Audible today announced the finalists of the first cohort for Audible Accelerator Singapore. In collaboration with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA), this initiative is designed to draw talent from Singapore’s thriving content industries to create original audio works. Ten creative teams were selected to have their original scripts produced into podcast pilots with the possibility of development into full series.
Sixty-five storytellers, comprising of freelance creatives and twenty small- and medium enterprises (SMEs), were chosen to try out for the Accelerator, receiving training through an exclusive series of online content development workshops in audio development and production. The ten workshops were hosted by storytellers, producers and craftspeople, including award-winning screenwriters and subject matter experts in casting, sound design and directing.
“The Singapore Accelerator was designed to tap into Singapore’s unique homegrown storytelling talent and nurture Singapore’s budding audio-storytelling community,” said Karen Appathurai Wiggins, Audible Vice President Content, APAC. “We’ve been blown away by the quality of the projects that have come through the Accelerator and we’re proud of our association with IMDA to open doors for up-and-coming Singaporean creatives and bring their stories to the world.”
The ten selected SMEs were provided with a budget of SGD 15,000 to produce an up-to-30-minute pilot, with the possibility of development into full series. The original content will be considered for distribution on Audible’s services around the world later this year.
“This initiative with Audible aims to identify local storytelling talent and offer an invaluable opportunity to tell original Made-with-Singapore stories for premium audio content,” said Mr. Howie Lau, Assistant Chief Executive, Media and Innovation, IMDA. “As audiences increasingly move to digital services, we want to continue to collaborate with companies like Audible to provide audio development and production training to our media professionals and companies to bring exciting content to this space.”
Projects include fictional series, such as Barefoot In Bengal by Warrior9 VR, a story set in 1901 British India, about a ragtag team of Indian football players who take on the British at their own game; Life Exchange by Luff Media, about a desperate ex-con who sells shares of himself on a ‘human stock exchange’ and uncovers a sinister plan to drive his price down; The Golden Knot from Fifty Fifty Productions, about a renowned seamstress who is forced to become an unwilling sleuth when her niece is viciously murdered; and Therapy Z by Great Kings Entertainment, a part-therapy, part-horror drama which is set smack-bang in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
Marquee actors contributing to finalist projects include Singaporean theatre veterans Lim Yu Beng, Gerald Chew and Neo Swee Lin. Performers also include actor and Artistic Director of the Pangdemonium Theatre Company Adrian Pang, Clicknetwork presenter Oon Shu An, and singer-songwriter and actor Nathan Hartono, among others.
“The Audible Accelerator program was an exciting and impactful initiative,” said Karl Gan, writer of Therapy Z. “2020 was a challenging year for the world, and as we were all quarantined, many of us sought ways to develop new content from the safety of home. The Audible Accelerator allowed us a chance to go forward with these projects.”
“We had an absolutely amazing experience going through the Audible Accelerator program! It’s not often that you have an opportunity to learn, play and experiment freely. One particular highlight was the suite of excellent webinars featuring a range of audio experts,” said Elena Yeo, Creative Producer, The Golden Knot from Fifty Fifty Productions. “We truly hope that Audible will continue to help Singapore storytellers explore the exciting possibilities of the audio medium.”
“Our all-female team has a film background, so we were delighted to learn about audio storytelling from top industry experts in this unique program. We feel fortunate to be able to work during the pandemic, and on a raunchy, funny story to boot,” said Su Ching, Founding Partner of Purple Tree, and Executive Producer and Head Writer of Happy Endings. “Our series is inspired by open, intimate and raw conversations, specific to the female experience. We hope it sparks dialogue among Audible’s global audience.”
With offices around the world, Audible will continue to invest not only in the next generation of local creative talent but also in local personnel who design, develop, and deploy Audible products. Audible Singapore is currently seeking roles in Content and Finance, and will have internship opportunities in 2021.
The collection of Audible Originals from the first cohort of finalists for the Audible Accelerator is available here.