NYFA 2017 Featured Speaker - INFOCUS ASIA: Asian Stories for the International Audience


NOTE: Please read the important notes below

The producers of multiple HBOasia original series such as GRACE and The Teenage Psychic will share their journey and experience in making Asian content relevant to an international audience.

This session is part of the National Youth Film Awards 2017.

About the Speakers:

Dean Johnson, IFA Media

Dean ‘Johno’ Johnson is a multi award-winning TV professional who has worked his way from the technical studio floor via news, current affairs, to executive producer and credits as a show runner. Dean founded IFA Media in 2005, and today his company has grown to become one of Asia’s premier content companies, providing factual, format and drama content for channels and platforms across the globe including HBO, Netflix, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, A&E, NBC, CCTV, ARTE and Beijing TV.

Dean’s first career was as a Royal Marine Commando; he saw active service on two tours and received a GSM medal for his service. Dean is trained in urban combat and mountain and artic warfare.

Dean began his TV career as a cameraman for CNBC, then becoming a news producer for the Associated Press. Dean opened AP’s TV bureaux in Pakistan and Kabul and his journalistic career has taken him across the world to conflict zones like Afghanistan, Albania and East Timor and Cambodia.

At the BBC Dean’s focus became documentaries and factual entertainment, from current affairs films for ‘Correspondent’ in Mali, Uganda, Nicaragua and Peru and BBC ‘Holiday’ in Bhutan, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. Dean then moved onto larger productions Like the BBC’s ‘SAS Are You Tough Enough’, overseeing a large technical deployment in the Namibian desert and Borneo jungle for a cast and crew of 90.

At IFA Media, Dean oversees some 40 plus hours of content for every major broadcaster. Under his leadership the company now has offices in 4 countries and is one of Asia’s top producers. Highlights include finding a young scientist Zeb Hogan in a river in Cambodia and turning him into the host of National Geographic’s 6 season high-rated series called Monster Fish. Dean has won multiple industry awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award.

Zoanne Tan, IFA Media

Bilingual in Mandarin and English, Zoanne started her career in TV as a Production Manager, working across every aspect of the industry and managing every type of project ranging from lifestyle to game shows to documentaries. Zoanne’s versatility has even seen her fill roles as varied as editor and producer across her 8 years in production. In that time, Zoanne has had the privilege to work with some of the best channels in the world including HBO, National Geographic, Discovery, A&E, ARTE and CCTV.

Ultimately, Zoanne’s passion has always been drama and she currently oversees all scripted content at IFA, with the ambition to help develop original Asian talent and stories that resonate with an international audience. Zoanne’s most recent project Teenage Psychic for HBO is the channel’s highest rated original drama series to date.


NYFA 2017 WEEKEND (30 June and 1 July) seeks to bring outreach and awareness of the film and media industry in Singapore to a new scale with a series of talks, workshops and screenings of previous NYFA-winning films.

As part of SHINE Festival 2017, the event hopes to encourage more youths to engage in various aspects of film-making, as well as to inspire through enriching media touch points by our industry partners. These activities also aim to reverse the common understanding of Singapore’s film and media industry through creative activities that are interactive and niche. For other NYFA talks and workshops, please visit:

[Workshop] - DART Sessions

[Fireside Chat] LIFE BEYOND SCHOOL: How I Survived in the Commercial World

[Workshop] Editing and Colour Grading Demo with DaVinci Resolve 14

[Panel Discussion] BEYOND ANIMATION: How can a Graduate Stay Competitive

[Panel Discussion] PRODUCING CONTENT IN THE SOCIAL AGE: Opportunities and Challenges

[Panel Discussion] FESTIVALS OR ONLINE? What is the Best Way to Expose your Short Film to an Audience

[Panel Discussion] A CAREER IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY: Academia or Apprenticeship?

[Screening] National Youth Film Awards 2015

[Screening] National Youth Film Awards 2016

[Job Matching Session] C3: Creative Career Connections



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  • The event description was updated. Diff#254738 2017-06-16 03:56:27
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Sat Jul 1, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM SGT
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