The development initiative will support up to five projects in its first year.

Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) and Fortissimo Films have established a development initiative under which they will jointly develop, finance and distribute a slate of films.

Dubbed the MDA-Fortissimo Film Development Initiative (FDI), the programme aims to support around three to five projects across a wide range of genres in the first year. Projects from any country of origin can apply to FDI but they should already have secured some production financing, and preference will be given to projects with higher above-the-line involvement by Singaporean companies.

Selected projects will also benefit from Fortissimo’s development assistance and international sales and distribution expertise.

The first film selected under the initiative is dystopian noir thriller Camera, to be directed by Singaporean film-maker James Leong. Set in Hong Kong and Singapore, the project is in development and expected to start shooting later this year.

“This initiative is designed to give both Singaporean film-makers and non-Singaporean producers a fast track through the process of developing their projects and accessing the varied and combined resources of the MDA and Fortissimo,” said Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner. “The focus is on quality films with strong commercial attributes.”

Fortissimo is handling international sales on Singapore’s Critics Week entry Sandcastle, directed by Boo Junfeng. Werner sits on the selection panel for the Singapore Film Commission’s New Feature Film Fund and is also on the board of upcoming cinema expo ScreenSingapore.

Camera revolves around a surveillance expert who is hired to follow the wife of a powerful businessman and starts to fall for her. Leong’s most recent film, Homeless FC, won the Grand Prize at the Chinese Documentary Festival in 2008.

FDI is inviting applications from July 1 until December 31, 2010.