An incubator program for scriptwriters, directors, and producers to work on developing scripts and film projects under lectures has been set by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) as it has partnered with the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), the Singapore Film Commission (S.F.C.), and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), along with the inaugural Malaysian Development Lab for Fiction Feature Films (mylab).
It will include guiding the regional and international experts in directing, producing, scriptwriting, distribution, and markets and festivals.
Mylab concentrates on assignments at an early stage of development, with a team of scriptwriters, directors, and producers attached; they then target regional or international audiences.
This team strives for each project to deliver a package of budget, financing plan, script, pitch-ready materials, and dossier at the end of the program.
Lorna Tee, curator and founder of mylab, said: “East and South East Asia are significant territories for Malaysian filmmakers to collaborate with, and partnering with S.F.C., FDCP, and TAICCA is a crucial step to expand the outreach of mylab and build stronger ties within the industries in the region.”
Awards for the program comprise the FINAS mylab Award with $5,000 towards further development for a project selected by an independent jury comprising Christian Jeune, Nashen Moodley, and producer Oh Jung-wan of B.O.M. Film Productions Co. during the final session in Busan.
FINAS CEO Prof. Dr. Md Nasir Ibrahim said: “While it is the first, with program curator Lorna Tee, mylab manages to attract collaborations from numerous countries in the region. This is considered monumental for FINAS to be able to work together with the various film organizations, not to mention the wide array of mentors, group leaders, script doctors, jurors, and directing mentors from across the world with stellar profiles.”
The TAICCA Development Award includes $5000 for the project’s development and the participants’ invitation to attend Taiwan Creative Content Fest to pitch the project in Taiwan in 2023.
Tirso Cruz III, chair and C.E.O. of FDCP, said: “Now, more than ever, collaboration is crucial to any artistic and cultural undertaking that affects the entire cinema industry. In the Philippines and Southeast Asia, developing a piece of cinema from the germ of a story into a full-blown and realizable screenplay is now a prioritized step that we want to build our films on. Many of our homegrown projects and talents from the film labs have reaped local and international recognition and support; that is why we know the lab’s work. FDCP now partners with FINAS for the debut run of mylab to further this progress and strengthen our ties with our neighbors towards a regional culture of unique storytelling and artistic excellence.”
The partnership with S.F.C. and F.D.C. encourages a film project in development from each country to partake in the third session of mylab.
It will take place in Busan, alongside the Busan International Film Festival and the Asian Contents & Film Market. This will be the first in-person session of mylab.
Zero Lee, C.E.O. of TACCA, said: “The connection of international co-production between Southeast Asia and Taiwan has been tightened through the collaboration with mylab. For Taiwanese production teams and the whole industry, this collaboration creates more opportunities to partner with talents in Southeast Asia. We look forward to joining hands with professionals around the world.”
The Korean Film Council will likewise support mylab with a shindig in Busan and join participants with the Korean film industry.