Asia TV Forum & Market
Singapore – The 15th edition of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and 4th edition of ScreenSingapore, Asia’s television and film event, concluded last Friday (12 December) to resounding success. It saw an energetic market with record number of attendance and a slew of deals secured and partnerships forged from 10 to 12 December at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Sales transactions of some US$256.28 million were exchanged during the three-day market. A pre-market conference was held the day prior on 9 December.
Yeow Hui Leng, Senior Project Director, Reed Exhibitions expressed delight at this year’s run, noting, “This has been our most successful edition of ATF and ScreenSingapore to-date, and aligns with Asia’s growing importance in the global entertainment content landscape. ATF and ScreenSingapore are designed as an integrated market to provide a platform for industry players to trade and network, as well as to highlight opportunities in the rapidly growing Asian market. The positive feedback, record number of deals and attendance are testament to ATF and ScreenSingapore’s standing as a leading content market in Asia”.
This year, the events were also part of the inaugural Singapore Media Festival, which enabled attendees to participate in an expanded suite of activities. Commenting on this, Joachim Ng, Director of Industry Operations at the Media Development Authority of Singapore said, “We are encouraged by the many meaningful partnerships forged and vibrant exchange of ideas at the inaugural Singapore Media Festival. It also gave us the opportunity to showcase the best of the region’s film and television content as well as to celebrate its talent. We are confident that future editions of the festival will continue to serve as a platform of choice in Asia for media companies and professionals.”
Since its integration in 2012, ATF and ScreenSingapore had consecutive year-on-year participation growth, attesting to the industry’s validation of the event as a mainstay on the global content market calendar. The attendance at this year’s market jumped 10% to 4,836 participants, with some 1,281 companies from 60 countries. This broke the previous record high of 4,385 attendees and 1,179 companies in 2013.
Accordingly, this year’s market floor saw an increase in content offerings, with showing from seven international studios – CBS Studios, MGM Worldwide, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Brothers. In addition, ATF and ScreenSingapore welcomed 13 international delegations from Australia, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
Varavuth Jentanakul, CEO of Zense Entertainment (Thailand), who is a first-time buyer at the event shared, “At ATF we experienced the energy and exposure of a truly international content market. We are closing a new package deal with Endemol, which include two new great shows Your Face Sounds Familiar to be on air on Channel 7 later next year, and Singer Takes it All. We are also exploring the possibility of acquiring a large-scale format from Shine.”
Exhibitors on the market floor unanimously agreed that ATF and ScreenSingapore is a must-visit platform for sellers looking to the Asian markets. One participant, Rob Molloy, Director of Global TV, Content and Sales at Guinness World Records Limited noted, “It’s an effective and efficient market for us to meet new clients and strengthen our relationship with existing clients.”
Woody Kim, Senior Manager, Global Marketing Team at the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), added, “This is our second year at ATF and ScreenSingapore, which gives us a great opportunity to meet and extend content to Southeast Asia and other parts of Asia, especially in our key markets such as China, Malaysia and Singapore. We’re happy that we made some new friends at the event, and we look forward to next year’s edition.”
Deals and announcements at the Market
There were various key announcements made at the market floor such as that of a US$100 million media fund launched by Nasdaq-listed Bona Film Group Limited, Singapore private equity investment firm Tembusu Partners and local media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng. The Singapore-based fund targets China’s media and entertainment industry, which is forecast to become the second largest in the world, behind only the U.S., by 2018.
Sonia Fleck, CEO of Bomanbridge Media, a Singapore-based content distribution and production agency, reinforced the event’s relevance to industry players, “We’ve come into ATF closing several major deals in the region for hundreds of hours of programme.”
Some of these deals include the sale of It Only Hurts When I Laugh and Life’s Funniest Moments to TV3 Mediawork (New Zealand); Animal Atlas to Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thailand) and Superbodies to Korean Broadcasting System. Bomanbridge also partnered with distributor Banijay International to sell two reality series, Pound Pups to Dog Stars and Village Vets to TrueVisions (Thailand).
Several Asian networks had purchased formats from various international sellers. This includes sales by U.S. studio Electus to VTV in Vietnam, which is set to air a local version of its format Bet on Your Baby while China’s Dragon TV has re-commissioned the studio’s Fashion Star format. Keshet International’s spy drama MICE (stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego; and also known as The Gordin Cell) is to be remade in Korea by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), and due to air in early 2015.
Some of the other announcements made at the market include:
– A series of creative alliances forged with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), namely a collaboration with Australia-based crowd-funding portal Pozible and an alliance with the Motion Picture Association of Cambodia (MPAC);
– Jack Neo’s Long Long Time Ago, a new two-part movie scheduled for release in 2015 as part of Singapore’s 50th birthday celebrations;
– A new 24/7 kids and family television channel by DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc, set to launch in the second half of 2015 in 19 Asian countries;
– Fuji Television to launch full-scale internet and cable video-on-demand (VOD) distribution in Singapore through StarHub TV in the first half of 2015, delivering dramas such as Nobunaga Concerto and Dear Sister; and
– Strategic cooperation between FOX International Channels (FIC) and Tencent for over 300 hours of programming and documentaries from National Geographic Channel (NGC) documentaries to be made available online in China through Tencent in 2015. The two will also co-produce China-focused programmes.
Looking ahead, ATF and ScreenSingapore is well-positioned to continue offering a wide range of quality content in Asia and beyond.
Multi-faceted conference and event programme
Adding onto the market fare, this year’s four-day conference programme line-up was very well-received by attendees, with sessions led by a roster of 73 acclaimed industry experts and market leaders. This included keynotes by James Zhonglei Wang, President of Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, Ma Dong, Chief Content Officer of Baidu’s IQIYI, Alon Shtruzman, CEO of Israel’s Keshet International and Jon Landau, the award-winning Hollywood producer behind Avatar and Titanic.
ATF and ScreenSingapore’s event highlights – MIPACADEMY and Animation Lab – continued to be well-received in their second year. The MIPACADEMY sessions were led by industry veterans such as Alexis De Gemini, Founder & CEO of A2G Studio (France), Tim Crescenti, President of Small World International Format Television (USA), Park Joon-Hwa, Producer/Director of tvN, CJ E&M (South Korea), Kim Tae-ho, producer of popular long-running Korean variety TV show ‘Infinite Challenge’, YouTube sensation comedy duo, Andrew and David Fung of FungBrosComedy, and the Twitter APAC TV Team.
The Animation Lab saw 41 hopefuls relished and embraced the opportunity to pitch to commissioners from leading broadcast companies including CJ E&M, DreamWorks Animation, Sun TV Network, The Walt Disney Company, Turner International Asia Pacific and Viacom International Media Networks.
Under the umbrella of Singapore Media Festival (SMF), attendees at this year’s edition of the integrated television and film content market also had the opportunity to participate in activities from two other complementary events – The Asian Television Awards and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). Attendees had the option to attend close to 19 films that were screened at SGIFF during ATF and ScreenSingapore, including a special screening of Thai romantic comedy film Chiang Khan Story (Tookkae Rak Pang Mak) by award-winning director Yuthlert Sippapak.