The Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore, which are part of the annual Singapore Media Festival (SMF) have officially kicked off today, 1 December 2020.

Present at the ATF’s opening ceremony, which was broadcasted live from the MBS Hybrid Broadcast Studio in Singapore were Mr. Yeh Chien Ee, President of Reed Exhibitions in APAC, and Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister of Communications and Information Singapore who delivered the opening remarks.

Mr. Yeh said, “This edition of the ATF will be a milestone that underlies its coming of age in a new era. For the first time, the market and conference are going digital, based on a platform powered by an AI algorithm that serves attendees’ recommendations that match profiles and requirements. ATF Online+ aspires to bring the world to Asia virtually via a market directory, complemented by best-in-class speed dating and matchmaking events that facilitate live interaction. We will also be putting the spotlight on China this year through our Focus in China segment.”

Highlighting some of the themes that cut across ATF Online+s programming this year, Mr. Yeh talked about the theme for this year’s tradeshow: “Prelude to 2021: Be Part of the Conversation.” He said, “With 2020 coming to an end, everyone is looking forward to embracing 2021 on a positive and assertive note. ATF will present a series of fireside chats with top-level executives to share forward-looking insights for the year ahead.

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Mr. S. Iswaran at the opening ceremony of ATF Online+. Courtesy of Singapore Media Festival.

In his opening remarks, Mr. S. Iswaran said, “These are extraordinary times. For the first time, the ATF is hosting its programme—which comprises virtual trade markets, conferences, and business-matching opportunities—all entirely online. I think it is an apt reflection of the extraordinary times we are living in. In the face of COVID-19, we have been compelled to make profound shifts and also adapt to new operating norms. I think it is also important to recognise that the pandemic has also catalysed innovation and generated new and exciting opportunities as well.”

He added, “The theme of this year’s Festival—“Asian Storytelling, Reimagined”—captures this sense of change and renewal. I want to share with you briefly my thoughts on how media companies can chart their paths forward, and also in turn how the Government is supporting the industry to be ready for the next wave of growth.”

IMDA announces new initiatives

The Singapore Media Festival, which is hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), has announced new initiatives and capability development programmes to develop innovative content, nurture local media talent, and cultivate fresh opportunities for international collaborations. The programmes were announced by Mr. S Iswaran.

The highlights include:

  • New partnerships with established global media companies under the Capability Partnership Programme to grow local talent and bring “Made-with-Singapore” content to an international stage.
  • 78 new commissions under the S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund and six new feature-length projects awarded under the Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant, promising a continued line-up of quality stories for audiences in Singapore and the region, amid the challenging climate.
  • Introducing Singapore Games Market Bootcamp, SuperGamerFest, and VidCon Now Asia at this year’s Singapore Media Festival to celebrate online creators and spotlight the vibrant esports and gaming sector in Singapore.

Mr. Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of the IMDA commented, “I am heartened to see our companies and talent forging ahead to find new ways to share our Asian stories. Thank you for bringing us respite with these amazing stories, reimagined for an unprecedented time. The resilience and ingenuity demonstrated by the media industry throughout this period is a story waiting to be told, to inspire future generations of storytellers.”