The 17th Asian Television Awards

Asia’s premier broadcast awards event is bigger, and better this year. Kelvin Ong highlights some “firsts” and milestones for the awards, and tells you what to expect at the star-studded gala dinner in Singapore!

Asian Television Awards ATA

The who’s who of Asian television will gather again on December 6 to honour the industry’s best at the 17th Asian Television Awards (ATA). This year, some 1,327 entries were received, an increase of nearly 300 submissions from 2011 and one of the highest recorded in the event’s history. Of these, 248 entries spanning 13 countries have been short-listed for competition.

Three new awards – Best 2D Animated Programme, Best 3D Animated Programme and Best Sports Presenter/ Commentator – were introduced this year, bringing the total number to 42, providing new opportunities for more content providers and makers to be represented. The ATA Showcase, the accompanying day event where nominees of ATA 2012, regional directors, producers and creative talents engage with each other in an intimate workshopstyle dialogue, also added a new track titled “Convergence” to its line-up.

These additions have elevated the awards altogether, according to ATA Chief Judge, Man Shu Sum. “It’s a record year in terms of the number of entries. The quality and standard of the submissions are generally high,” said Man. He noted that the Drama and Documentary awards stood out from the pack, as they were highly contested – Best Documentary (one-off/special), the award with the most entries, saw 96 submissions; while Best Drama Series came in third with 74.

Man also felt that the introduction of the new animation categories – Best 2D Animated Programme and Best 3D Animated Programme, “is extremely timely and exciting”, especially with the rapid developments taking place in the animation genre. He added that among the territories represented, China was particularly impressive. Case in point, in the Best 3D Animated Programme category, four of six nominees are from China.

Raymond Wong, CEO of Contineo Media, which organises the ATA, agrees with Man. He said the introduction of the new award categories and the new Showcase track on convergence is essential and pivotal in keeping abreast with industry changes. “New technologies and platforms are constantly emerging. The ATA, besides rewarding the most creative minds in television, also has to recognise trends and honour the new players who need our utmost support. This year’s additions have allowed us to achieve just that and the organising team has done a wonderful job,” said Wong.

Also noteworthy is the fact that some 50 first time participants submitted entries this year – a testament of the event’s increasing prestige and growing profile.

Singapore-based Most Wanted Pictures is a first time nominee for Fatal Attractions – There’s a Crocodile in my Bed (Best Cinematography). Its Director of Photography, Brad Dillon, says the awards is a significant platform.

“The Asian Television Awards plays an important role in uncovering and highlighting talent within the TV industry. It’s always a great honour to have your work recognised by your peers. It’s inspiring, and keeps challenging you to continually achieve great images that build strong stories, whether it is for short or long form.”

Another new entrant, Sparky Animation, whose One Stormy Night: Secret Friends is nominated for Best 3D Animated Programme, hopes that the awards will attract interests from fellow Asia-based production houses to come together and collaborate on more groundbreaking projects. “In order to ride the booming wave of the animation industry in Asia, Sparky needs to elevate its visibility in Asia. The Asian Television Awards is the ideal platform to increase Sparky’s exposure to the industry players in Asia,” said Dr. Kok Cheong Wong, Founder and CEO of Sparky Animation Pte Ltd.

The accompanying pitch competition, Superpitch, which takes place on the afternoon of December 6, will once again see the most creative of minds in Asia go against each other in the respective genres of Formats, Documentary and Children/Preschool, to win the coveted title of Best Pitch and the opportunity to transform their visions into reality with the help from major Asian broadcasters and networks.

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