There is more to Superpitch than just winning.
While taking home the trophy is certainly a validation of one’s ideas, the industry contacts gained, the meaningful conversations struck and the creative energy borne are what will carry these winning ideas to fruition. This year’s Superpitch at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel aims to replicate all that, and more.
Last year’s Superpitch was the fi rst time the competition was segmented into three categories, namely Formats, Documentary and Children/Preschool. Over 40 entries from across Asia were received.
Borneo Productions International (BPI) is one company that walked away with both silverware and an invaluable collection of business cards. The Indonesian-based production house won Best Formats Pitch for Jungle Racer Borneo. It was a welcomed surprise for the film-based company, which had no prior experience in television production. Four months after Superpitch, BPI signed a development deal with a major international broadcaster to refine the project’s concept and discuss budgets. The project is yet to be announced.
“It (Superpitch) gave me the opportunity to meet many brilliant individuals. I went home having made new friends and developed new business contacts. It helped us get one step closer to working in that magical world of professional TV production,” said Immanuel Bryson-Haynes, Managing Director of BPI.
“During this time we gained valuable insights from industry experts on how to prepare a show for a worldwide audience. When that was fi nalised, our broadcast partner started approaching possible funding sources.”
Japan’s K&Y Distribution LLP, which won Best Documentary Pitch for Samurai in Fukushima, since renamed Inherited Thing, has also signed some notable deals. Following the pitch competition in December 2011, the project was picked up AETN All Asia Network’s HISTORY Channel. According to Producer Ken Okano, the company also managed to secure further funding from Japan’s Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications, bringing their total development budget up to US$100,000. K&Y had also partnered Osaka-based production house Power-I Inc for the production of the documentary, which has since wrapped, although a premiere date has not been set.
“Our project was recognised by international broadcasters and distributors because we won Superpitch. If we hadn’t, I believe HISTORY channel would have spent more time making their decision,” said Okano. “Moreover, since HISTORY channel got on board, the project has received attention from international distributors, and we are talking about a distribution deal with one of them.”
Superpitch also served as a launch pad for India’s Big Animation, whose Big Bees won Best Animation Pitch in 2010. Big Bees stood out because of its unique proposition – a 3D animated series in the edutainment genre. So what are this year’s judges looking out for? Ice-TV’s managing director David Searl, who judged last year’s Formats track, said: “We’re actively looking for good ideas but we’re not looking to buy an idea to be reproduced 100 percent; we want an idea that’s pitched to us showing the potential for it to be exported.”
For the Children/Preschool category, Ashish S.K, CEO of Big Animation, said: “One should believe in the idea, well-researched story lines, characterisations and design. If it appeals to a local audience it would defi nitely appeal to the international audience as well, especially in animation. The only care we should take is to remain neutral and true to the storylines and make animation fi lms entertaining for viewers.”
Contineo Media’s CEO, Raymond Wong, whose company organises the Superpitch, highlights the increasing importance for independent projects which need the exposure to get to the big time.
“Superpitch is Asia-Pacific’s premier annual industry event that gives content makers a platform to pitch their ideas to some of television’s key decision makers. As can be seen from past winners’ success, the event has bridged producers with distributors and broadcasters, helping to materialise some of the best ideas from this region.”
Call for entries to the 12th Superpitch will open shortly. Check out http://ata.onscreenasia.com for more updates.