MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE CINEMA: Shared Histories & Common Markets?


MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE CINEMA: Shared Histories & Common Markets?

Malaysia and Singapore have a shared early cinema history. Over the last few years, there have been film production collaborations between the two countries as film funders see a common market emerging. Many mainstream feature films have seen commercial screenings of each other’s films in both countries. Do we judge the success of a film from its box office collection or the international exposure and awards at prestigious film festivals? Can the success of a film contribute to the growth of a film industry?

This forum brings together filmmakers from both countries to look at past successes, and how they are continuing to project Malaysia’s and Singapore’s identity through cinema, as well as creating a market internationally. The panelists will share their individual strategies as well as plans for the future in terms of the kinds of narratives that will appeal to a global audience, in the hope that it will serve as a guide for the next generation of Malaysian and Singaporean filmmakers.


Sherman is a filmmaker, photographer, and visual artist. His practice has always centered on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger milieu.

Winner of the Prudential Eye Awards 2015 for Photography and the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award 2010, Sherman has premiered works in Art Biennales, major Film Festivals and Museums around the world, including the Venice, Singapore, Yin Chuan, Jakarta Biennales, Fukuoka and Asia Pacific Triennale, Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Tate Modern, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Musee du Quai Branly Paris, Centre Pompidou Paris, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, VideoBrasil Contemporary Art Festival, Singapore Art Museum, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Queensland Art Gallery, South Australia Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania and MART Museum of Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy.

He is a founding member of 13 Little Pictures, a film collective based in Singapore, and the Singapore International Photography Festival. He is also an arts educator at schools and universities and was an Associate Artist of the Substation.

He was invited to participate in the Singapore Pavilion in the Venice Biennale (2009) which garnered a Special Mention. He is nominated for the APB-Singapore Art Museum Signature Art Prize 2011 and was one of the 30 Finalists of the Sovereign Asian Art Award 2016. His works are in the collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Singapore Art Museum and the Seoul Art Centre Korea.

He was part of SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia (1980s to Now) co-organsied by the National Art Center, Tokyo, the Mori Art Museum, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center in Tokyo, Japan.



Chief Executive Officer, Primeworks Studios, Media Prima Berhad

Chairman, Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (CMCF)
Trustee, Yayasan Perpaduan Malaysia (YPM)
Alternate Director, Music Rights Malaysia Berhad (MRM)
Committee Member, Malaysian Film Producer’s Association (PFM)

With a life-long mission to always produce something new, exciting and different, Ahmad Izham Omar has ignited many different industries.

Heading the legendary Positive Tone record label in 1994, Izham produced progressive music that captured the imagination of Malaysia. He sold the label to EMI in 1998. In 2009, he launched a label called Monkey Bone, which has housed some of Malaysia’s biggest stars including Faizal Tahir.

In 2004 he launched 8TV, a progressive Malaysian TV station that received global recognition for creative excellence. His additional role as Media Prima’s Head of Radio from 2005 to 2010 saw him launch Malaysia’s top radio stations Hot FM, Fly FM and One FM. In 2009, as CEO of Media Prima’s digital business Alt Media, he launched a world-class video portal called tonton, heralded as a global breakthrough.

From 2011 to 2015, he held the posts of Chief Executive Officer, Television Networks, Media Prima overseeing TV3, ntv7, 8TV and TV9 as well as Chief Executive Officer of Primeworks Studios, specialising in movies, television programs, animation and more.

In 2016 onwards, he focused solely as Chief Executive Officer of Primeworks Studios with the task of producing content for consumption across the world, including recently serving as Executive Producer and Co-Screenwriter for Pulang, the much critically-acclaimed epic movie.

A multi award-winning music producer, arranger, songwriter and musician, Izham has worked on albums from artists around Asia and the UK including Faizal Tahir, Jaclyn Victor, Innuendo, Siti Nurhaliza, Ferhad, Too Phat, Malique and Relish.

Izham has been awarded Most Promising Entrepreneur Award by Enterprise Asia and was also accepted to be a delegate in the prestigious Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader’s Summit. Izham was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by VIMA (Voice of Independent Music Awards) for his contribution to music

SAW TEONG HIN (Director)

Award-winning producer-director, Saw Teong Hin, works across platforms from films and television to commercial and theatre. Teong Hin directed the much celebrated Puteri Gunung Ledang (2004), the first ever Malaysian film invited to the prestigious Venice International Film Festival, as well as the first ever Malaysian film to be long-listed for the Academy Awards Foreign Language Film category. With a career spanning more than twenty years in production, advertising and post-production, he set up Real Films to produce works of commercial-minded films of discernible quality with social and cultural relevance. Real Films in collaboration with Astro Shaw co-produced Hoore! Hoore! (2012), a musical film featuring Sudirman songs. Teong Hin’s production house had also provided production support for Ang Lee’s film Lust, Caution which was shot in Ipoh and Penang. For his involvement in theatre, Real Films co-produced Hai Ki Xin Lor a.k.a.You Mean The World To Me, a Penang Hokkien play for George Town Festival 2014. Teong Hin also co-wrote the book for Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical, directed the seminal 3-actor presentation of the famous monologue, Emily Of Emerald Hill, a dance drama based on the legend of Hang Tuah,Silat, and most recently the musical theatre Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road!. Teong Hin’s television credits include Inikah Cinta? And Tangkal Besi.


SD PUVANENDRAN is a young aspiring director and screenwriter. His directorial debut was Maravan (2015) which has won several awards at Malaysian Indian Cine Awards (MICA 2016) including Best Director, Best Screenwriter & Best Film. The film was also nominated for Best Film, Best Screenplay & Best Film categories at the 28th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM-28).

Apart from the domestic recognitions, the film also garnered several international recognitions including winning the Best Country Award at the International Open Film Festival, New York (2016) and Semi Finalist at The Phoenix Film Festival, Melbourne (2016)

His second directorial titled Aasaan (2017), being the first Malaysian film to touch on the subject of Mathematical Investigation and Corruptive Building Constructions which revolves around a father & daughter relationship.


WESLEY LEON (Director)

Wesley is a lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts and a filmmaker with 13 Little Pictures. His feature film I Want To Go Home had its World Premiere and was In Competition at the Busan International Film Festival 2017. Its companion dual-language novel published by Math Paper Press is Wesley’s second novel. Wesley’s other films have screened in festivals such as The International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Sapporo International Short Film Festival. He is a graduate with a Master of Fine Arts from New York University Tisch Asia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from Nanyang Technological University.

M Raihan Halim (Writer/ Director)

Often calling himself a “part-time scriptwriter, fulltime storyteller”, M. Raihan Halim’s career in television began after winning two Golden Pen Awards at the MDA: National Scriptwriting Competition in the years 2005 and 2007. He’s the only local writer/director whose television works transcends cultural lines and are featured in all four main channels in the country.

Best known for his award-winning television dramas, his telemovies Yazid Wears Diapers garnered the Best Special Drama award in a local television award show and Big Time In Little Street was nominated in 2010 Asian Television Awards. In 2011 alone, he wrote, produced and directed three critically-acclaimed hit series for Suria and okto.

Pushing the boundaries of storytelling, his television work, Firasat (2014) and SR115 (2017) sought to engage television audiences through multiple platforms for an immersive narrative experience.

With years of knowledge and experience in television under his belt, Raihan embarked on his feature film project, Banting in 2014. Written, produced, and directed by Raihan, Banting’s commercial release in Singapore theatres was met with overwhelming response. The film was also screened at the 34th Hawaii International Film Festival.

Now in production for his next film, Ibu, Raihan looks forward to creating content for the worldwide audience.

S.S.VIKNESHWARAN(Writer/ Director)

Packing in 14 years of solid Media Experience in a wide range of platforms which include Television, Stage, Social Media and many more, S.S.Vikneshwaran has done it all. From conceptualising to post-production and even composing and creating songs, he has done it. And there's no stopping him.

S.S.Vikneshwaran, 37, (S.S.V.) has created, written, produced, directed and edited several TV Programmes of diverse genres for Singapore Television and has become a household brand with local production houses, the TV Channels and even some viewers, who have become fans of his creative works. Some of his works have won prestigious awards and some have gotten nominations for the Asian Television Awards.

Apart from mastering the art of delivering quality and entertaining small screen contents of various genres, S.S.V. has also executive produced and distributed 2 Malaysian Tamil Films, “EN VEETTU THOTTATHIL” & “SUGHAMAAI SUBBULAKSHMI”which has won international accolades in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Norway. He has also co-written and directed a Tamil Feature Film in Malaysia, “ATCHAM THAVIR”, which was released in JULY 2018 and went on to become a favourite at the Malaysian Box Office, staying at the top charts for 3 consecutive weeks! The song that he wrote the film is also at the NO.1 spot on the RAAGA TOP 10 for several weeks now! Moreover, he has also directed an iconic Stage Play for the prestigious Kala Utsav 2015 (Annual Indian Arts Festival at the Esplanade, Singapore), which went on to become a super-hit with sell-out shows during its full run. Besides these, his Voice is also very popular in the local media circle. He has voiced numerous TV Programmes, Commercials and even Radio Ads.

S.S.Vikneshwaran's style of crafting contents for entertainment always has elements of commercialism, technical class and an innovative approach.

  • The event description was updated. Diff#373880 2018-09-28 07:13:54
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Sat Sep 29, 2018
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM SGT
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Free Admission FULL
Venue Address
1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore Singapore
Malaysian Film Festival - Singapore