MediaCorp Raintree Pictures

Singapore Infopedia


MediaCorp Raintree Pictures is the pioneering local film production company in Singapore. Formed in August 1998, the company produces and distributes local films and features made in the region.1 The company started out by producing Chinese films but later ventured into films made in other languages.

Raintree Pictures was incorporated in 1998 as the motion-picture production subsidiary of then Television Corporation of Singapore (subsequently became known as Mediacorp Pte Ltd).2 The raintree, a tropical plant, represents the company’s Asian heritage. It was chosen as a “symbol of the Asian product” the company aimed to produce.3

Daniel Yun, then vice-president of Productions 5 at Television Corporation of Singapore, was appointed Raintree’s first chief executive officer.4 The first film produced by the company was Liang Po Po – The Movie (1999). It was a joint production with Eric Khoo’s Zhao Wei Films.5

Raintree Pictures produced only Chinese language films in its early years, but subsequently expanded into producing films in English and other languages by collaborating with companies in the region.6 It also became a distributor of full-length features in the region and Australia.7 These included the award-winning The Home Song Stories (2007)8 and the Chinese blockbuster Bodyguards and Assassins (2009).9

Raintree Pictures has experienced both hits and misses over the years. While Liang Po Po achieved box office takings of S$3.03 million, most of its early films did not do well.10 2000 AD (2000), its first regional coproduction, made only S$910,000 in ticket sales.11 The Truth About Jane and Sam (1999) failed to recover its S$1.2 million production costs at the box office, although the film eventually broke even through video distribution.12

Chicken Rice War (2000), The Tree (2001) and One Leg Kicking (2001) were Raintree Pictures’s attempts at producing distinctly local films. However, unlike its maiden film Liang Po Po, these films reaped little success with local audience.13 From producing these movies, the company learnt the lesson that overselling the local elements of such films could undermine their appeal to both local and regional audiences.14

Taking a leaf from earlier failures, Raintree Pictures has since moved towards more universal themes in its films, focusing on coproductions with other film companies in the region.15 In 2002, the company scored two hits through I Not Stupid (2002) and The Eye (2002).16 The former earned over S$3.8 million,17 while The Eye reaped S$1.98 million at the local box office.18 Both films also enjoyed considerable success abroad.19 The Eye was distributed to 25 countries, and I Not Stupid became the first Singaporean film to be screened in Hong Kong.20 These successes paved the way for more coproductions in the following years.21

Some of the films produced or coproduced by Raintree Pictures have received critical acclaim. Homerun (2003) bagged six awards, including the Grand Prix prize at the Golden Swan Awards 2003 at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival for Children and Youth, while Infernal Affairs II (2003) won Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards in 2003. Protégé (2007) received two awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2008.22

With its combination of mainstream fare and intensive marketing campaigns, Raintree Pictures’ approach to film production closely resembles that of the Hollywood studio formula. The strength of the company’s marketing platform, given its position as a subsidiary of a television broadcasting company, grants it significant importance and standing in both the local and regional film industry.23

Changes in leadership and strategy
After 11 years at the helm at Raintree Pictures, Yun resigned from the company in 2009. Chang Long Jong, then deputy chief executive of television at MediaCorp, became his interim replacement.24 Man Shu Sum, former chief executive officer of Mark Burnett Productions Asia, took over the reins in December that year.25 Man resigned as managing director after three years in 2012. With Man's departure, Raintree came under the oversight of  MediaCorp’s deputy chief executive officer from 1 September 2012, and the company’s focus shifted to movie investment and local and overseas coproductions and collaborations.26

1999: Liang Po Po Chong Chu Jiang Hu (also known as Liang Po Po – The Movie)
1999: The Truth About Jane and Sam (also known as Zhen Xin HuaZun Sum Wah)
2000: 2000 AD (also known as Gong Yuan 2000 AD or Gung Yuen 2000 AD)
2000: Chicken Rice War (also known as Jiyuan Qiaohe)
2001: The Tree (also known as Haizi Shu)
2001: One Leg Kicking
2002: I Not Stupid (also known as Xiaohai Bu Ben)
2002: The Eye (also known as Gin Gwai)
2003: Homerun (also known as Pao Ba Hai Zi)
2003: Turn Left, Turn Right (also known as Heung Joh Chow Heung Yau Chow or Xiang Zuo Zou Xiang You Zou)
2003: Infernal Affairs II (also known as Mou Gaan Dou II or Wu Jian Dao 2)
2004: The Eye 2 (also known as Gin Gwai 2 or Jian Gui 2)
2004: The Best Bet (also known as Tu Ran Fa Cai)
2005: I Do, I Do
2005: The Maid
2006: One Last Dance
2006: I Not Stupid Too (also known as Xiaohai Bu Ben 2)
2007: The Home Song Stories
2007: Protégé (also known as Moon To)
2007: The Tattooist
2007: Brothers (also known as Hing Dai or Xiong Di)
2008: The Leap Years
2008: Rule Number One (also known as Dai Tat Gaai)
2008: 12 Lotus
2008: Painted Skin (also known as Wa Pei or Hua Pi)
2008: Sing to the Dawn
2009: The Wedding Game (also known as Da Xi Shi)
2009: Macabre (II)
2009: The Warrior and the Wolf (also known as Lang Zai Ji)
2009: Dance Subaru
2009: Yona Yona Penguin
2009: The Storm Warriors
2009: Bodyguards and assassins
2010: 14 Blades
2010: All's Well, Ends Well 2010
2011: A Chinese Ghost Story
2012: Dance Dance Dragon

Hong Xinying

1. Karl Ho, "An Eye on Asian Film Market," Straits Times, 22 June 2002, L6. (From NewspaperSG); "With Mediacorp Raintree Pictures (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)," IMDb, accessed 20 March 2023,    
2. Kelvin Tong, "Got a Story? Climb On-board Raintree," Straits Times, 8 August 1998, 3 (From NewspaperSG); D. Tan, “Memories of the Hill Ahead of Mediacorp’s Big Move,” Channel NewsAsia, 7 December 2015. (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)
3. Tong, "Got a Story?"
4. Tong, "Got a Story?"
5. Genevieve Loh, "Ten Years of 'Mini-miracles'," Today, 16 July 2008, 28. (From NewspaperSG); Tong, "Got a Story?"
6. Cara Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing," Straits Times, 23 Jul 2008, 52. (From NewspaperSG)
7. Erica Tay, "Singapore, Australia Ink Co-production Pact to Boost Film Collaboration," Straits Times, 8 September 2007, 33. (From NewspaperSG)
8. Loh, "Ten Years of 'Mini-miracles'."
9. Genevieve Loh, "Behind The Scenes," Today, 8 July 2009, 34. (From NewspaperSG)
10. Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing."
11. Ho, "Eye on Asian Film Market"; Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing."
12. Ho, "Eye on Asian Film Market."
13. Loh, "Ten Years of 'Mini-miracles'."
14. Ong Sor Fern, "Raintree Branches Out," Straits Times, 14 March 2007, 60. (From NewspaperSG)
15. Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing."
16. Ho, "Eye on Asian Film Market."
17. Agatha Koh Brazil, "The Rain(Tree) Man," Today, 15 July 2008, 21. (From NewspaperSG)
18. Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing."
19. Ho, "Eye on Asian Film Market."
20. Koh Brazil, "Rain(Tree) Man."
21. "Award-winners," Straits Times, 23 July 2008, 53. (From NewspaperSG)
22. "Award-winners."
23. Van Miriah, "Raintree Keeps On Growing."
24. John Lui, "Raintree Head Quits in Shock Move," Straits Times, 13 August 2009, 27. (From NewspaperSG)
25. "Media Veteran Re-joins MediaCorp," MediaCorp, accessed 20 March 2023,
26. Rachael Hoon, "Raintree Honcho Quits," Straits Times, 25 August 2012, 6; Genevieve Sarah Loh, "The Noose at a Cinema Near You?" Today, 25 August 2012, 16; "Raintree Pictures Managing Director Resigns," Today, 24 August 2012, 54. (From NewspaperSG)
27. "With Mediacorp Raintree Pictures (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)," IMDb, accessed 20 March 2023,

The information in this article is valid as of April 2023 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.




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