Sunday, 10/12/2023 15:02

Asia TV Forum & Market opens opportunities for many enterprises

By Lê Hương

SINGAPORE – The second edition of ATF IP Accelerator Project Market (AIPA) at Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) 2023 closed with a special presentation at the end of Day 2 of the market with a total of 4 winners bagging prizes valued more than SGD80,000 (US$56,628) from the three prize sponsors of the event.

First up, the 108 Media Development Award of SGD15,000 towards project development went to Thailand's My Chef In Crime, a crime-comedy series by producer Bo Rattanavich and director Cheewatun Pusitsuksa of My Shot Co. Ltd.

Sasha Hunt, Senior Creative Development Executive of 108 Media, says of the pick, "My Chef in Crime masterfully integrates Thai culinary expertise with a captivating crime narrative, artfully accentuating cultural depth within its unique storytelling genre fusion. We are proud to award My Shot Co. the 108 Media Award via the esteemed AIPA project market."

The dual prizes by RED Digital Cinema & AV8 Media of camera package loans up to US$50,000 went to Pushkar, a sweeping feature-length documentary of an ancient Indian town and its denizens by Singaporean director-producer Colin Wee (Two Lefthands) as well as to What Do Mums Cook In Asia?, a reality-format info programme from Thailand educating and entertaining viewers on how to feed kids delicious multicultural meals with unique insights into food practices across the region.

Buyers and sellers meet at the event. VNS Photo Lê Hương

Lee Lim, Managing Director APAC at Red Digital Cinema, and Himanshu Shah, Managing Director at AV8 Media, said: "We were very impressed with the quality and diversity of the projects in the market this year. It wasn't an easy decision for us, but we feel that the projects chosen were the best suited to benefit from the RED award."

The final prize, the Film Bazaar Award, formulated from a cross-market partnership with the NFDC Film Bazaar and the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) this year during the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa, went to Love Letter To Laos, a globe-trotting feature drama from Canada and Laos. The project will be invited automatically to the 2024 edition of NFDC Film Bazaar as part of its curated Co-Production Market.

Vani Tripathi Tikoo, actor-producer & Co-Steering Committee Member of IFFI, said this of the award: "It's an opportune moment between India and Singapore to be at the ATF this year and looking at the co-production projects as with AIPA being at the Film Bazaar, the reciprocation between regions is happening finally. We look forward to this collaboration becoming more and more creative and collaborative in each edition."

Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). This year marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Media Festival, rallying Asia’s most passionate media professionals, industry leaders, talent, and content creators to “Make It Here”!

IMDA announces new funding

In the framework of the event, the IMDA announced a S$30 million International Co-Production Fund to support the creation of high-quality drama series with a local flavour and international appeal, as well as a S$25 million top-up to the Virtual Production Innovation Fund to further develop the industry’s virtual production (VP) capabilities.

The two funds were announced by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Tan Kiat How at the opening of the Asia TV Forum and Market (ATF) on December 6.

The International Co-Production Fund empowers media companies in Singapore to pursue co-productions with international partners to create content with a distinct local flavour for the Singapore story to reach global audiences through streaming platforms. Singapore’s diverse media talent pool can use the fund to deepen its proficiency by collaborating with international counterparts in creative roles such as producers, directors and scriptwriters.

The new International Co-Production Fund complements the range of existing overseas co-production initiatives. Alongside the International Co-Production Fund which is focused on showcasing Singapore stories for international audiences, media companies can tap IMDA’s Media Talent Progression Programme to help local talent build their portfolios and experience, or the Singapore On-Screen Fund to spotlight Singapore as a destination through content. IMDA’s past co-production initiatives have produced successful films in the region like Ajoomma, the first Singapore-South Korea co-production film selected as Singapore’s submission to the 2023 Academy Awards and nominated for four Golden Horse Awards in 2022.

IMDA also announced the injection of an additional S$25 million into the Virtual Production Innovation Fund over the next three years. This intensifies efforts to develop more local virtual production talent to meet the increasing demand for virtual productions in the industry.

Regional enterprises benefit

Among hundreds of enterprises joining the event, Hybe a music entertainment group gathering strong artists like BTS, Seventeen, NewJeans, LE SSERAFIM expected much, though they have joined the event several times.

The booth of Woa Network at the event, the only Vietnamese representative this year. VNS Photo Lê Hương

“Actually, we can meet our partners face to face and also find new partners and then seek new business models,” Kim Min Ju, Licensing Business  Part Leader of Hybe told Việt Nam News.

Kim admitted that the company has more partners from last year’s event.

“We made several deals after the market and actually we're looking for that from this event as well,” she said.

Global Agency is a Turkish distribution company handling European territories selling international television formats and television series, mostly Turkish TV series, telenovelas, dramas, etc.

“We would like to reach the Asian countries. ATF is one of the biggest Asian markets, so that's why we would like to be here,” said Gozde Sergili, Sales Director of the agency. “We have been here for 12 years. There are new clients we are meeting and the existing clients each year we are meeting. It's a very good opportunity to increase our network.”

Sumit Kumar, of Kechua Animation Private Limited, from India, joining the event for the first time, admitted that he had so many meetings.

“We are actually pitching and they are showing interest, with positive notes, but again it needs discussion until the meeting is set,” he said. “I am hopeful that things will move in a positive direction.”

WOA Network, the only representative from Việt Nam this year, also expects to expand the market for their cartoons at the event.

According to Trần Thị Lan Chi, Sales Director of the company, the company joined the event first in 2019 and has gained many Chinese partners.

“Vietnamese cartoon products do not have a name in the world entertainment map,” she said. “We want to explore our next market after China in this regional event.”

Chi said many Asian companies have paid concern on the company’s new cartoon format based on Vietnamese folk fugure Trạng Quỳnh.

“Asian countries find many common features in culture with our cartoon creation Trạng Quỳnh,” she said. VNS

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