In a joint effort to developtheir local film industries, two production companies from Singapore and Indonesia have created a $3m digital film fund which will beused for the production of 10 digital features over the next two years.

Jonathan Foo, managingdirector of Singapore's Mega Media, today signed an MOU with Sofian Saleh,director of Indonesia's Omnicron Media Kreasi, at the Asia Media Festivalin Singapore. The two companies are providing the equityinvestments for the fund.

The initiative also has thesupport of the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and Indonesia' Ministry of Culture & Tourism.

To be shot on Panasonic HDcameras, the 10 selected projects will be filmed on location in Indonesia and made in the Bahasa Indonesian language by localdirectors.

All the projects will bemanaged out of Singapore while international distribution will be handled bySix-Six-Eight, a subsidiary of Mega Media and Asia's largest distributor of TV content.

"With a population of morethan 200 million, Indonesia has a huge demand for films and its diverse cultureoffers many interesting stories," says Mega Media's Foo. "But not many filmshave been produced in recent years."

A total of 42 Indonesianfilms will be released by end of 2006, up by 30% from the year before,according to Sri Hastanto, director-general for film, art and cultural valuesfrom Indonesia' Ministry of Culture & Tourism who witnessed the signingceremony.

Meanwhile, Mega Media hasestablished a partnership with SDI Media, the world's largest subtitling anddubbing provider, to bring Hollywood theatrical audio mixing to Singapore for regional releases. Most of this work currentlytakes place in Thailand.

Mega Media's mixing stagewill be employed for the new services which will be available from early 2007.The company's mixing stage is equipped for up to 7.1 Dolby Digital EX Surroundfor theatrical release - the only one in Singapore that is Dolby certified.