develop, and learn specialised programmes. This is with a view to help local and global talent to collaborate, and create more made-with-Singapore content for the world.

Key amongst these are the Story Lab Apprenticeship programme to nurture young media professionals (currently calling for applications), and a Script to Screen programme to help writers translate their stories to the screen.

In addition, IMDA has established a series of training and mentorship programmes with key partners such as LASALLE and the British Film Institute (BFI).

These initiatives were announced by Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, at the LASALLE College of the Arts 33rd Convocation Ceremony.

Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive of IMDA, noted the high demand for media professionals locally and in the region, which creates good job opportunities for Singaporeans. However, new skills in storytelling are required to tell personalised stories that resonate well with audiences.

"This is why IMDA is working with partners to introduce a suite of programmes to help aspiring talent become industry-ready, and support media professionals in upgrading their skills."

Details on the programmes for employers and participants

The Story Lab Apprenticeship programme is for fresh media professionals, and is open for applications from now till 29 September 2019. It is  an immersive and experiential 12-month programme, where apprentices will work on live projects under the mentorship of media veterans, and gain valuable exposure and experience in the business of media.

Interested applicants can apply for apprenticeship roles in Singapore-based media companies such as Beach House Pictures, GHY Culture and Media, Mediacorp and mm2 Entertainment. More companies such as HBO Asia are expected to be part of the programme.

More than 60 apprenticeship roles over two years are available, from producing, writing, digital marketing to content creation.

The other programme is around creating more avenues for local media talent to access international networks and learn global best practices, whereby IMDA is planning to form a partnership with BFI, to deliver a range of training programmes and masterclasses. These include:

  • A mentorship programme for local producers that will involve an in-depth two-week course exploring all aspects of film production alongside opportunities to undergo industry placements and to attend the BFI London Film Festival.
  • In addition, there will be digital masterclasses targeted at media and marcomms professionals, and a ten-day immersive experience based at Pinewood Studios, for 20 nominated media students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).
For the past three years, IMDA has been supporting the WritersLab programme organised by LASALLE to nurture scriptwriting and storytelling skills. This year, IMDA will introduce a new Script to Screen programme, which aims to:
  • Provide participants from WritersLab with the opportunity to pitch their story ideas and scripts to be produced into a pilot.
  • Give writers of the selected scripts valuable experience on set as part of the production.
IMDA is also extending its partnership with LASALLE to introduce David Puttnam’s ProducersLab in Creative Producing and Financing, which will kickstart its first run in 2020:
  • Up to 12 participants will be selected through an open call in March to attend the nine-week programme that will run from June to August, where they will receive mentorship and guidance from award-winning director and producer David Puttnam through lectures and tutorials.
  • It is designed to equip the next generation of Singaporean media professionals with practical skills to enable them to create, pitch, and finance content for TV, online and streaming platforms.
Photo / 123RF

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