Unbeknownst to many, the Asian TV and film industry has been steadily growing and presents a stronger portfolio than ever before. With more Asian titles gaining recognition on a global scale, the market is rising with a palpable force.
Taking place recently in October 2015, the first ever WebTVAsia Awards in Kuala Lumpur recognised the top digital creators from 12 Asian countries. The award was attended by 1500 entertainment industry partners, investors, media, celebrities and advertisers.
Emerging platforms has been launched to support budding producers and directors to showcase their work. The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Indonesian Film Festival (Ffi) – just to name a feware platforms where individuals or even production companies can exhibit what they have to offer.
In conjunction with ScreenSingapore, the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market will serve as a platform for young producers to network and obtain financing. The arising of financiers has translated into many internationally big name producers. On top of that, many government bodies in Asia are also making great efforts to support the booming industry.
Fred Chong, Group CEO, WebTVAsia said, “The Malaysian government has a strong ecosystem that supports the creative industry through key agencies like FINAS, MDeC and MCMC.” He adds that a special coordinating agency, Content Malaysia Pitching Centre (CMPC) has been set up in late 2014 to facilitate project evaluation and grant disbursements to qualified Malaysian producers based on merit.
Jojo Struys, Co-founder, Kyanite TV continues, “There is also the Film In Malaysia Incentive (FIMI) where foreign companies are incentivised to work with a Malaysian company. If there is a minimum spend in Malaysia of USD1.5 million, there will be a 30% rebate which is a tremendous incentive.”
In Singapore, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has grant schemes in place to support projects, individuals and companies from all media sectors, including animation, broadcast, film, games, interactive media and publishing.
The Hong Kong Film Development Council set up the Film Development Fund (FDF) in 1997 to support projects for the development of the film industry in Hong Kong. In 2007, the Hong Kong government injected $300 million into the fund and expanded its scope to finance small to medium budgeted film productions.
Other than financial support, some governments provide distribution support as well. For example, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) operates and funds art-house theatres; covering theatre maintenance fees, assisting in producing marketing materials, programming films and translating/subtitling films.
Digital media- from social media to even video sharing sites- has created a free platform for people to showcase their work. “Distribution is open today with online platforms, but discovery becomes a big problem for most filmmakers we are working with. Hence, we wanted to build a destination platform where we can share some of the best Asian stories, surfacing them to an audience,” says Derek Tan, Co-founder, Viddsee.
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