School of Creative


BA(Hons) Arts Management

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Singapore Dreaming: Exploring 'success' in the Singaporean film industry

Filmmakers have had to take into account certain restrictions whilst keeping their stories authentic, and tried to align themselves with the national agenda whilst playing into audience's tastes. The lack of local support pushed filmmakers to take on second jobs in order to continue creating their art, further reflecting the volatile situation that filmmakers are facing. Filmmakers also typically fall into two categories: commercial and arthouse. Commercial filmmakers like Jack Neo pander to local audiences, but his films have been criticised for their lack of any cinematic qualities. Arthouse filmmakers like Anthony Chen continue bagging awards around the world, but fail to make an impact locally. This research paper poses the overarching question: how do Singaporean filmmakers measure success in Singapore’s film industry? The paper also asks the following supporting questions: how do filmmakers appeal to local audiences whilst maintaining marketability overseas? Is the current film industry sustainable? What role do Singaporean films play within the country’s cultural narrative? This paper hopes to ultimately aid filmmakers by providing a clearer understanding of the industry, in order to help determine their position within the industry and our overarching national narrative.

Keywords: film, sustainability, creative success, singapore film industry

Subtopics: media and arts policy, film studies, film identity, censorship, sustainability

Amanda Tan Shi Min

Amanda Tan Shi Min

Amanda is a filmmaker who is always looking to work with a team of passionate creatives. She aspires to tell stories from the heart and to spark meaningful conversations, one film at a time.

When not on shoots, Amanda can be found hiding in her room, spinning her extensive vinyl record collection or playing make-believe in a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Work experience

Aug 2021 – Mar 2022
Aux Media Group Pte Ltd
Assistant video producer

Aug 2020
光明 Guang Ming (dir. Amanda Tan)
Director, producer

Apr 2018 – May 2018
Wet Season (dir. Anthony Chen)
Production assistant