China and Singapore have signed a film co-production agreement which covers feature films and telemovies across live-action, animation and documentaries.

Films produced under the agreement will enjoy the same access to government funding and incentives as do national productions in each country. Official co-productions will also be treated as national productions in each country for the purposes of content regulation.

The agreement was signed by Zhang Pimin of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and Singapore’s Sam Tan, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Information, Communications and the Arts. The signing took place on the sidelines of the 7th China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Co-operation (CSJCBC) in Beijing.

“China and Singapore mutually admire each other’s achievements in the film sector. In recent years, both countries have embarked on film-related exchanges such as importing each other’s films and co-organising film festivals, which set the foundation for closer collaboration in the future,” said Zhang.

“With a rising global interest in Asian media content, this film co-production agreement presents immense opportunities for filmmakers in China and Singapore to collaborate, as well as share experiences and resources to showcase the rich heritage and culture in our two countries internationally through films,” said Tan.

Tan added: “There is also potential for filmmakers from both countries to collaborate in new growth areas, such as stereoscopic 3D productions.”

Singapore also has co-production agreements with Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while China has agreements with France, Italy, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The Sino-Singapore agreement will be administered by the Film Bureau under SARFT and Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA).

To encourage greater collaboration between the two territories, SARFT and MDA are planning to organise a regular “China-Singapore Film Festival Exchange”. This follows the inaugural Singapore Film Festival in Beijing and Shanghai in 2007, and the first China Film Festival in Singapore in 2008.

In addition to reaching out to the movie-going public, the film festivals will serve as platforms for filmmakers from both sides to meet and exchange ideas.